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Dec 2, 2001 12:52 AM

krispy kreme mania

  • g

On the way home from working down on the Peninsula I was drawn to the glow of the Krispy Kreme complex in Daly City right off of 280. I wasn't the only was about 10pm and the drive thru line went around the building and then some. Inside the store it was mobbed - I counted about 75-80 people in the line that snakes through the store so you can watch the very cool machinery that produce the little gems. (Willie Wonka came to mind) The place was abuzz with activity. Before you got to the ordering counter there was a tray of glazed donuts that you could help yourself to - to prime the pump, I guess. The donuts were still warm and soft....but very sweet and the glaze seemed a tad grainy - which I didn't remember from my last one several months ago. In any event the store is a major attraction and must be doing very well. Should have bought that stock!

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  1. This seems to happen everytime a new one opens. Mountain View was no different, although the crush dies down after a couple of months. Nowadays, there are pretty much no lines. I guess the novelty wears off.

    Or it could be that the donuts aren't actually all that good. :-)


    8 Replies
    1. re: Peter Yee

      Krispy Kreme seems to be thriving on their marketing. Go to Bob's Donuts on Polk, much better.

      1. re: edwardpark

        Well, the donut thread seems to revive every month or so--so here's another shout-out for Donut Alley, in Larkspur. Right off Magnolia, downtown across from Emporio Rulli, open daily from 6am-11am, so get there early!

        1. re: Dixieday

          During Apple season in Camino on the way to Lake Tahoe
          (Hwy. 50) High Hill Ranch has the most delicious apple donuts served sugared, glazed, or crumb.

          1. re: Maarilayne

            Try the malasadas at Tita's on 17th near Noe. They're Portuguese donuts without the hole, made fresh while you wait. Yum!

            1. re: Jim

              I total second that - Tita's malasadas are a favorite of mine too!

              1. re: Jim

                I tried to find Tita's tonight. Must have missed it. The only business at 17th and Noe was a liquor store/mini-mart. Tell me that wasn't it!


                1. re: Peter Yee

                  The exact address for Tita's Restaurant is 3870 17th Street and the telephone number is 626-2477.

                  1. re: Jim

                    Got it. Went there today. Now I remember what these are -- had them from a drive-thru on the road from Waikola to Hilo. Tita's weren't as good -- there was a faint metallic odor after each bite I took. Perhaps the batter was sitting in a reactive container? Still, learning about Tita's was worth it. There are precious few enough Hawaiian restaurants.



      2. Donuts are loudsy. All donuts.

        I see people in business suits eating donuts at Krispy Kreme at 7 o'clock at night in Daly City. I thought this is ridiculous

        It's crazy and stupid. I see people who normally wouldn't touch a donut or you have to pay them to eat a donut would wait 20 minutes in line at KK. I don't know what the hell they are thinking.

        Come to Krispy Kreme in Mountain View which has been opened for a while, you rarely see more than 3 people in line. They even give away their donuts for free just to attract customers.

        To me, donuts are loudsy. I can't believe how many people go to KK because of all the hype.

        6 Replies
        1. re: chowguy

          I also go through stages like that...with lots of foods, but, coincidentally, currently with doughnuts, too. I've had too many lousy ones in a row.

          But day, you're going to be driving and see some nice whitewashed place with a handpainted "Fresh Doughnuts!" sign. And you will warily stop your car and try one last time, because you are clearly a chowhound, and chowhounds never quite give up all the way. And you'll enter a store filled with fresh, sweet aromas, and see someone wonderful dunking a handmade doughnut into very fresh, clean oil.

          And you're going to eat that doughnut, steaming hot and impeccably crispy. And you're going to realize that wonderful realization which all us chowhounds love more than anything: that any food can be great if it's made with care, talent, and love....and that while most versions of any given food are cruddy, anything can be prepared so deliciously that it makes life worth living.

          You just have to find the right place. Maybe we can help. SF hounds? Not just GOOD, but where are GREAT doughnuts that can recharge chowguy's batteries?


          1. re: Jim Leff
            Brian Murphy

            I'm sure it's very un-chowhoundy of me to stand up for KK, but dammit, they make really fantastic donuts! They are actually yeast-risen, unlike the dense fried cake dough you get most places. Eaten when still warm, they have an almost juicy quality, so fresh and tender. Yeah, they're sweet, but it's a donut for pete's sake, not a crusty artisinal loaf.

            I would much rather go to tiny donut shop on the corner, but there are very few left that actually make good donuts. I get the feeling that 90% of donut places get mixes from the same supplier, and turn out identically mealy, leaden donut-shaped objects.

            So if it takes a publically traded corporation to turn out a fantastic fresh donut, I'm there.

            1. re: Brian Murphy

              I wouldn't call KK fantastic, but they are certainly better than their chain competitors. And as you point out, the corner donut shops are disappearing.

