CMH Gourmand – Eating in Columbus & Ohio

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Posts Tagged ‘Donald’s Donuts’

Darrell’s Donuts: A Tale of Two Brothers (The Ohio Donut Trail)

Posted by cmh gourmand on February 15, 2012

In the pre Donut Trail days, there was only one donutery that mattered to me. Donald’s Donuts in Zanesville (circa 2010). My job at the time took me to Zanesville every few months. I often had a few minutes between appointments and Donald’s was always in between point A and point B. There was nothing else of notice in the realm of food along my route. Donald’s old, lime green sign lured me in. My expectations were low. I was wooed on my first bite and soon hailed Donald’s as the best in the state. While my donut horizons expanded widely with my waistline since then, I still believe Donald’s is easily in the top five, if not the top three in the Buckeye state. Donald’s kindled an interest in donuts and a belief they could be good.

After so many trips and so much talk about Donald’s I was taken aback when someone finally asked…”but what about Darrell’s?” Huh, What, Where, um really? Yes. Darrell’s is also a Zanesville donutery and the owner is the brother of Donald. This reeked of Urban Legend and Hatfields and McCoys (my kin) or Goumas and Goumas. I noted the story but filed it away. After I heard about Darrel’s it took over a year for me to get there. And while rumors were that there was a rift, such is/was not the case (as updated in 2015 by a son of one of the owners: I’m adding part of his comments below): “the boys did not work for their father, actually the family opened a donut shop in Cherokee NC — Darrell still lived in Zanesville Ohio and was not part of that business. This occurred in the 1950s. Donalds was established in the south end of Zanesville. The business moved from Pine Street to Maysville pike. The current location on Maple opened in 1984 and the opening of Darrells in 1978 had nothing to do with a recipe just his desire to have his own business. Sorry the legend doesn’t live up.

Darrell’s does not look like much from the outside. This place blends together with other shops in a small strip mall. On the inside, it is homey and is bathed in Americanness. The woman behind the counter was as friendly as she could be and was happy to answer all types of questions about the Donald and Darrell connection (which later turned out to not quite be completely accurate).

What you are all interested in is which is better. That is not an easy question. Passing Zanesville via I-70, which 99% of you will do if you are inclined to pass through, neither place is near an exit. Donald’s is the closer of the two. Driving to Darrell’s I was convinced I had missed it several times and I saw a lot of Zanesville I did not care to see (I was also tricked by a diner that looked great on the outside but served out of the box food on the inside). Darrell’s has a wider range of items to choose from and a significantly friendlier staff. It is the type of place where you would order a donut then lounge around talking high school sports for four or five hours. Donald’s is a grab ’em and go place. I would give a very slight edge to Donald’s in most categories of donuts but Darrell’s does shine in the iced category and in the full customer experience. Darrell’s also serves pastries and makes one of the best counter served brownies in the business.

Donald’s has the cool retro bag while Darrell’s offered me the hand-lettered and illustrated box of donuts. While I was sampling and photographing I made small talk with an elderly gentleman wandering the country. He has just discovered Darrell’s after a very wrong turn and on one bite considered Darrell’s among the best he had anywhere. I supported his choice and told him of Donald’s as an incentive to head back to Zanesville again on his return journey. You can’t go wrong with either place or either recipe. Sandwich a trip to Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl in the middle and one could have a very sweet trip to the Y-Bridge city. As for the split, the end result was two donut shops and two really good versions of Midwestern Maple Glazed donuts, I think we got the best ends of the deal or the feud or whatever the split was and became. If Donald and Darrell have another brother Darrell, then even better, just place the donut shop right by exit 169 if you don’t mind.

1 N Maysville Ave
Zanesville
740.454.0332

Darrell's Donuts on Urbanspoon

Posted in donuts, Ohio Donut Trail, Road Trip | Tagged: , | 10 Comments »

Donalds Donuts: Best in Ohio

Posted by cmh gourmand on June 20, 2010

Any drive on I 70 could be described as mission oriented. The interstate from one side of the state to the other was designed to get people from point A to point B without distractions or delay. This is how I treat that long stretch of road, it is flat, featureless and has nothing to draw my attention. There is one exception. I will set aside fifteen minutes to veer from my course at exit 153 (OH 60 N, OH 146 W). This is not for the thrill of seeing the sign for OH 666, my designated destination in Zanesville is Donald’s Donuts. These are the best damn donuts in Ohio (DK Diner being a very close second).

I discovered Donald’s Donuts by accident. I had ten minutes to kill before a business meeting and spied the shop near my turn off. Donald’s is an old school donutery (I made up that word, I may put it on Wikipedia). It is a classic donut shop with a lime green awning and mid 20th century mass produced structural nothingness. There is a counter inside that seats ten. The original shop opened in 1960. The current location is spot number two but the building looks like it was fabricated in the 1960’s or earlier.

The staff know all of their regulars by name as well as by donut ordering preference. There is a Donald that works there but I am not sure if he is the original. Doing a dash of Donald’s internet sleuthing I found this reference: Don Warne is The Donut GOD. I can not disagree with this pronouncement. After a careful and deliberate study of Donald’s donuts, I have yet to be disappointed by any selection.

Donald’s offers an assortment of thirty or so donut styles. The shop excels in the cake donut category. These are dense, flavorful, fresh and serve as an excellent foundation for the maple cream frosting that Donald’s uses on a few items. It is fitting that Donald’s is on Maple Avenue because their icing is so good that the street would have been named so by decades of appreciative fans.

The cinnamon honeybuns are made in small batches and sell out before 10am. There is also an item that is just refered to as sticks. These long, twisty, donuts have a hint of cinnamon and are coated in the maple cream frosting. These are so good that @CMHTobias, a dog that has never shown any interest in donuts during our six year relationship, ate two while I was filling the car with gas. (The devestating heartbreak I felt when he closed the donut box with his nose and licked the maple frosting from his snout cannot be described, but it was a very, very low moment for me). An under the radar award winner are the slower selling buttermilk donuts. A woman donut docent behind the counter said these were mostly unappreciated by the Donald’s loyalists.

I did have a Paczki (a filled Polish donut) here during Lent that was one of the finest doughed delicacies I have ever consumed. I have had a few Paczki’s over the years. I had high hopes for this donut variant and was very disappointed by each of them. The Donald’s Paczki wiped the slate of shame clean and allowed me to appreciate this Polish pleasuremaker.

When I stop at Donald’s I usually get two cake donuts with maple frosting and peanuts and whatever looks fresh from the fryer. Their damn good donuts rarely survive more than two exits after I get back on I 70.

Donald’s Donuts
2622 Maple Ave (OH 60 N)
Zanesville
740.453.4749

Hours:
5am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday
6am to Noon on Sunday

(If one was focused and traffic cooperates the drive from downtown Columbus to Donald’s could be completed in under one hour. I am just saying.)

This is an article from 2015 -> HERE

And there is another great donut shop in Zanesville with a family connection – Darrels.

Donald's Donuts on Urbanspoon

Posted in bakery, breakfast, donuts, Ohio Donut Trail, Road Trip | Tagged: | 6 Comments »