post:

happy national donut day!

You know you live in the good old USA when a there’s a National Donut Day. Yeah, we’re crazy.

Crazy for donuts, that is!

I realized recently that I had been to like, three donut shops in the span of two weeks and I got to thinking of doing a donuts post. And when I heard that June 7th was National Donut Day, I felt like the stars were aligning so I could do this mega donut post. So here goes nothing!

Randy’s Donuts – Los Angeles
805 W Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90301

randys-donuts-signage

My mega donut post actually starts in Los Angeles at Randy’s Donuts with the GIANT donut on top of the building. Randy’s Donuts is about two shakes away from LAX so it’s another place for a quick pit stop on the way in or out of LAX. They’re also open 24 hours so you can swing by for your donut fix at any time the craving strikes you.

randys-sampling

[from top (l-r): Crumb Cake, Maple French Cruller, Buttermilk Bar, Devil’s Food, Wheat & Honey]

Jake and I had a little sampling of each donut and then I brought the leftovers in to my co-workers the next day. Luckily they don’t mind partially eaten donuts.

randys-maple-middle

French Crullers are totally my favorite, but this one tasted slightly stale. I did really love the maple flavor though – it tasted like real maple, intense and delicious. I liked that it covered the hole!

randys-crumb-cake

My other favorite of this bunch was the Crumb Cake. It had the same topping that you would see on a crumb cake, but on a donut! Very strong cinnamon flavor with bits of sugar all over the top.

The buttermilk bar here was also totally divine. The devil’s food and honey & wheat were both also good, but not outstanding.

Prices range from .80 cents for raised and cake donuts to .90 cents for twists, buttermilk bars and french crullers.

Donut Bar – Downtown San Diego
631 B St.,  San Diego, CA 92101

donut-bar-san-diego

I had been wanting to visit Donut Bar for WEEKS. It’s hard to get down here though since they’re closed on Sundays and usually sell out early in the day. One recent Saturday, I made Jake get up early and we went Downtown to finally get some of these donuts. I stood in line for about 25 minutes and bought way more donuts than I wanted to.

donut-bar-sampling-2

Oh, hello there donuts.

donut-bar-sampling-1

[top row: coconut dream, maple bourbon, chocolate covered cherry, creme brulee / middle row: smores, cinnamon sugar samples, red velvet, blueberry with meyer lemon glaze / bottom row: chocolate euphoria, chocolate heath bar, maple bacon]

I… I think Donut Bar is overhyped. There, I’ve said it.

After the wait, after paying $25 for one box of donuts, having to park Downtown and get up early… well… I was expecting my mind to be blown. And it wasn’t.

The standouts for me were the Coconut Dream which had a very nice, fresh coconut flavor. The maple bacon was good and I really like the creativity behind the creme brulee (the top was hard and crunchy, just like in the traditional dessert).

The misses for me were the smores – it tasted bitter for some reason in the chocolate cake. The chocolate heath bar sounded really awesome, but just ended up tasting like a not very good cake donut.

In any case, I was glad to finally try it. Some things are quite good, but mostly I felt like I could just go and get some regular donuts and be a happy camper.

Prices range from $2-$3 for the “gourmet” donuts – but they also have regular, unfancy donuts available if you ask for them.

Sunny Donuts – La Mesa
4199 Spring St., La Mesa, CA 91941

sunny-donuts

This impromptu visit was thanks to the fact that it was right next to this taco shop Jake discovered for us (post soon!) and him asking me if I wanted to go get some donuts. Duh.

sunny-donuts-sampling

These donuts aren’t the prettiest. The one on the far right we got because the lady before us in line swore by them and said she came specifically for them. They were freshly filled with vanilla buttercream and we decided to get one of those, too.

sunny-donuts-buttercream-filled-donut

This sucker was definitely FILLED all the way with luscious buttercream – similar to what you’d see on top of cupcakes, in case you’re wondering. A quarter piece of that was enough for me since it was quite sweet – but I liked that we knew it was freshly done.

Of the four we tried, I probably again like that crumb/crunch donut. I guess I have some kind of secret internal love affair with cinnamon.

The other two donuts were good by regular donut standards – again, nothing outstanding there. But a good, steady donut.

It cost us $3 and change for the four donuts.

Donut Touch – Scripps Ranch
12033 Scripps Summit Dr., San Diego, CA

donut-touch-in-the-box

Donut Touch in Scripps Ranch has been on my “to visit” list for awhile for the express purpose of trying their red velet and maple bacon donuts. But uhhh… you don’t see those in this box, now do you? That’s because by the time we went (10:30AM on Sunday morning), they were almost all out of donuts. The apple fritter was fresh though and my favorite of the bunch for just that reason. The cruller was also pretty good here.

The chocolate donut had a pastry cream filling (like Boston Cream Pie). I wasn’t impressed with the honey bun looking thing and Jake and I both though the cinnamon roll was awful and tasted day old.

The box above was a little over $5 – the cinnamon roll cost extra. Boo.

donut-touch-special-donuts

One morning this week though I got up early before work and huffed it over to Scripps Ranch to get my grubby little hands on what I had really wanted to try!

The lighting in this photo sucks because I took it at work on my desk. At least Harry was there to help model the donuts.

These were all really excellent and reasonably priced. The maple bacon bar ($1.50) had crisp bacon on it making for that nice sweet-salty combo. There were two red velvet donuts – one with cream cheese ($1.25) and one with just glaze ($.99 cents). The one with cream cheese is INTENSE. It’s like “ROAR – I AM RED VELVET!” It was probably more like the red velvet cake you’re used to it – a very good rendition! I preferred just the glazed one though since it was way less intense and seemed more suitable for breakfast… but only slightly. I’d totally eat these again. And again.

$5 minimum if you gots no cash on you for the donuts.

