Review: Destination Donuts
Destination Donuts is finally a destination. Sure, you can argue that it’s been a destination for a while. Its wares have been available at the North Market on weekends, and at local coffee shops throughout the week.
But c’mon, now it’s got a sign and a brick and mortar home on a Tuesday or Wednesday… or any day of the week. You can walk up to its permanent station at the North Market and order seven different flavors of donuts* all at once. And when Destination Donuts runs out of goodies, it makes more right there in the kitchen. That’s a destination.
Having arrived at the destination, it would be difficult to pick just one donut. There they sit behind the glass counter, drenched in sugar and icing; each one demanding some attention. The donuts are huge, maybe twice as big as a grocery version, so eating more than one might result in some sort of physical discomfort. Or a sugar coma.
But someone’s got to try all its wares. It’s a public service, a means to inform people. That’s the dangerous job of a reviewer.
In general, the donuts are the poofy, yeasty sort. They’re soft and chewy with a earnest, homespun bread-ness inside. The favorite version so far is the the White Chocolate Pretzel Donut ($3). You’d never guess its composition from an initial look or bite. The pretzels that crown the donut are pulverized into a briny dust that merges with the sweetness of its icing before giving way to the donut’s bready, wholesome goodness.
For the chocolate people, there’s a Double Chocolate Donut ($3) that’s frosted with a thin layer of good quality chocolate, it’s crowned with chocolate sprinkles. While chocolate-on-bread is not a personal favorite combo, there’s no denying the appeal of the intense chocolate charge it delivers.
The Red Raspberry Hibiscus Donut ($3) is another good option: it’s got a solid fuchsia icing -maybe two coats. The sweet stuff hosts the raspberry element, offering fresh spring flavor and the berry’s signature micro-seedy texture.
Even the plainer donuts at Destination Donuts are worth eating. The Cinnamon Sugar Donut ($3) is reminiscent of old fashioned cinnamon sugar toast; it’s comfort food. The Dueling Vanilla Donut ($3) looks like a regular glazed donut, but it has a full-bodied vanilla accent in the glaze. In comparison, grocery donuts often have a glaze thats more like a wash or a flavorless oily thing. Meanwhile, the Dueling Vanilla Donut has a enough icing to crystallize a little on the outside.
Besides donuts, there are… well, more donut-like things, only without holes. The Apricot Pistachio (Donut?) ($3) has sweet apricot jelly in the middle as an island surrounded by pulverized pistachios embedded in glaze. There’s also a breathtakingly tender Raspberry Paczki ($3), dusted with powdered sugar, and a round Nibbler ($2), the size of a tennis ball, encrusted with sugar and boasting teeny bits of peach inside.
You can find Destination Donuts at the North Market, and it’s open seven days a week. For more information, visit www.destinationdonuts.com.
*The establishment spells them “donuts” and not “doughnuts”, so we’re going with it.
All photos by Walker Evans.