Kane’s Donuts, May 2020

I walked into the shop with my sunglasses on. It’s a dumb pet peeve when people wear sunglasses inside. I don’t know what happened. I drove up to Kane’s, got in the drive-thru lane, but broke off and grabbed a parking spot because it looked quicker. I usually have my sunny weather driving routine down: throw the car in park, stop the engine, swap out glasses (prescription sunglasses, oh yeah!), make sure I have keys, phone, wallet, etc., get out and lock the door.

Everything got thrown off. I had to take my hat off to throw my elastic-around the head mask on, easier to get on without the brim, and I thought something felt weird, like it was interacting with my glasses weird, but, it usually doesn’t. I also don’t typically always wear hats, but, it’s been a while without a haircut and I was doing everyone a favor. Or me. Routine was off a bit, and I didn’t even realize it until I got back in the car. So now I’m the guy in the shop wearing a mask, hat, and sunglasses.

My order was ready to go, but the guy behind the counter and I were talking for a couple minutes, and then after I realized my error I felt even more like a jackass. I get that so much of conversation is pulled from expressions and body language, and here I am, covering up as much of that as possible. Hence why I like to try and not have these things on during conversation, especially inside.

Regardless, I got my donuts and went down this week’s journey. The sunglasses incident should have been foreshadowing. As I was sampling this selection, I had a lot of questions. Is this worth it? How many will I have to eat? Do I have to? What if I hate donuts at the end of this? What’s the point?

Ok. It’s not that drastic. Those answers are easy. Yes. Who cares. Yes. You won’t. Glory.

Good. That’s settled. Let’s dive in.

Covid-specific Process

Pre-paid pre-orders! Yay! You can jump on their site, pick your location, and schedule a day and time in advance. I don’t know how far out you can go, and I’m sure I can look, but, laziness. I set mine up on Wednesday for a Saturday morning pickup. You must be able to push further out because crullers were already sold out. How am I supposed to be comparing staples across the board if they don’t exist. Does this mean I’m going to have to go back? What is this madness.

I also had butter crunch added in my cart, but, must’ve submitted too late, since I got a substitute in my box. They sold out while I was deliberating my selection. I appreciate the robust system though. Great layout of the menu, everything’s very clear and easy to navigate. While this is also a praise of the backend software (local company too!), credit goes to the folks who have to put all the information in. Teamwork!

But, alas, that’s two staples out of this week’s. PVD didn’t have a butter crunch, but I feel like that’s more of a blue-collar donut place staple, so it won’t be standard everywhere, but a staple none-the-less I feel.

Pickup was easy though. I probably could have stuck in the drive-thru lane, had my order number and just grabbed and went. While sitting in the line though, I saw a few people get a parking spot, walk in and out before I had moved a spot. So I opted to run in quick, and yes, quicker! Get to donuts faster!

The Donuts

Kane’s is a weird mix between what I like to dub blue-collar donuts and fancy donuts. PVD? Fancy donuts, with original and unique flavors and combinations, and usually a higher cost, but that can reflect process, ingredients, etc. A lot of factors. [insert your local donut place here that’s been there forever]? Blue-collar donuts. Less expensive, standard honey dipped/jelly/old fashioned/etc. Sometimes those places are incredible though. Kane’s is somewhere in the middle of that.

I grabbed seven (ok, yes, you’ll see some extra in that box, but was picking up some for a friend). Seems to be my magic number. There were a few on the menu that sound awesome, but I was trying to stick to my donut wheelhouse.

Cookies & Cream
Four donuts (still didn’t make my graphic…)

Cookies & Cream is your typical Oreo generic name. I’m always going to go for something cookies and cream. Simple and classic, and… well you’ll see. Cake is perfect. It’s a light cake but not crumbly, and just the right amount of glaze on the outside to give it a little snap but not be too sweet. The sweetness comes from the top cream which is perfectly reminiscent of Oreo cream filling. and then YESSS KITSCHY CRAP ON TOP with the Oreo pieces. Varying in size, but nothing outside of the realm of bite-sized. I was praising it for not being overly sweet as i got into it, but once i reached about the halfway point, it was starting to be a bit much. But for my first one in this parade, of course I’m going to power through.

Honey Dipped (raised)
Three donuts
Light and not chewy, but squishy. There’s no spring back after a bite. I like the memory foam raised donuts that retain a bit of their shape after a mauling. But they’re generous on the glaze. Good thick layer. Maybe because of the heat though, there wasn’t really a good crispness to it. A thick layer of viscous glaze ended up being a little too sweet for a quality honey dipped (in my eyes at least).

Maple Bacon (raised)
Two donuts
This is the worst kind of donut. It’s always going to be my last choice anywhere. I love bacon. I love maple syrup. But I can’t stand maple bacon flavored things. I’m convinced no one actually likes this, but because of the weird bacon fetish that exists, this flavor persists. And eeevvvverrryyoneee has to have a take on it. And of course, if I’m getting a collection of donuts and there’s room for it, I’ll get it, so I can judge it.

That being said– it’s not overly maple, which I appreciate. Small bacon bits spread out makes it not so overwhelming as far as a single spot on your tongue, but there’s a lot of them. So overall, you’re getting this savory hit trying to compete with the sweetness of the donut itself. It’s a weird combination, and Kane’s has not turned me on to it with this. I’m looking for the one that’ll change my mind, but for now, I motion that these donuts are eradicated from all menus everywhere.