Donut Stop – Mira Mesa
9330 Mira Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA 92126

donut-stop-storefront

This is the donut shop that is closed to my house. They are open from 4AM-10PM, yo. For those late night cravings. This photo also exhibits my “I’m too lazy to get out the car” style of photography. I think it’s really going to catch on like FIRE.

Yes, I just made a lame Hunger Games reference.

Moving on.

donut-stop-blueberry-donut

Pretty much the only thing I get here are the blueberry donuts. All their cake donuts are good though, as well as the old fashioned and buttermilk bars. Everything always tastes really fresh!

donut-stop-cream-puffs

If the old man serves you, he will totally give you some of these little cream puffs for free. Otherwise, you gotta pay a quarter for two of them.

It’s cash only and there’s always a mixture of old guys hanging out inside the shop here. Don’t let that deter you though, they’ve got some solid donuts here for about $.65 cents a pop, depending on the donut.

Mary’s Donuts – Santee
9031 Mission Gorge Rd., Santee, CA 92071

marys-donuts

Mary’s Donuts is still probably my favorite donut shop in town – and not just because we share a name!

This place is open 24 hours so you can always get your donut fix on. They also accept credit cards ($1 minimum – so buy two donuts, okay?).

 marys-donuts-counter

The first thing I noticed on my very recent visit? NO CRULLERS. WHAT.

I asked the lady who helped me about crullers and she laughed and said I was the third person in a row to ask about them. You know why? Because the crullers here are the BEST. So, sometimes when you visit here, they won’t have your favorite thing since they seem to make whatever the hell they feel like, and you will eat what they have!

That’s okay though, since Mary’s Donuts are AWESOME.

marys-donuts-sampling

I was still all sad face about the cruller, but I got over it. I finally tried their blueberry (far right) which was quite tasty with a good blueberry flavor. The crunch/crumb was also good, but I like it better at other places. The old fashioned is always really yummy here (I love breaking off the outer edges first to eat). The last one I hadn’t seen before, but it was a raised donut covered in chocolate with a bit of buttercream in the middle.

marys-donuts-chocolate-with-buttercream

It’s just a daub of buttercream though, which made it my favorite of the four. Just a touch! Too much would be overkill.

These four donuts cost me $3.25. No breaking the bank here, folks.

National Donut Day – Free Donuts

Since it’s National Donut Day, be sure to get out there and try some donuts! A few places will be giving out a FREE donut – such as Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts. I believe Randy’s Donuts in LA is also doing something special (it was hard to tell what though from their web site). Donut Bar in Downtown San Diego is doing buy 1 get 1 donut free. Get out there and enjoy yourself a sweet, fried treat! Mmm, donuts.

'12 Responses to “happy national donut day!”'
  1. Lauren says:

    Awesome post! I feel inspired to try the Mary’s donuts sometime!!

  2. Faye says:

    EPIC post!! Nice job! I don’t think I’d enjoy the Donut Bar all that much either – they hype always kills it for me – and I would be so grumpy waking up that early AND have to stand in line AND find street parking. But that smores donut looked so pretty.

    Thanks for the tip on where to get free donuts! I still think Krispy has the best glazed (but only when you get one hot outta the fryer!)

    • mary says:

      Yeah I think for all of the effort I put into getting the Donut Bar donuts AND the price I paid made me feel kind of sour about the whole experience. The smores donut did look pretty but it was so weirdly bitter! Oh well. Hope you get to score a free donut today :) Since Krispy Kreme doesn’t do the free samples anymore, today’s probably the only day you can get a free one now!

      • Faye says:

        Hahaha – only TRUE Krispy fans remember the good ol’ days when they handed out free samps to customers !! Ohhhh, the memories…

  3. Jinxi says:

    Mm donuts! I have guests staying over at my place this weekend and they bought home donuts this morning!! Nicest friends ever :D Thanks for the tip about Krispy Kreme, too – unfortunately I don’t think I can make it out to donut bar, but I’m also a bit skeptical since everyone has been saying that it’s not too worth the hype. Maybe I’ll try it in a few months, when I won’t have to stand in line for an hour just to see the flavors I wanted to try were sold out.

    • mary says:

      Yeah… Donut Bar. Yeah, I think you can skip it for now. Some of the items are good, but it just seemed so hyped up to me I didn’t really feel it was worth it in the end! Oh well. I’ll stick with regular mom n pop shops :)

  4. Excellent post Mary! And yay, you finally posted on Mary’s!

    About Randy’s, I like that they have a drive thru. It also made an appearance in Iron Man! Hell yeah! Their giant donut is so iconic. We used a picture of us in front of it as one of our Xmas photos that year!!!! Ha ha!

    Once TC gets home, we are going to get our free donut at Krispy Kreme in Eastlake.

    And finalllly, someone else agrees that the donut bar is overhyped! Give me an $%#@’ng break. Gourmet. Schmormet. I would rather have Mary’s Donuts or Star Dust. I hate waiting in line just for donuts. San Diego is so far behind with the “artisanal” (that word makes me gag) donut shops. I do appreciate what they do, but my tastes are a bit more plebeian.

    I must have that red velvet donut from Donut Touch and that blueberry from Marys! I don’t know how I missed that the last time I was there! And their crullers…..ohhhhhh…..

    • mary says:

      That’s awesome about the xmas photos!

      Yeah.. Donut Bar was a let down. But at least I tried it and got to see for myself what it was like.

      The blueberry from Mary’s was really good… they also have one with blueberry frosting that almost looked like blueberry yogurt… want to try that next time! I hope they have crullers the next time I go!

  5. Cathy says:

    Re: Mary’s and crullers: Saturday, by 9 p.m. (sometimes still warm crullers are there at 8 p.m.)
    shhh

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