My Krispy Kreme Adventure

People love donuts like they love bobbleheads
April (snow) showers
It all started out just over two years ago on a bus trip to Virginia. At some point on the trip, my brother pointed out a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop and commented on their popularity. Until then, I had no knowledge of this popular doughnut chain.

About a month and a half later, I happened to be in Louisville, where I noticed a Krispy Kreme store on the corner. Intending to see what all the fuss was about, I made my way over to try a doughnut, only to find out the store was closed for the evening. I left Louisville the next morning, having yet to taste a Krispy Kreme.

Fast forward to about a year later. By this point, Krispy Kreme was basically a household name, even where no such stores existed. While driving through the streets of St. Paul, I was informed by my aunt that my hometown may be getting a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. I promptly ran a stop sign. I had it all worked out in my mind: I would get a job at Krispy Kreme! What could be better? Get paid. Get doughnuts. Maybe even get paid in doughnuts!

It was, however, not meant to be. Krispy Kreme did not come.

Fast forward yet again to this spring. A group of guys (including me) were planning on making a trip to the Greater Chicagoland Area. On the docket for this trip was, among other things, a trip to a Krispy Kreme eatery.

This past Thursday (the day before the trip), I found a note in my e-mail box notifying me of the cancellation of the Chicago trip.

Denied Krispy Kremes yet again?!!!! Would this never end!????

But wait...On Saturday, I received a phone call from my donut-loving friend Mark. A plan was in the works to make a trip to the nearest Krispy Kreme location. Was I in? You bet.

We hit the road at around four in the afternoon, and about an hour and a half later, we arrived at our destination.

Here's the thing: This was no ordinary trip to a doughnut store. If the police vehicles and traffic directors in the parking lot didn't convince me of that, the obscenely long line coming out the door certainly got the point across.

(Before you lower your opinion of our society too much, you need to know that this particular Krispy Kreme location was in just its fifth day of existence and it is the only one in the entire state.)

We took our places in line, braving the snowy conditions (more on that later), and got ready for the experience of the double K.

Highlights from waiting in line:
  • At one point during the wait, you get a close up view of the doughnuts being made. Tremendous. Seeing the glazing process up close made us all smile.
  • While studying a menu, I neglected to move forward, thus creating a space in the line of about 5 to 10 feet. After about ten seconds of this I began to make my way forward. As I walked ahead, a lady made some comment like, "If you don't fill up that space in line, we will." I chuckled a bit until I realized she was dead serious. (Lighten up lady, they're only doughnuts. It's not like they're bobbleheads.)
  • Figuring out my order was almost as tough as choosing my major. Here's why: First of all, you get one shot. If you want seconds, you have to wait in line again. Second, I wasn't just ordering for myself. Some of these doughnuts were going to the family and I didn't want to disappoint them. Furthermore, since I had never tried any doughnut from Krispy Kreme, I had no clue which kind I would like. I got some advice, but taste is so subjective, that it's basically a craps shoot.

When the moment to order finally came, I had the bulk of my order ready in my mind and decided I'd wing the rest. Here's what I got:
Two Dozen, broken down like so
  • 8 original glazed (these are the ones you get hot and fresh -- basically the doughnut that made them famous)
  • 4 chocolate iced
  • 4 chocolate iced with sprinkles
  • 2 glazed devil's food (cake doughnut)
  • 2 chocolate iced creme filled (per the advice of Mark)

Note: at this point, I didn't know what else to get. I knew that there were plenty of good options left and I didn't want to waste the picks. But I also couldn't remember anything else that I really wanted. I asked the girl how many I had left (even though I was almost positive it was 4). "Four," she said.

I remembered a guy in line said these cinnamon apple filled doughnuts were pretty good. It didn't look like my kind of thing, but hey, the guy in line said they were good.
  • 2 cinnamon apple filled

I spotted some maple glazed doughnuts. I enjoy a good maple long john, why not a doughnut?
  • 2 maple glazed

And there it was. Two dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts ready for consumption. I picked up a grip-it-and-sip-it milk and paid for the goods. It was about 13 or 14 dollars.

I made my way over to the table, thanked God for the meal and the trip and got ready to eat.

And that's when I experienced it. After two years of waiting, I took a bite and tasted..................

Total Disappointment. OK, not really total disappointment. But here's the thing: After two years of hearing about how good these doughnuts are, there's almost no way they could have lived up to the hype. And I knew that. I thought about that often. But still, there was part of me that was expecting to be blown away, and honestly, I wasn't. These doughnuts were good, but at the end of the day, they're just doughnuts.

That said, I ate three or four. Mark had eight.

I posed the question to the group, "What's stranger, the fact that we went through all of this to get doughnuts, or the fact that it's snowing outside right now?"

Little did I know, things would get a bit stranger. On our ride back, the odd little late-April snow shower turned into a legitimate snow storm. As Mark struggled to see and keep the car on the road, we kept track of the cars in the ditches on the sides of the road. At the end of our three hour ride home, we had counted about 13 and agreed that we probably missed some.

Final reflections on the doughnuts:

I'm not sure why I'm not head-over-heels in love with Krispy Kremes. Here's what I can think of.
  1. The high expectations.
  2. I'm more of a cake doughnut fan; Krispy Kremes are almost entirely raised doughnuts.
  3. The warm doughnut thing was weird. Probably too soft for my liking.

All that said, within 36 hours all of the doughnuts were gone. Of the two dozen, I probably had about eight. And actually, I enjoyed them more as the weekend progressed. Here's my take on what's good:

Good doughnuts: chocolate iced with sprinkles, glazed devil's food, chocolate iced creme filled, maple glazed

Not so good doughnuts: cinnamon apple filled (the guy in line seemed pretty nice though)

Not sure: original glazed (hot or cold), chocolate iced

My brother came up with the good idea of me giving you the total nutritional facts for my doughnut order. I'm not going to do that however, because frankly, the numbers are obscene. Let me just explain it this way: I once saw a comedy bit on the Late Show which joked that Krispy Kreme boxes should read, "Warning: Konsult Kardiologist."

I'll now finish up this article with something totally unrelated. Something for you to ponder.

"At what age (or stage in life) do we turn into that guy who cares too much about his lawn?"

-Jon enjoys both donuts and doughnuts.
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