Most of my high school mornings consisted of a fructose fueled diet: a small glass of Coke and one Choco Butternut donut. I studied in an all-boys school where shop work and sports would help me burn the sugar during the day. But yes, eventually my vices caught up with me and I suffered a sharp pain in the stomach which would lead me to quitting soda.
As this article suggests, I’ve pretty much remained supportive of donuts through the years.
Here are my top personal picks per donut brand notably present here in Cebu City:
Surprise, surprise. While I did get hooked on Choco Butternut, I would consider Boston Kreme the top tier selection. My mother was the one who introduced this flavor to me and I didn’t even think it was possible that you could get Chocolate and Bavarian in one donut.
My wife also didn’t know about Boston Kreme until I introduced it to her as well. Now, we try to get one each when we pass by Dunkin’ — but we usually just share the one that’s left. It’s either a best-seller or produced in low quantities. Pair the Boston Kreme with its signature brew and you’re in donut heaven.
I recall vividly that there was a time when I thought paying P40 for a donut was absurd. And If I remember correctly, there was a time Dunkin’ dropped its donuts to P10. So it was a weird phase for donut lovers. Krispy Kreme then set up shop in Metro Manila and it was one of the more successful franchises to lure in a new generation of donut-loving Pinoys. There was a time when an outlet would turn on its Hot Light, drawing in customers with a free Original Glazed.
“KK,” as most of us fondly call the brand, is famous for its all-out sweetness assault. Personally, if you’re going to have one foot in, might as well jump all-in. That’s why my favorite at KK would be the Chocolate Iced Kreme Filled Doughnut. Again, I did not discover this on my own as it was referred to me by an old-friend. KK eventually opened in Cebu and the rest is history.
And yes, Dunkin’ eventually got its prices back up.
There was a time I’d refer to J.CO as the “old people’s donuts” for its restraint with sweetness. Well, the time has come. I now consider J.CO as great donuts that don’t slap you with sugar. I think it’s great for meetings, and that’s when I appreciate its JPOPS — small, bite-sized versions that are great for sharing.
Now when others swear by its Alcapone, I pick the Choco Caviar Chocolate. I’m a sucker for textures and this lightly flavored and fun donut allows me to eat another one. Fun fact: J.CO is proudly ASEAN, a company founded and headquartered in Indonesia.
Brick Lane Doughnuts
Brick Lane is the alternative, indie rocker in this list. A proudly Cebu-based brand, Brick Lane launched with the goal of providing London-style donuts to Cebuanos. Simply putting it, these donuts weren’t your typical overly sugary, sweet ones. Of course, these still had to be delicious.
That’s where Brick Lane comes in, with multiple branches in Metro Cebu. My personal favorite would be its Day 1: Classic Original Custard. A no-frills pastry that gets the job done. However, I must say that freshness is key and there’s nothing like having a box of them fresh out of the kitchen.
I feel for Mister Donut. I thought it never nailed its footing, at least here in Cebu. I thought it felt contented playing second-fiddle to Dunkin’. Well, they’re still here and holding on, thanks to its availability in most 7-Eleven stores around the metro. My pick for top Mister Donut offering? It would absolutely be its “Long John.”
It’s pretty straight-forward — a donut bar with a chocolate later and filled with a Bavarian filling. Have we come full circle with this seeming reinvention of the Boston Kreme? Well, I don’t think they’re the same. And the Long John might have raised the bar for convenient store donuts.
What are your favorites?