A funny thing happened on the way to the Outer Banks, NC. After nearly 9 hours into a 10-hour car ride, I had my fill. I needed to escape the driver’s seat. Not in a calm, sophisticated way like Andy Duphresne digging out in Shawshank Redemption. It was more like the incensed way rats abandon a sinking ship. I needed out man, or bad stuff was going down.
In my state of distress, I pulled into a shopping plaza, and there it was: Duck Donuts. It stood like a shining beacon of sanity in an insane world. My lovely wife heard from coworkers accustomed to the OBX that this shop can really fry some dough, so my sore butt and clouded mind parked and opened the door.
Whoosh. People everywhere. Commotion. A cacophony of sound and activity. This place was intense, but there was no way I was heading back to the highway. I followed the warm invitation flooding my olfactory system and patiently got in line.
Inching towards the counter, I realized people were grabbing and returning tablets of paper and mini golf pencils to bins located around the store. Playing it cool in front of the veteran crowd, I scooped up my own set and quickly understood the store’s ordering method.
- Get a tablet.
- Pick your donut flavor.
- Choose a glaze.
- Select the topping.
- Check your drizzle.
- Rip off your sheet and turn it in at the register.
I went for a plain donut with a strawberry icing, no topping, and fudge drizzle. I imaged a chocolate covered strawberry donut would meet me at the end. My compatriots went for chocolate, chocolate, and fudge. One opted for rainbow sprinkles and the other picked an Oreo topping.
The efficient ordering process paired with a battalion of teens frying, dipping, dunking, shaking, and swirling ended with a quicker-than-expected process. A quick trip to the bathroom and my order number is called. You have a brief moment to inspect your creations before the lid comes down and they slide into your hands. I liked what I saw.
The foolish walk away to enjoy their treat later, but the wise and the desperate dig in immediately. These nuts are warm from the fryer, soft, messy, and amazingly good. The toppings are generous without detracting from the fresh cakey pastry. Its sugary balance sent a surge of neurotransmitters into my brain, allowing me to regain my will to live and get back into the car to press on for the southern reaches of the OBX.
I liked everything about Duck Donuts. Their ability to manage a line. Their ample drink offerings to wash down the nuts. Even their logo is super-cool. That’s why …
Consume.Review.Repeat. gives Duck Donuts 9.3 surging neurotransmitters out of 10.