Full disclosure: I am a bagel person. If given the choice between a doughnut and a bagel, I will pick just about any bagel with just about any accoutrement. I usually have very little remorse about picking a bagel over a doughnut.
Unless, however, that doughnut is one of two varieties:
1. A Krispy Kreme Original, which you can get many places.
or 2. A strawberry doughnut from Donut Man, which you can only get at one doughnut stand in one city.
Growing up in Glendora for my entire life, I’d never given a second thought to the Donut Man until recently. When I got to college and people asked me where I was from, they only knew where Glendora was because of hearing about or visiting Donut Man. In addition to having great Yelp reviews, it’s been featured by Huell Howser and named multiple times as one of the best doughnuts around the San Gabriel Valley. For my entire life I’ve had to explain that Glendora is about an hour away from Los Angeles and tucked away in the foothills, so it was shocking to me that people finally knew where it was — especially because of a doughnut stand.
Granted, I’ve never had a doughnut from Donut Man that I didn’t like. A Tiger Tail is also pretty good, and for a long time when I got a doughnut I would get a maple bar. But after trying a strawberry doughnut, I knew that’s where it was really at and that there was finally a real contender in my bagels v. doughnuts battle. And as of Friday, I hadn’t had one since last year. So after dinner at Innovation Brew Works, I suggested to my best friend Paige that we needed to go get a strawberry doughnut for dessert.
Best. decision. ever.
Ironically, the longest lines at this 24-hour stand are actually at night, when everyone seems to go get a doughnut for dessert. (For example, I drove by this morning after dropping my sister off at school at 8 a.m. and no one was there.) But the line moves pretty quickly — the only real downside of the stand is that it is particularly cramped for both the workers and the customers. You also kinda have to shout through the window to place your order, but I think that’s just part of the ambiance.
You’d think that a doughnut that’s loaded with sweet fruit and syrup would be overkill. But it’s really not — the doughnut itself isn’t that sweet, which lets the fruit stand out. It’s $4, but it tastes like it’s worth about $10. Also, it’s gorgeous just to look at. I wish I had taken a photo of the staff actually making them to show you guys, so you’ll just have to go and see.
I think what I love most about the Donut Man strawberry doughnut is that it’s an integral part of my hometown’s culture, and I also enjoy taking college friends there to experience something I’ve always taken for granted. When my high school friends left to go off to school, they half-joked that I needed to send them strawberry doughnuts to get them through the experience. I don’t really blame them.
The stand may have the doughnuts as late as through September. If you do want to go, let me know — I’ll lead the way.
Have you ever had a strawberry doughnut from the Donut Man, or call yourself a doughnut aficionado? Let’s talk about it in the comments.