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Kane's donuts, Saugus

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Anyone been? Thinking of taking a road trip to forget about the cold by trying their $4 pie plate sized honey dipped coffee roll and their equally esteemed bismark. Will try to make it a morning outing but not before 9am. Do any of you with experience here know if I'll only find empty shelves by mid-morning? It's not around the corner for me so I'd like to make it a worthwhile adventure. Thanks

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  1. On weekdays, you'll be fine. Weekends you're probably OK if you get there before 10. As I remember they aren't open on Mondays.

    I love their bismarks. Also the honey-dripped cake donuts- blueberry, apple and marble. Oh, and the jelly donuts are great as well.

    I was a big Kane's fiend for a few years but my last few visits there have left me feeling they are heading downhill. I now split my donut calories between Kane's, Demet's and Donuts with a Difference. But it's been months since I've been to Kane's, so I'd appreciate the update if you make it there!. That coffee roll is something to behold. Plan to share it!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chris VR

      I didn't notice any decline in the quality of stuff I got for a brunch in January.

      1. re: Karl S

        Good to know. This was a few times last fall, and I was so sad about it. Even from an early morning trip, they were on the stale side. But I'm happy to hear otherwise!

    2. Thanks for the info, Chris. Knowing that you're a D with a D fan makes me truly value your review. Don't eat many donuts but when I do I want to make sure it's worth it and D with a D is my current gold standard. ( or should I say, gold, crispy, tender, fresh and light standard?!)

      1. Oh! You just bring my pain back. Last Sat. we arrived at Kane's at about 11:00 and the shelf was half emptied. The glazed and jelly donut went out. Didn't care about other stuffs, we left the store empty-handed. Should have gone there before we went to Fuddruckers and Harry's Chicken Pot Pie. Regret! Regret! Regret!

        First time I were at Kane's I arrived at around noon on Sat. but I got everything I wanted. So it had not crossed my mind of getting there early for the second visit. When I thought of it, I were just lucky for the first time. You should never go to a donut shop late.

        Lesson learned.

        1. Years ago (about 35) I worked for Kane's . The recipe for his donuts was a secret
          passed on to the new owners (Mrs. Fosters) when he retired in the 1990's. For
          awhile they used his recipe then lapsed back to the old Fosters recipe which is so inferior. The last time I was there was more than a year ago & I certainly won't go
          back. You might as well go to Dunkin' Donuts.

          8 Replies
          1. re: CrisC

            So I must ask (as a car-free person in Brookline): are there are any truly delectable donut places accessible by the T? That's donuts, not pies, not scones, not muffins, not tea-cakes, not breakfast sandwiches.

            Any suggestions?
            Thanks!

            1. re: RoxyB

              From Brookline I sometimes take the T to Betty Ann's Food shop in East Boston (Blue line, Wood Island Station, 3-4 blocks walk). The donuts are fresh, flavorful and heavy. I am partial to the jelly donuts which are rolled in a fragrant sugar (?cardamom). Don't go much after 10 am or on Mondays.

              1. re: RoxyB

                It's a long ass ride, but you can combine T and bus trips to get to Medford square and Donuts with a Difference.

                1. re: RoxyB

                  Mike's Donuts in the Forest Hills T station and on Tremont St. in Mission Hill are pretty good. Anna's on Centre St. West Roxbury are good, 35 bus out of Forest Hills. I actually had an okay Boston cream from the Back Bay Shaw's last week.

                  1. re: RoxyB

                    Verna's in North Cambridge is not far from the Davis Square T Stop and right on the 77 bus line out of Harvard Square. Excellent donuts.

                    I'll also second Donuts with a Difference. Take the 96 bus out of Harvard Square to the end of the line and it's right there.

                  2. re: CrisC

                    I've had the fare from Dunkin' Donuts and have yet to encounter worse donuts anywhere else. Tried Kane's about a year ago or so, and they're definitely better than DD.

                    1. re: bachslunch

                      I agree about Dunkins...except for the one on Rt18 in Weymouth just off Rt3. They still make their donuts in house and they're really good.