Turtle (cake)
Three donuts
I grabbed a coffee while I was at the shop, but didn’t get a straw. I didn’t want to jeopardize this donut’s welfare. But when I got to this one, I promptly sliced it in half and devoured it. Tastefully though. I’m not a monster (I am).

First, let’s just lead with KITSCHY CRAP ALERT. Heath bits! Caramel! Chocolate drizzle! It’s a chocolate cake donut with a light glaze, but seems denser than the Cookies & Cream cake. Then topped off with a creamy caramel base, heath bits, and chocolate drizzle. And a bonus! Caramel dump right in the middle hole that doesn’t drip down and adhered to the half that I started with, so an extra bit of sweetness– though… not sure if I’m into it.

And I love Heath bars so much, but I’m not getting a ton of Heath essence in this. For how much is on top, I’m not getting what I would expect. This ends up being a heavy one to get through. Or am i just getting donut fatigue? IS THIS WHERE MY HATRED OF DONUTS BEGINS?

Blueberry Cake (…cake…)
Four donuts
Oh. Yes. Blueberry cake. Another donut staple. Denser cake than the others, but a perfect consistency to hold the blueberries. Great glaze coating, not too thick, not too thin, not too sweet. And very flavorful on this one! You want blueberries, here it is. For classic donut flavors, this one has my heart so far.

Créme Brûlée
Two donuts
This was the substitute for the butter crunch. You would think a staple would be subbed with another staple, but since I covered the other staples already, I appreciate the cruveball. But… hmm..

Raised filled donut with a caramelized crunchy sugar thing going on up top. Which makes sense! It’s créme brûlée! Filling was a classic custard. But… You’ll notice I’ll never willingly get a Boston cream. I do not care for the custard. It’s a texture thing. And a taste thing. I’ve just never been wild about it. And I don’t like eating a donut and needing a drip tray. Given that– this was actually pretty good. The custard could turn me. It’s just a lot in a donut. It’s a big donut. And custard-filled are hard to share. Because of the drippiness…

Strawberry Frosted (raised)
Two and a half donuts
Same raised style as the honey dipped, but with a classic strawberry frosting and sprinkles. Now– it wasn’t THAT hot on Saturday. And I kept everything in a fine environment. Why is the frosting getting all melted so quick? Strawberry flavor was definitely there and great in the realm of strawberry frosted donuts (plus sprinkles, so yay), but overall pretty sweet and just that chewy raised donut I’m not really into on this round.

For next-day donuts, the cake and raised do hold up pretty well. Blueberry cake lost a bit of the intensity of the flavor, but texture was pretty good. Raised actually got a little better, texture was more consistent, keeping its shape a little better, like the semi-stale state allows it to settle. The chocolate cake (Turtle) remained pretty similar to the day before. Can’t report on the Créme Brûlée. As of writing, I haven’t tried to get back into it. I didn’t refrigerate it. Should I have refrigerated it? I probably won’t try it. Or, go for it? Or not. Maybe. Probably not. Wasn’t that exciting to begin with.

Overall though… There was a moment where I thought Kane’s was going to be one of my top ranked places in the Boston area. I’m questioning that now. They’re an older traditional place in the area, so maybe it was a bit of me wanting to be nostalgic for local pillars, but Kane’s was the first place I grabbed donuts from after stay at home recommendations were in place for a while, and either I just HOUSED those and wasn’t happy with myself, or I’m just not into Kane’s. Usually I can put plow through at least a couple donuts and maybe only feel shame, but Kane’s are something different.

But I’m only two shops into this deep dive and time will tell.

Cost

This one’s easy! All on the site! $3 a pop! Gluten free are $3.50, and I can’t see a fritter price (which you’ll also notice I didn’t grab on this run), since right now it says it’s out of stock. I can’t remember if I wanted to grab an apple fritter or not, but for some reason didn’t… I would like to be testing fritters for all these… hmm…

Coffee

I grabbed my non-turtle murdering coffee there, since I was out at home and figured I’d give it a go. No cold brew, so not pleased about that, only iced via Back Bay Roasters. I haven’t had a straight iced coffee in a while, and maybe I’m getting a little snobby, but… I was disappointed. It was just coffee, iced. Which I KNOW IS IN THE NAME, but I’ve come to expect so much more from my morning bean water. I’ve been spoiled and I can’t go back.

As I’m actually writing this, I’m drinking my own cold brew from some beans I got from my produce delivery stuff. I can’t get my ratios and time right. But I’d still drink that over a plain iced coffee any day. I wear sunglasses indoors, am snobby about coffee, and am writing a dumb food blog. I’m becoming some sort of a villain.

Donut Album of the Morning

Taylor SwiftRed
Shut up. This album is awesome. I listened to this at some point a while ago, like, a while ago, because I still had it on my iPod that I haven’t used in forever. I can’t remember if it was one of the singles on their that prompted me to listen to it, or what, but fell in love. This is Taylor pre-poppy, overly electronic stuff, still in her country roots. She’s a fantastic songwriter and a lot of her non-poppy stuff is excellent. Heck, her poppy stuff is even great too. I recently gave Reputation another go and once I got past the first few tracks just thinking she sold out, I saw the real T Swift in there. While I like Lover and Reputation, Red is my favorite. There’s some sad stuff in there! But also I love the energetic start of the album with State of Grace. The poppy singles are fun, but I usually tune out during 22. I’m also really into changing sides three times when I put the album on… I’d say shut up, but, no, I don’t care. I own Taylor Swift records and I’m fine with it.

And that’s this week’s roundup.
National Donut Day is June 5th. Just sayin’.

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