Quality is diametrically opposed to quantity. – Lionel Poilâne

We recently were talking doughnuts with a prominent local chef.

“What’s the best one you ever had?” we asked.

“A little shop in a small town in Texas,” he replied. “All they sold was a small, right-from the fryer yeast doughnut, with a vanilla glaze that melted in your mouth. The line was down the street every day for them.”

“And you?” he shot back at us.

We returned the volley fast without missing a beat: “The Downyflake in Nantucket, Massachusetts. They only did three, small cake doughnuts every morning: plain, sugar and chocolate glazed. So rich, yet so light and tender and soft they practically evaporated in the mouth. Never had anything close before or since.”

And yes, there was a line out the door every day for our ethereal little circles of carbo-sugared bliss on Nantucket, just like there was for the chef’s favorite in Texas.

What was the common denominator(s): size and perfection. The pleasure of eating something human scale, made with love, and with a commitment to quality over quantity.

As you can see above, none of these prerequisites of refinement burden the operation at Donut Bar, where the doughnuts are, first and foremost, big.

Really big.

How big are they?

This big:

(As with breasts, there is big and there is too big)

Big as small dinner plates. Or at least large salad plates. And as thick as a boxer’s fist.

Yeah, they’re big.

Which wouldn’t bother us a bit if they were any good, which they aren’t.

They’re just humongous hunks of fried, flavorless bread — cake-y and bread-y and doughy without a hint of yeastiness or sweet subtlety.

They’re so big and bread-y that two bites in you’ll feel like you’ve just eaten an entire cheap wedding cake.

None of which would matter as much if the glazes and toppings were anything more than supermarket standard, which they are not. Anymore than sticking stupid marshmallows on a manhole-sized hunk of fried dough is original, which it ain’t. (Seriously, does ANYONE ever go to a doughnut shop and say, “Wow! I really want those small toasted marshmallows on my doughnut! THAT’S what I came here for!”?)

All this place is selling is excess, which means it will probably be a big hit, just like the Heart Attack Grill a few blocks away…and countless other odes to outrageous eats before them.

All of which frosts our rear a bit, since a better, locally-owned doughnut shop failed in the same location, leaving the door open for these monstrosities of mediocrity to flourish.

And flourish they probably will. Which will keep this dude in his Lamborghini — peddling worthless calories to a credulous public:

These doughnuts were so bad, they almost made me wish I was eating a cupcake.

Yeah, they were that bad.

You have been warned.


Downtown Las Vegas

(If you wanna find this worthless venture, you’re on your own.)

4 thoughts on “Big DONUT BAR Blues

  1. Ronald’s has never let me down, they keep it delicious, simple and consistent.

    Thank you for saving me a trip downtown.

  2. while they do have obnoxiously large donuts that don’t have much taste, they certainly had smaller donut that were a bit better. the butterfinger donut and the samoa donut were a reasonable size, with decent cakiness and flavor. with that said, the donut scene is lacking here in vegas (which i suppose is fine, we can’t have everything after all). but if blue star (portland) or do-rite (chicago) were to come here, it would be game over. ronald’s is still my go to, but even that is an average donut.

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