When I worked in the registrar’s office at college, we had a weekly tradition: every Friday morning, our boss (the registrar himself), brought in a huuuge box of doughnuts. They weren’t anything special, just doughnuts from the local grocery store, but in the hectic office, at the end of the week, it was a much-appreciated gesture. Just like when I was a kid, I always chose a simple glazed doughnut for my breakfast treat.
Then I graduated, and the doughnuts stopped coming. And then I went vegan, and the doughnuts really stopped coming. And then I started craving them.
I never even considered myself a big doughnut fan until I couldn’t have them. The doughnut desire hit maybe a year or two ago, and since then it hasn’t let go of me. None of my vegan-friendly staples in Rhode Island or Madison carried any, and our trips to Chicago never left time to seek them out. When we were in New York City last summer, I was bummed to discover that Dunwell was closed on Mondays–the very day we could’ve gone. When we moved to Maryland, I searched high and low (or so I thought). Stickyfingers only offers doughnuts on Tuesday and Thursday, and the few places I found online that used to offer vegan options were closed.
The only doughnut I’ve eaten the past almost-four years was at a farmers’ market in RI. It was tasty and cakey, but it wasn’t really a traditional doughnut.
And then, last weekend, S and I went to the National Air and Space museum for his birthday. On the way back, we stopped at Loving Hut in Virginia (my first visit!) for a late-afternoon lunch. I got a healthy and delicious vermicelli noodle bowl with peanut sauce, and S had a banh mi sandwich. But, most importantly, THEY HAD DOUGHNUTS ON THE DESSERT MENU.
As I munched my meal, my anticipation grew. The doughnuts in the front case looked like perfect specimens. Finally, after finishing our lunch, I ordered one to go. There were five (5!) varieties. I chose a chocolate doughnut, its top coated with a thin layer of sugary glaze and drizzled with chocolate. Although I’d resolved to wait till I was good and hungry to eat it, I lasted all of five minutes in the car before opening the package and sinking my teeth into it.
It was pastry heaven. It was the most amazing and delicious doughnut I’ve ever had, vegan or not. It was cakey but dense, sweet but not too sweet, and perfectly chocolaty. Because I am the best girlfriend in the world (and because it was S’s birthday), I shared half the damn thing with him. (I didn’t even have to say “You should’ve gotten your own!”–he said it first.)
Despite my efforts to draw out the eating process, my beloved doughnut was gone too soon. A few small crumbs remained in the plastic container, the only reminders of the bliss I’d just experienced. All I wanted to do was turn the car around and go buy a dozen more, but alas, we didn’t.
I still regret it, and I’m trying to decide what level of crazy it is to drive 40 minutes just to get a doughnut. Thoughts? ;)
I emailed Loving Hut to ask where they source their doughnuts, and they responded promptly–they’re from Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. We’re totally stopping on our next road trip up to RI.