Arts, Features

FreeP vs. Food: Doughnuts

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By: Ally Bryant, Antonia DeBianchi, Rachel Rex and Kaya Williams

Doughnuts are a staple of any breakfast. For this installment of FreeP vs. Food, we sampled the regional Boston cream and classic glazed doughnuts from a variety of shops accessible to Boston University students. We judged each location based on vibe and accessibility and each doughnut by the taste, texture and price.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”125067″ img_size=”full” title=”Blackbird Doughnuts”][vc_custom_heading text=”PHOTO BY CHLOE GRINBERG/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:12|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Montserrat%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Located in the South End, Blackbird Doughnuts could be considered inconvenient as the nearest Green Line stop is half a mile away. Even so, the walk is worth it; it is a beautiful part of the city.

The doughnuts have a delightfully cakey consistency that still feels light on the tongue. Baked on site, they come in a wide variety of flavors and styles, among them “Boston Cream Bismark” and a “The Blackbird,” a specialty doughnut with a vanilla glaze.

The “Boston Cream Bismark” was a little messy, yet maintained a light and fluffy consistency. “The Blackbird” doughnut managed to balance a density and lightness that few other doughnuts are able to capture. Speckled with vanilla bean and coated in a gentle creamy glaze, “The Blackbird” is a crowd-pleaser that tastes homemade and authentic.

Although no seating is available inside the shop, there are several benches that sit just outside the door, and there are also parks in the surrounding area. The doughnuts are pricey, at $3 each, but the cost is entirely worth the heavenly experience.

Grades:

Antonia: A
Rachel: A
Kaya: A
Ally: A[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”125079″ img_size=”full” title=”Kane’s Donuts”][vc_custom_heading text=”PHOTO BY CHLOE GRINBERG/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:12|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Montserrat%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Kane’s Donuts is a classic doughnut shop tucked into the depths of the Financial District. A neon sign at the entrance says “love,” and looking at the dozens of doughnut in the display case, you understand why. This location also didn’t have seating, but its high ceiling and bright lighting made it feel more spacious than Blackbird. A certificate in the corner of the display window boasted that the store’s “Honey Dip” doughnut had been rated the best honey doughnut in America.

This honey doughnut tasted like a classic American doughnut. It was fluffy and light, and the sugar melted in your mouth as you bit into it. However, the doughnut mostly tasted like a typical glazed; the locally sourced honey fell a bit flat.

We also tried Kane’s version of a Boston cream. This doughnut was less messy than Blackbird’s version, but the actual doughnut was a bit tougher, the filling thicker and pudding-like. Yet it was a quintessential Boston cream, with an intense chocolate ganache, stable yellow filling and sweet flavor all around.

At $3.25 a doughnut, Kane’s is another pricey option in Boston. But from the aesthetic of the shop to the taste of the pastries, Kane’s can be summed up in one word: classic.

Grades:

Antonia: A-
Rachel: B+
Kaya: A-
Ally: A[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”125068″ img_size=”full” title=”Twin Donuts”][vc_custom_heading text=”PHOTO BY BRIGID KING/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:12|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Montserrat%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Located in Allston, Twin Donuts is a classic neighborhood breakfast hangout. Dominating the front of the building is a large, neon “Twin Donuts” sign that is the guiding light for a place that is somewhat difficult to get to by the T. Despite navigational trouble, the friendly atmosphere and cheap 85-cent doughnut — perfect for the college kid’s wallet — gives the shop an inviting vibe.

Twin Donuts is like a classic diner with red-cushioned stools and narrow layout. You can order more than just doughnuts, since the shop has a wide-ranging menu, from breakfast sandwiches to soups and salads.

We were planning on ordering a Boston cream doughnut. However, since Twin Donuts opens as early as 4 a.m. on weekdays, they ran out. Instead, we opted for a chocolate-dipped doughnut. With a perfect fudge-spongy consistency, it was even better and more flavorful than a standard chocolate glazed doughnut.

The second doughnut we ordered, the honey-dipped, provided an underwhelming amount of sweetness and was bland overall.

“I don’t eat doughnuts often, but when I do, I expect to eat an unhealthy amount of sugary goodness,” Antonia said. “Twin’s didn’t give me that sugar fix I anticipated.”

Even though Twin Donuts had a sub-par doughnut, the hometown-diner atmosphere and friendly faces of locals made up for it.

Grades:

Antonia: B+
Rachel: B
Kaya: B-
Ally: B[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”125055″ img_size=”full” title=”Dunkin’ Donuts”][vc_custom_heading text=”PHOTO BY ELLEN CLOUSE/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:12|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Montserrat%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Although Dunkin’ Donuts seems to pop up on every street corner, it still manages to be a positive and reassuring staple of everyday life.

With full shops located in South Campus on Beacon Street and in Kenmore Square, and a smaller self-serve station inside the City Convenience store in East Campus, convenience is a huge factor. With doughnuts prices hovering around $1, and other relatively cheap breakfast options, students can consistently count on Dunkin’.

The doughnuts are exactly what you would expect from a chain like Dunkin’: processed, pretty dry and not too aesthetically pleasing. The “Boston Kreme” is loaded with sugar, the filling and glaze nothing to rave about. The classic glazed doughnut fell short of anything compared to Blackbird or Kane’s, but was still enjoyable and great for a quick and casual treat.

Dunkin’ Donuts is, of course, a fast food corporation that does not feel homemade, but still feels like a community space. The food is nothing special, but most people will still manage to find themselves back at Dunkin’ Donuts time and again.

Grades:

Antonia: A
Rachel: C
Kaya: B
Ally: B-[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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