                    2. re: CrisC

                      Since the list of ingredients from any recipe, including Kane's, is not copyrighted, you can just re-list them for us and we can figure out how to make them. That would be so nice.

                    3. Ironically, when a coworker of mine goes to the dentist, he always stops at Kane's and brings us in some goodies. They have always been very good.

                      That coffee roll is one of a kind.

                      16 Replies
                      1. re: C. Hamster

                        As the original poster I'll follow up now nearly a year later. With conviction I can say that Kane's is my absolute favorite donut shop, even surpassing my former favorite, Donuts with a Difference. It's not at all handy but when I'm anywhere within 10 miles of it, I find a way to rationalize a stop there and stock up. They freeze beautifully, by the way.

                        Their plain old fashioned donut provides the perfect platform for my favorite toppings....chocolate frosting, cinnamon, coconut and butter crunch. The exterior is crunchy and crisp, the interior light and fluffy. The product does not stay on the shelf for long so freshness is almost certain in my experience. The last time I made the pilgrimage the shelves were nearly bare but fortunately the next batch was in the works. The super friendly staff asked what I wanted, told me to come back in 30 minutes and when I did all my requests were freshly prepared and waiting. Only problem was that they were so warm the toppings were not quite set so packing took some strategizing but the ladies were up to it (one gal has been behind the counter for 35 years there!) and managed to box them all with extra care not to smudge the still gooey, molten chocolate frosting and honey dipped base coating under the coconut and buttercrunch.

                        Go to Dunkin's instead?? You've go to be kidding me. We couldn't possibly be talking about the same place. I believe a Greek family owns it now and was under the impression that this has been the case for years before the 90's but don't know for sure. What I am certain of is that Kane's is a destination spot for Chowhounds near and far but if you're coming from a distance, it might be a good idea to phone in your order ahead of time. Those little gems go fast!

                        1. re: tweetie

                          I totally agree. I drive by there on my way home from the gym!! How ironic...
                          Donuts are my downfall and theirs are so yum. Their coffee roll is a conversation piece.
                          Incidentally, they bought the blue house next door and, from what I hear, they are going to add on and add entertainment.

                          1. re: taxi

                            the only entertainment i would like to see there is watching them make the goods

                            1. re: taxi

                              Sounds like we're two of a kind, taxi. I move to eat and move more when I want to have a Kane's donut after my morning bi-athalon.....4 mile power hill walk and 5 mi bike ride. At times I ask myself is it really worth it and after the first bite, the answer is always yes, yes definitely yes.

                            2. re: tweetie

                              I suppose no one wants to hear this - but I've lived in a nearby town for 40 years and have never gone to Kanes. Oh sure, I know it to be the ne plus ultra of doughnutdom.... and many of my family members Love it.... But.... I just cannot justify all those calories.

                              1. re: Gio

                                come on, you could , maybe 1-2 times a yr but not more

                                1. re: foodperv

                                  I've gone to Kane's about 3 times in the year since I discovered them. As with so many of the chow destinations, it's as much about the experience as the food. Give it a try, add a dimension to your chow palate.

                                  Remember that ad (can't recall the product) Try it, you'll like it. Or maybe that's what you're afraid of---being captured by the spell of a warm, fresh, crispy Kane's donut. Maybe you've got a point.........

                                  1. re: tweetie

                                    I believe that it was an ad for Alka Seltzer.

                                    1. re: chuck s

                                      LOL, Chuck..... that's what I was afraid of.

                                      1. re: Gio

                                        Definitely an unfortunate association and no correlation intended between Kane's donuts and the need for upset stomach relief.........

                                        But for the dinner plate sized coffee roll, how about "I can't believe I ate the whole thing." (same product I believe)

                                        1. re: tweetie

                                          I'm sorely tempted.... man I'm really tempted. I haven't had a doughnut in maybe 25 years. It's all that sugar, you see. And they're fried. Gosh I think I can smell them.......they're about 10 minutes away....maybe 15.

