The Donut Hole – Roadside Architecture

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The Donut Hole in La Puente is definitely one of those establishments that one goes out of their way to find. Not necessarily for the doughnuts — although they were very good — but because it is one of the more impressive examples of offbeat, roadside architecture. Up until now, I had only been experiencing those roadside attractions where the giant doughnut sits atop the small stand. And while these other stands offer drive-up capabilities for the automobile-bound, The Donut Hole is unique for being able to drive through two giant brown doughnuts, half-submerged in concrete.

A little research revealed that this building was one of five in a chain, constructed in 1968 with the two end-caps made from fiberglass and measuring 26 feet high. Unfortunately, the other four no longer exist. When you drive into the back doughnut, you can see the production equipment on the right-hand side of the structure; large fryers and ovens. The left-hand side is the shop with its racks of overly large offerings. I liked the drive-through aspect of the adventure and I was intrigued by both the size and variety of the selection.

Considering I had already consumed a malasada, a churro, and four gourmet doughnuts that morning, I was not quite up for a full tasting but instead relied on my tried-and-true test, the apple fritter. Just to check their raised, I also picked up a single doughnut hole as well. The fritter was quite good, large and uniformly thick/flat without the doughy pillow in the center. Not quite a crunchy or dark as I prefer, but with a nice toothy exterior and tender interior. The doughnut hole was light and fluffy with no hint of oil. I wish I had been hungrier to try others. Not quite an easy stop off a freeway exit, but worth a visit if you are in the area.

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