New York is not known for doughnuts. You’ve got a few choices.
1. Dunkin Donuts – They just suck. Let’s be real. They are technically doughnuts with various toppings, but they leave a funky aftertaste in the mouth unless immediately washed down with some sort of beverage. There is nothing savory about them. Some used to be good, years ago when some locations would actually make their own doughnuts, but now… UGH!
2. Random Coffee Shop or Bakery – There may be some gems out there, but I really hate suffering through a bad doughnut. I’ve found a couple nice ones here and there, but nothing to write home about. Their prices are generally reasonable, and the doughnuts are the same, reasonable, not special.
3. Gourmet Doughnut Shop – If you are charging over $2.50 for a doughnut, you’re not getting my money. I done care if you used hand squeezed grapes from the hilltops of Machu Pichu. I don’t care if your sugar was individually counted by the grain for maximum sweetness. I don’t care if your chocolate frosting was imported from Belgium. It’s a doughnut. Over $2.50 ain’t happening.
Therefore, I don’t bother with doughnuts when at home. On vacation? That’s another story.
Enter Laurel Tavern Doughnuts. It’s basically a shack. The building is long, but most of the floor space is taken with baking equipment. There is one small display case, one table and two chairs. That’s it.
When you walk in, the place smells good. Look at the display case to see what is available. There are doughnuts, coffee, and burgers. That’s it.
Now, a quick word about the service. It is definitely brusque. Not rude, but has a “Yeah, whadda’ you want?” vibe. Again, not rude, just a little short.
The doughnuts are excellent. Fresh, light, sweet, and savory. The sugar raised is wonderful. The glazed cruller (not stick) has a light sugar glaze that compliments the dough perfectly. The blueberry is like a perfect little glazed cake. Fantastic. The price? $1 and change per doughnut.
The coffee is an abomination. Avoid at all costs.
Nevertheless, the doughnuts are a must have if you are anywhere nearby. Sure, there is a salty dog at the counter, but if you’re old enough to drive, you’re old enough to handle a bit of a sandy edge on a counter person. Laurel Tavern Doughnuts get a big, eyes-rolled-into-the-back-of-the-head thumbs up.
Laurel Tavern Doughnuts
115 Washington Blvd
Laurel, MD 20707