11 January 2015

I was the Spudnut @ The Spudnut Coffee Shop - 97/100

Ah, you spudnut, you are a delicious debutante!   

I got an amazing introduction a couple years ago to the potato donut in Los Angeles at the Spudnuts Donuts on Venice Blvd.  My return to the potato donut took place one wonderful Saturday in Charlottesville, VA at the Spudnut Coffee Shop.  

The Spudnut Coffee Shop in Charlottesville Virginia
Spudnuts in Charlottesville is a deservedly popular local donut shop with hours set to close at Noon on Saturdays so it was imperative to get there as early as humanly possible from a two hour road trip.  Selling out of donuts by mid to late morning is a very common reality for this sweet donut shop and I was not going to miss my chance at a potato donut delight.  Fortunately, I had a local insider standing by with purchased donuts just in case of any possible delay. 

View from the line
Arrival at the Spudnut Shop is a scene in great classic American donut shop ambiance.  Old building.  Classic signs.  Small interior.  Basic decor.   Fast and friendly service.  Simple donut menu.   I got there in time to see the long line inside the door and the remainder of donuts in the case waiting to be picked for eating.  

Rack o' spudnuts

You can make potato donuts with potato flour, you can make them with an actual potato, mashed potato flakes, or there can be a mix of potato and wheat flour.  The options for donut chefs are numerous but the end result is a lighter, fluffier, less dense donut.  Potatoes are gluten free so you refrain from too much gluten development during the process, and you wind up with a nice pillowy core.

Box o' spudnuts
My donut experience was pure dynamite.  Yeast raised donuts were melt in your mouth goodness.  The style of cake donuts would have to be something you always expect to be dense but even these come across as less filling than many shops create.  All flavors were great, the chocolate was tasty and the blueberry cake was well done.  I did not try the coconut but it's a nice basic menu where you can just about try every single variety in one visit.

Bag o' spudnuts
They did sell out by around 10:30 or so but I noticed a handwritten note taped to the front door, more donuts were being made. It is a nice sign they were trying to supply more potato donuts to the masses.

Got my picture taken w/Mr Spudnut!

The spudnut lives on in America and a great reference list is over at Spudnut Info.  I know for sure some homemade spudnuts will be created in the Donut Dogma kitchen.   

Spudnut Coffee Shop 
309 Avon Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Quick Score - 10 - This donut shop is a perfect iteration of the classic American donut.
Donut Quality - 10 - So tasty, so light, so wonderous.
Donut Selection - 8 - It's limited for a reason and they have the core types and that is great.  I would love to have seen the potato recipe expanded to a long john style donut, maple bar, or a Boston creme.
Donut Freshness - 10 - There is no doubt these are the freshest possible, even a little warm.
Service - 10 - Friendly, fast, I'm not going to dock them anything for being cash-only, it would have broken the experience to see people paying with credit cards for donuts in there.
Extras - 10 - Breakfast sandwiches are available, coffee, hot chocolate, it is limited, but not a problem for me with the lack of non-donut extras since they are a spudnut purveyor.
Appeal - 10 - Great appeal from all the great experiences that come pouring back into me from all the different types of donut shops I've visited.  They actually achieve a higher coolness factor for having no website.
Emotion - 10 - It was an amazing experience getting my first spudnuts in two years.
Other's Rating - 10 - It's a strong rating all over.  Also long lines and selling out on a daily basis.
Price - 5 - Donuts are not pricey, very reasonable.
Donut Dunkability - 4 - These donuts are great for dunking, but I would have loved to have seen potato donut holes to make the experience complete for me.
Total - 97

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