              I've always had a soft spot for the crullers, which can be bought at grocery stores.

              This has nothing to do with the quality of their donuts, but they're always selling to nonprofit groups (churches, etc) who use the donuts as fundraisers.

              1. re: Brian Murphy

                I was ready, just from your subject title, to gently advise you of my emphatic disagreement.

                But you make such a nicely turned-out argument that I feel like going out and trying (god help me) another KK. In any case, I can't possibly argue with someone with such a well-considered viewpoint and persuasive imagery. And your point that it's nearly impossible to find really good fresh REAL doughnuts is well taken.......


                ....that the very point of this site is to never give up. Somewhere out there somebody is doing it and doing it well. And that person quite probably thinks nobody cares, since the place ain't likely to be written up in newspapers, etc, and drawing foodie crowds unless the owner's smart and slick enough to send out a lot of clever press releases (or, more likely, rich enough to hire a publicist). And that person may be doomed by neglect to switch to, like, air conditioning and refrigerator maintanence and be lost to us forever.

                We need to find people like that before they find themselves withering on the vine (proving to myriad onlookers that quality DOESN'T PAY), and connect them with people like us before we find ourselves fatalistically embracing the easy, convenient, soulless mass market alternative.

                So we have to hit the road and find the good places. Let's work together to track, find, and note every delicious alternative.


              2. re: Jim Leff

                Forget all you know about nasty, sugary, O-shaped lardballs like Krispy Kreme.

                I have to words for you: Bob's Donuts. Go there once when the donuts are fresh, and you too will worship at the shrine. :)

                Bob's Donuts is on Polk & Sacamento in SF (deceptively close by to the non-donut establishment called Bob's Diner). Go anytime after 9 pm. The same guy has been making the donuts there for years - people claim he has never taken a day off. Around 9ish you get the buttermilk donuts; around 10ish you get glazed. Get a fresh donut and a carton of cold milk, and then let's see what you think about donuts! :)

                Try it and let me know what you think!

                1. re: Sashi

                  I highly recommend Kingpin Donuts in Berkeley (Durant off Telegraph). Their flagship donut- in my opinion- is the cinnamon crumb cake donut. It's so good I really don't care about anything else they make.

                  One more thing: Forget about having a breakfast donut at Kingpin. They fry at night. They're open 'til midnight or maybe even 2 AM.

            2. As a native of North Carolina, I can say this with impunity: Krispy Kreme donuts and Pepsi cola are the worst food and beverage to originate in this state. The only good thing about those circles of cardboard would have to be the novelty. Give me a Harris Teeter supermarket donut and a Cheerwine any day of the week.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Sam Stevens
                Shep aka 2 Cheap Hungry Guys

                Gimme a Moon Pie and a ROC Coca Cola (RC Cola to Nawthrin folks).

                1. re: Shep aka 2 Cheap Hungry Guys
                  randy salenfriend

                  In some parts of the south, that is known as an Alabama lunch!!

              2. b
                Burke and Wells

                One trip to Las Vegas, Burke and I were walking through the Excalibur to get from the Monte Carlo to the Luxor. Please note, the only reason to EVER be in the Excalibur hotel/casino/travesty is to walk through it on your way somewhere better. Anywhere better. It's the worst one on the strip, barring Circus Circus.

                Anyway, Burke stopped me midstride and pointed to a forlorn little booth of Krispy Kreme donuts and told me I had to have one. I thought he was mad. He said, "No no, look, see the machine, the waterfall of icing? When they're hot like this, they rule! Had them all the time in LA."

                So he literally crammed one down my throat. I thought it was pretty amazing--never had a donut like it. Now I'm a famous donut-disliker. Never met a donut that truly thrilled me. But KK was unlike a donut, it was soft and juicy.

                When one opened in the Bay Area (Hayward), I went with Burke and two friends to wait on an enormous car line. We left with two dozen. I swear, you can actually FEEL your heartrate climb when you eat one of those, so vast is the sugar rush.

                My infatuation with Krispy Kreme faded quickly. It's a fascinating texture, but the taste is too sweet and the grease is's horribly greasy. I found it had no actual FLAVOR I could appreciate. Also, they were so sweet I could only eat one and a half, and I'd feel a bit ill the rest of the day.

                So again I'm back to being a donut disliker. Someday I'll find a good one...someday...



                1. Did you also notice the In-and-Out Burger that's being built next door to the Krispy Kreme in Daly City? You can see the sign from the highway -- it's covered by a blue tarp, but anyone who knows the In-and-Out logo can recognize it. These two fast food places seem to go together in this area -- the Mountain View site also has both.

                  By the way, I don't think that Krispy Kremes are anything special, either -- too small, too sweet. We like the Glaze Donut place on Mission at Excelsior. By the way, they just painted a really nice mural on their outside wall (on Excelsior.)