#GarbageTime is I Ate Oklahoma’s exploration of limited-time-only fast food dishes. Lobster from Long John Silver’s? A Big Mac that is bigger than normal? A taco made entirely of burritos? We’re there!
I’ve traveled through most of these United States, and while the coasts and the north are under the control of the big donut chains, the southwest somehow remains a stronghold of independent mom-and-pop donut shops, mostly descriptively & straightforwardly named things like “AM Donuts,” “Best Donuts,” and my all-time favorite: “Donuts.”
As I tell my Internet friends, there’s a strange pride and loyalty to the local donut shop that has prevented the alliterative big names (Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts) from establishing more than a tenuous grasp here.
I’d guess that’s part of why the southside Oklahoma City Krispy Kreme shuttered some time ago, leaving only the North Pennsylvania Avenue location, and why the various Dunkin shops have failed to put the mom-and-pop shops and smaller chains like Hurts out of business when they open up across the street. I famously prefer the local shops, but today I had business to attend to.
The scene opens with our intrepid heroes, free of work obligations for the morning and tired from a long week of living responsibly, deciding to skip their various workouts and indulge. I, local personality and doer of things, have a lifelong love affair with peanut butter treats—no-bakes, peanut butter brownies, ice cream, half & half with peanut butter—you name it.
If you can put peanut butter in a sweet or savory dish, I’m pretty much up for it. The threat had been looming all week: Krispy Kreme’s advertisements for their Reese’s Lovers donuts meant it was only a matter of time before I setup a devastating sugar crash that would challenge my status as “no longer prediabetic.”
Despite my love for the mom-and-pop shops, there’s something enchanting about Krispy Kreme—the beauty of seeing the fresh donuts move down the assembly line, through the fryer, and through the waterfall of sugary glaze before someone hands you a hot, sugary wad of dough straight from the line before you even order. This is the kind of good, old-fashioned business tactic that honestly breeds loyalty: a transparent process that lets the product speak for itself. I loved it as a kid, and I appreciate it even more now.
Anyway, we cracked open our convenient 2-packs that came in bright orange Reese’s-branded boxes. They are chocolate cake donuts (bonus) that are glazed, iced, and filled, which probably explains why they were refrigerated rather than in the front case, as the whole thing could melt and get soggy. The Peanut Butter Lovers donut is billed as peanut butter iced with peanut butter filling, while the Chocolate Lovers donut is billed as chocolate iced with peanut butter filling, though in reality the Peanut Butter Lovers was chocolate cream filled, and the Peanut Butter Lovers was missing that flair of chocolate icing that looked so nice in the ad.
After the first bite, I was disappointed to see they didn’t have a ring of filling as the ads seem to suggest, but were injected with filling ~7 times at intervals.
In hindsight this makes sense, as the logistics of creating a perfect ring of cream filling seem prohibitively difficult. Still disappointing, though. This is why you shouldn’t meet your heroes, folks.
The first bite of the Chocolate Lovers donut was jarring. Layers of sugar on sugar on sugar. I remembered then why I don’t make the trek to Krispy Kreme that often. I’m sure the cake donut was fine, but I couldn’t tell through the glaze, icing, and filling. It was vaguely chocolate and peanut butter flavored, though cane sugar was the dominant taste.
This is clearly a filling based on a candy, rather than being based on the thing the candy is based on. The filling was good, but paired with the glaze and icing I immediately began the regret process which would eventually lead to a nap.
The Peanut Butter Lovers donut tasted much the same, though the chocolate cream filling with peanut butter icing seemed to have a more tangible flavor to me than the other. My partner in crime (and other stuff), Erin, disagreed, though she also gave up halfway through each donut, declaring “I’m never eating this again,” so I’m going to weigh my own response slightly more, since I’m just reckless enough to do this again.
We paired our dessert breakfast with iced coffee beverages, which also came out incredibly sweet, and which, unfortunately, ended up in the bin along with our hopes of staying awake through the day.
I longed for water and a raw head of broccoli to gnaw on to take the edge off. I’m not a weenie: I routinely eat the apple fritter from Hurts Donut that’s the size of my head. I mentioned this to a friendly staff member who was passing out paper hats, and he confided that he could only get through half of one when he tried them. I felt better.
I hate to be negative. No, that’s not a fair assessment. I regret having to be negative in this review, because I had such high hopes. The diplomatic way to close here is that someone out there is going to do a proper chocolate peanut butter donut that correctly balances sweetness while letting the other ingredients shine, and on that day I will rejoice and possibly even dance through the streets, causing considerable drive-time congestion; but today is not that day, and Krispy Kreme is not that someone.