DONUTS AND COFFEE, COFFEE AND DONUTS
The review below is about Union Square Donuts in Somerville, MA. All opinions are my own, I was not paid to write this review, and all products were purchased by me.
As I sit in a buzzing cafe located in Union Square, Somerville Massachusetts, I stare longingly at a box of 1 dozen donuts. It is around 11:30 am and by this time I have already eaten a hotel breakfast and a delicious cafe lunch. The donuts sitting next to me are from Union Square Donuts, located across the street from the cafe where I sit.
Drawn to dig right into these little pillows of happiness, I start thinking about how I got here, tempted by a box of donuts, and repeating a simple mantra: I will wait and share these, I WILL wait and share these. I promised myself (and my husband) I would save them to share with our friends. It all started with my co-worker saying, “You NEED to try their lemon ricotta donut, it’s to die for!” As the weeks went on, I started to crave donuts more with every passing day. I know, I sound like a sugar addict here. However, if I am going to have a donut, I might as well save it and make it worth my while?
As the weeks passed, I started to think about a way to get to the Boston area without judgement for a 3-hour donut journey…and yes, it really was a 3-hour drive. The perfect opportunity came when thinking about my husband’s birthday. We planned for him to work out of the Boston office, then visit some friends that night. I thought, this had better be worth it. I decided, ok, ill drive him to work, go eat donuts, have lunch, then come pick him up and start with the birthday celebrations. Not too crazy, right?
How can I describe donuts? They are versatile, can be light and airy, or dense and cakey. They can be filled with jam, frosting, and cream; or dipped in liquor, topped with sprinkles or drizzled with glaze. Donuts can be sweet, salty or both. Small or colossal. The options are endless; dream it up and it can be done. Me personally, I enjoy a soft, fluffy donut topped with icing or chocolate frosting. I’ll try almost any flavor once, but recently, I have fallen in love with maple bacon donuts.
When you walk into Union Square Donuts, you can expect a heavenly scent, not overpowering of any kind. There is a beautiful display of the fresh donuts available that day, and a few small tables where you can relax and enjoy your order. They serve breakfast sandwiches, hot beverages and of course, the star of today’s lecture…donuts. The staff greets you with a warm smile and is willing to answer any questions you may have. Of course, it’s me so I embarrassingly ask a ton of questions. Fortunately, I arrived Thursday morning around 10:30am, with no long wait to endure. However, the weekend or early morning that might be a little different. The donuts I chose (see pictured, from left to right) were maple bacon, apple crisp, hazelnut crunch, and chocolate frosted. When you purchase a dozen, they come beautifully packed in a large cardboard box that displays each pastry perfectly. The location I went to was in Somerville, MA, however there are three across the greater Boston area: Somerville, Brookline, and Boston Public Market.
As I sit here, tempted but keeping my promise, I decide to bring the box filled with donuts to my car. Then I think to myself: self (vs KIM), you can keep your promise and still eat a donut. So, after bringing the already purchased donuts to my car and locking them out of sight, I saunter back to the shop, choose a different flavor, and purchase one donut and two donut holes…for myself. The manager, Nathaniel, remembered me from before (no doubt because I asked a ton of questions), and had a good laugh after I told him that I could not wait till later in the day to try one! I then chose a honey glazed donut. A refreshing take on the standard yet reliable “glazed” donut. Next, I smuggle two treats into the café across the street, reach into the wax paper bag, and pull out MY donut.
Right before taking my first bite, I decide, what a great opportunity to practice mindful eating. (I can only hope everyone in the cafe is looking at me at this point). With donut in hand, I look at the donut as if I have never seen one before, examining the glaze, color, and size; noticing the subtle sweet scent. Feeling the soft texture in my hand. Then, the first bite. Sweet, but not overpowering. Soft, yet chewy with a slight yeasty flavor. This donut does not need to be masked by an overly sticky-sweet glaze, but instead boasts one of perfectly balanced flavor. The second bite: I notice the same things, this time, it brings a smile to my face. And I think to myself: the wait was worth it. Ah, sweet indulgence.
All for donuts. Yes, donuts. Was it worth it? Yes. Would I do it again? No doubt about it.