16 March 2006

The Best Ninety Cents I Ever Spent

OK....I have left you in suspense long enough! I know that you have been on pins and needles to know just what could the Travelin' Man have spent 90 cents on that would warrant a blog entry. Well, maybe not pins and needles, but one person emailed me to find out when this long-awaited entry would come. So, without further ado, here's to you, Mr. When Are You Going to Update Your Blog Guy....

The aforementioned "Bushie" pointed out one of the local places that folks need to know about in our journey around Round Rock. Round Rock Donuts simply make some of the finest donuts around. I don't know if I could ever tell anyone how to get there again, but if you head towards downtown Round Rock, and look for the water tower pictured to the left.

Just beneath that water tower, you will find the place that many of the locals swear by. However, in an ironic twist, a family from Georgetown, TX visited campus on the one day that I was in town last week and when I raved about Round Rock Donuts, I was told that "Mom" prefers Krispy Kreme. The only logical conclusion is that "Mom" is completely off her gourd. On a side note, I think that in instances like that, I should be able to factor poor food choices into my admission decisions. If a mother is going to choose to eat Krispy Kreme over these incredible doughy creatures, I really should be able to call into question the family's ability to make a good college decision, no? Can you see this conversation develop....

Travelin' Man: "So, you got into town last night? Where did you end up grabbing dinner?"
Mom of Prospective Student: "Well, we like Italian food, so we ate at the Olive Garden."
TM: "Hmmm....I don't think this is the RIGHT university for your son. Have you looked at the school that advertises on TV late at night? You know, the one with Sally Struthers hawking degrees in court reporting and cosmetology? They might be right up your alley."

OK...I'm back from fantasyland now. Back to the donuts...

The building did not appear to have any indoor seating, but it looks like some folks like to sit on the outside patio-style furniture and devour these tasty treats. It is not visible in this picture, but under the white awning on the left side of the building is also a drive-thru convenience line.

More below the fold...

This being my first visit, I opted to go inside and check things out. I was a little late for the morning rush, but there were still quite a few customers inside. My guess is that their little parking lot can get quite full at times. They do make more than just donuts, but donuts were my mission for the day. I perused the display case and decided that I wanted a chocolate glazed Round Rock donut -- which looked like a chocolate glazed Krispy Kreme (just giving you style, not substance), but with a definite yellow-ish tint. I was told that the coloring has to do with the ingredients used - I have heard that it is buttermilk that causes the color and someone else told me that it could be real eggs. I don't know, but they sure looked good. They didn't have the original Round Rock donut in the case, and I wanted a second donut, so I asked the lovely woman helping what one other donut one should try on one's first visit. She recommended either the plain cake donut or the blueberry cake donut. I am not a huge fan of blueberry -- and also like to taste things as naturally as I can when trying for the first time -- some places like to hide behind glazes or sauces, I prefer without initially -- so, I ordered the plain cake donut.

The woman went to the back -- I just assumed that they would pull my order from the case in front of me, but apparently not. She returned with my order prepared in a bag and asked for ninety cents as payment. These are sizeable donuts, mind you -- and just FORTY-FIVE CENTS each. As she returned my change from the dollar bill I offered, she leaned over the counter and told me that she prepared a special bag for me -- since it was my first visit! She also warned me to grab a good supply of napkins, and recalling a story that Bushie told me about another fellow he introduced to these donuts, I heeded the advice.

I made it as far as my car before I had to rip open the bag. I found FOUR donuts inside. In addition to the donuts I ordered, I also found an original Round Rock donut -- piping hot, straight from the oven -- and an additional cake donut, which I can only assume was the blueberry variety that was recommended.

Well, while finding four donuts was a fortunate surprise, it also forced me to alter my eating plans, as I was also heading off to Taylor to go to Louie Mueller's BBQ -- one donut was going to be my limit, regardless of the quartet of beauties staring me down currently. I decided to go with the original -- and I was not at all disappointed. The bag was almost leaking through with the warm glaze, and it wasn't before long that my fingers were covered with a sticky, sugary mess. I can only tell you that I was ready to lick clean my camera after taking this photo:

I am glad that I started with the glazed donut, because I am sure that the fresh-from-the-oven aspect added to the overall quality. It was the best donut in the bag -- and maybe, the best donut that I have ever eaten. The chocolate covered was also delicious, and I tried to envision the same freshly baked experience. Two thumbs up. The cake donuts were good, too, in a very different way. If you are not a fan of super-sweet, this is the way to go. I am not 100% sure that blueberry was the flavored cake donut, because it did not have much of a fruity flavor, and it was actually colored pink. The server may have included a different variety, but I am just not sure. This was my least favorite of the group, but that is more from speaking highly of the other three than knocking this one.

I stuck to my plan of initially eating one donut. Following my meal at Louie Mueller's, I drove straight through to Dallas -- about 3-plus hours. The chocolate glazed and the plain cake were consumed on the highway. The (insert flavor here) cake donut was the late-night, post-work snack in the hotel room. Way too many calories for one day, but so worth it.

Upcoming posts will include my trip for BBQ, the NCAA Tournament, the recent SAT exam flap, and my subsequent travels to upstate New York. Stay tuned....

Edit: Round Rock Donuts was featured in the Dining Out: Best of 2006 post.


Rick Flynn (RF'er) said...

This settles it, Stevie-me-boy! The next Glee Club meeting has to be in Austin, no doubt about it.

The Travelin' Man said...

Rick -- you could do a LOT worse than Austin! I will try to have the Louie Mueller report done in a day or so. Tomorrow is a travel day, so I am not sure if I will be able to do it by thenm but I will make every effort. If this doesn't have you down with Austin -- Lockhart and Taylor being so close should put it over the top!