Today, the first Friday in June, is National Donut Day. So, let me report on the three donut shops I tried in Kansas City last month.
On Friday afternoon I headed to north Kansas City to Donut King in north Kansas City. It features the most selection of the three I visited and is known for seasonal flavors. Also it stays open late (until 11pm) and makes fresh donuts throughout the day. Donuts are 86¢ each, and seemed to be a little larger than the other two I tried, plus 35¢ for any filling.
I selected a sugar-dusted raised, chocolate glazed chocolate old fashion, long john filled with Bavarian cream, cherry cruller, orange cake, and peanut butter cake to try. The raised and the long john were terrible, both tough and chewy. The cherry cruller was okay, the pink glaze was sweeter than it needed to be an applied too thickly. The chocolate old fashioned was soft and lacked the crunchy crust that makes this style for me. But on the plus side, the two cake donuts were lovely. The peanut butter was tasted so intensely of roasted peanuts, and the chocolate stripes were a great touch as well as the very thin glaze. The orange cake donut sang of citrus and was as tender as could be.
Then on my way to the Saturday morning farmers market in Downtown Overland Park, a stop at John’s Space Age Donut Shop. With a name like that, how could I not?
Here I tried a raised glazed and chocolate iced chocolate cake donut. The raised was worlds better than Donut King’s with a bit of fresh, delicate crispness to the crust and a fluffy texture. Maybe being here early in the morning was a boon. The chocolate icing on the cake donut was less sweet than usual, which was a plus in my book. However, the cake donut did not have the fragile, well, cake-like texture that I liked so much at Donut King.
My third trial was Lamar's Donuts in Overland Park. A decade ago, I’d had a blueberry cake donut by Lamar’s in Las Vegas when it still had a branch there. It was the best cake donut I’d ever tasted and I’d remembered it all these years for a time when I’d finally make my way to Kansas City.
I tried an Original Ray's glazed, blueberry-filled bizmark, chocolate glazed chocolate cake, powder sugar dusted sour cream old fashioned, and apple spice cake donut.
Here’s what they looked like after a bite from each to sample. The Original Ray’s glazed was my favorite of the lot, very yeasty with an almost rum-like back note. The raised donut offers more substance in heft and flavor than a Krispy Kreme. The bizmark was too tough and the blueberry filling just tasted too artificial to swallow. The chocolate cake donut was a bit better than John’s. The sour cream old fashioned offered that old school crunch. And I also liked the apple spice cake donut very much, and I’d rather have one of these than a silly cupcake any day. http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...
I packed up my donut detritus in a ziploc bag to stuff into my luggage intending to make a donut bread pudding when I got home. But one by one, the donuts disappeared, reheated for breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack. The cake donuts revived remarkably well. Across the board, the cake donuts I tried from all three places are much better than I can of that style in San Francisco.
8615 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS 66210
2320 Armour Rd, Kansas City, MO 64116
John's Space Age Donuts
8124 Floyd St, Overland Park, KS 66204