                                          1. re: Gio

                                            Do what I have done - buy a Kane's donut, take a bite, chew it slowly and mindfully, enjoy the textures and tastes, and then toss the rest in a garbage can. I'm serious. :) You won't feel quite so bad.

                                            1. re: Prav

                                              People, a couple donuts a year won't kill you. The one time I tried to go to Kane's it was a Mon., didn't realize they were closed. I *will* get there one of these days.

                                              1. re: Joanie

                                                Yah, those coffee rolls can be used for a spare tire, I mean on the 'car'.

                                                1. re: treb

                                                  See - that's what I'm talking about!

                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                    Now Gio, that's a family size anchor, way too much for an individual. Really? Tempting smell, nice and warm, soft and sweet, OH GO FOR IT!

                          2. I think some people are overestimating the number of calories in donuts. A raised glazed donut (honeydipped) probably has about 200 calories: maybe equivalent to a bowl of raisin bran. The cake donuts have more, but maybe upwards of 350-400. We're not talking a days worth of calories here. Just stick to one.

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: tamerlanenj

                              Putting lipstick on a pig! you are talking days worth for the coffee roll. They're bad but oh so good. Face it Kanes is not a place to go if you're counting calories.

                              1. re: treb

                                I didnt' say anything about the coffee roll. I just aid people were freaking out about donuts with no real basis in reality. Calories are calories, doesn't matter if they come from sugar and grease or bran flakes.. Having a kane's donut a couple times a year wont do any harm. The coffee cake should be shared, obviously.

                              2. re: tamerlanenj

                                Kane's doughnuts typically weigh about twice as much as their Dunkin Donuts equivalents (yes, I've weighed them in the past to estimate calories for my food diary). Proceed with that understanding.

                                Yeast-raised doughnuts are a better choice than cake doughnuts in terms of calories.

                                1. re: Karl S

                                  I thought only the coffee rolls were big

                                  1. re: tamerlanenj

                                    The coffee rolls are HUGE. The doughnuts are twice as heavy as people probably think they are. Weigh them to compare; don't go by eye alone.

                                    1. re: Karl S

                                      Thank you Karl.... now I feel vindicated.

                                      1. re: Gio

                                        Regarding the "take a bite and throw away the rest method", sounds like how Bill Clinton might eat a donut....don't inhale, don't swallow.

                                        As for the calories in the donut, probably equivalent to any other sweet treat one might indulge in during the course of a day.,..an ice cream cone, dessert with dinner, a pumpkin latte with whipped cream......you get the picture. It's all a matter of moderation and budgeting of calories. There's more to life than salad! Finally, if you go solo on the coffee roll, it's a cry for help. It's a goodie that's meant to be shared, like a dozen donuts.

                                        Anyone else feeling a tad bit of pressure/guilt about leading Gio down the slippery honey glazed slope to gateway of Kane's???

                                        1. re: tweetie

                                          I normally only indulge once or twice a year (like on Easter or when I have guests with a jones for them). The good news is that, historically at least, Kane's keep better than other similar products and you can indeed halve your portion if you want portion control. Most of all, choose the yeast raised over cake (and that's true for all doughnuts generally).

                                          1. re: tweetie

                                            Aw tweetie. How kind. The problem with me though, is that I normally do not eat sweets. Not that I've been told not to. It's just that too much sugar gives me a stomach ache and headache. The fact is - I do not like sweet food. So through the years I've learned to limit my intake.

                                            OK - maybe I can have a swift bite or two and give the rest to my long suffering DH.

                                            1. re: tweetie

                                              I so very much agree with all of you. Calories are calories, and a donut every once in a while will not hurt. I find that people have become so consumed with food appropriateness that they lose the joy of eating

                                      2. re: Karl S

                                        but on the taste scale they outweigh dunkin dognuts 5 to 1

                                    2. Kane's glazed donuts are absolutely amazing...their gigantic coffee rolls are equally as good. Donuts with a Difference in Medford Sq comes in a close second with their delicious jelly-filled glazed donuts. YUM!

                                      1. They were a nice ritual on a sunday morning while it was still dark. But @$12 a dozen, i can't do it!