Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy National Donut Day!

The Setting: Blue skies, cotton-puff clouds, gentle I in Heaven?

The Soundtrack: The laundry machine, punctuated with Oia's curious babbles as she "reads" her favorite books and rediscovers her favorite toy-du-jour, a plastic cup.

On the Stove-top: Hot oil and sizzling dough.

The Scenario: It's National Donut Day--let's celebrate!

You may have noticed I've been a little donut-crazy lately.

It all started two years ago when I visited Hoosband's hometown outside of Houston, Texas for the first time.

Driving around the surrounding towns and suburbs, one word dominated the signage along every street and strip-mall: DONUTS.

Is the Houston area abnormally donut-obsessed? I wondered.

Hoosband had never given much thought to the abundance of fried-dough vendors in his homeland, but even he had to admit they were shockingly numerous here compared to anywhere else he'd lived (Georgia, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Tennessee) or visited (the list goes on and on).

When we arrived in Dallas a few weeks ago, we were thrilled to witness the same phenomenon: a donut peddler on every corner.

There were more donut shops than Starbucks!

Appreciating that, along with Tex-Mex and BBQ, donuts must truly be a part of Texas food-culture, I had to dive right in and get my fingers sugary.

We took the search for the perfect-Texas-donut experience to Austin when we snuck away for the weekend, and the exploration continues in Dallas, day by day.

I have yet to (need to) venture from the streets I regularly travel, but I already have a stand-out for dream-worthy Dallas Donuts. I'll be sure to keep you updated via Tweet if there is an upset in the standings as the search rages on, but for now, here are a few of my favorites from Texas and beyond, listed alphabetically by location.

Austin, TX: Gourdough's. Not your standard donut-shop selection, Gourdough's creations start with big, fat, yeasty donuts and then amp up the excitement with toppings ranging from grilled bananas to fried chicken to cake mix. I recommend the Flying Pig and the Funky Monkey.

Dallas, TX: Donut Palace, Coppell/MacArthur Blvd. The cinnamon roll and the blueberry-cake donut here should be studied, dissected, and mastered by anyone wanting to get into the donut business.

Destin, FL: Donut Hole. In nearly 30 years of patronizing this establishment, I have never been able to leave without a Chocolate Angel, a messy powdered donut filled with whipped chocolate cream. Can you say breakfast of champions? The Donut Hole is also home to Destin's best Key-Lime Pie.

Nashville, TN: Fox's Donut Den, aka The Donut Den. Everything here is delightful, but the apple fritters are insane. I can't leave without at least one, plus some donut holes (glazed and blueberry cake).

My friend Jet at Fox's Donut Den, Nashville, TN

What are your favorite donuts and/or donut spots?

Need a recipe for your National Donut Day Celebration? Check out BeingTSI's Facebook page later tonight for a link to my 20-Minute Homemade Donuts.

Thanks for reading! Here's to Being the Secret Ingredient in your life.

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