The $8.16 Donut - photo by Antoinne Rimes
Is it worth it, and why would anyone pay $8.16 for a single donut? Ok, I agree with you. I think it is an outrageous price too, but I was emotionally compromised at the time. You see, my birthday was on 08/26/10, and I wanted to treat myself to something spectacular. And since I have an addiction to sugar, and love sugary things like lonely guys love porn.
I made a pact with myself at the beginning of the year to refrain from eating or buying donuts until my birthday, and then to splurge on the greatest expression in the art of donut making I could find. So I suffered and suffered, and suffered some more, vacillating between what donut could fulfill the bill as the best donut ever. And since I grew up on Krispe Kreme, I was too use to them. I thought of tapping Voodoo Donut in Portland, Oregon, and then there was this place in Texas that makes giant size donuts…..
But one night while I was watching the Food Network, I saw a segment on the Donut Plant in New York City. The donuts I saw on that segment blew my mind. They were big and richly glazed and had intriguing, exciting flavors----crème brulee, chocolate black out, and tres leche. For god’s sake—tres leche! A tres leche donut! I had to have them. But how could I get them? I live in San Francisco and after a quick Google search I found out that the Donut Plant only has locations in NYC, Tokyo and Seoul. Tokyo! Seoul! Come on, man! And they don’t deliver from any location!
I was bummed, but not defeated. I started pricing flights to New York (yes, Tokyo/Seoul was still a crazy option) and coming back the next day. That little plan was budgeting out to be around $500.00. I love donuts, but that was Paris Hilton pricey for a dozen donuts. I thought, you know, NYC is open 24/7, right? I could take the red eye, and roam the streets of New York City for eight to ten hours until my return flight that same day. The phrase “roam the streets of New York City” sounds as ridiculous now as it did when I first conceived it. I might as well have said why not see how long it will take me to get mugged, stabbed, and killed while holding a box full of donuts as I waited for my plane back to San Francisco.
I dropped that plan, and went plan B. I call it the sane option plan. I have some good friends who live in Brooklyn, and who work in the City. They are both super nice, but also super busy people and the last thing I want to do is to put them out by asking them to schlep around NYC buying me a box of donuts and overnight mailing them to me in SF. But I did. I contacted my friend Leinana, a serious foodie like me, and I broke down my scheme and obsession to her.
She understood and agreed, but with one condition. She also had a craving for a sweet, sweet confection that could only be had on my coast. She wanted some cinnamon rolls made in Berkeley, and like the Donut Plant they also did not ship their product. Sweet! It would be a fair exchange, East Coast Donuts for West Coast Cinnamon rolls. The Day came and Leinana shipped me my box of 6 yeast glazed, 1 Crème brule, 1 Peach, 2 Tres leche, and 2 Blackout donuts.
One dozen donuts: $30.00. FedEx overnight shipping: $68.00. My reaction----Ouch!
So the deal was struck and the donuts came carried by an unsuspecting FedEx driver, who I am sure if he had known what was in the box would have pulled some lost in transport scheme. I opened the box and inside was sexy glazed bits of brown geometry. Each donut was wrapped in a delicate paper, like fragile fruit or dynamite. Where to start first? Let’s begin at the béguin I told myself. First the Great Baker created the glazed donut, and the other’s followed. I picked up one of the glazed donuts the way Godzilla picks up little Japanese people…examines them quizzically, and then Chomp!
The texture (now talking donut) was not the soft pillowy bite of a Krispy Kreme donut. It was more substantial than that. It had a little tug and chewy to it, sort of like an ultra soft bagel. The glaze was sweet but not teeth aching sweet. My fingers were sticky from the glaze but not greasy from the donut, and that told me they used new oil and fried the donut at the correct temperature. I munched on the donut, savoring the flavor, thinking, “yeah, this is good, but $8.16 good?
Hummm…chomp…chomp…chomp. Good. How much?! Chomp…chomp…chomp, who cares?” To an addict like me, I can justify the expense, it being my birthday and all. But next time I plan to hop a flight to the Big Apple and take a less expensive bite out of some pretty good donuts.