DONUTS! DONUTS DONUTS DONUTS!
Have I mentioned how much I love donuts? I love donuts. Because I REALLY love donuts. My best friend gifted me a donut maker in college because I would go to such great lengths for Dunkin’ Donuts– which of course with the occurrence of artisanal doughnut shops no longer happens. After trying my Figure competitor’s nutrition plan I came to the realization that I could give up just about any foods except for: pizza, french fries, and Donuts. There really is nothing I love more than Donuts!
Part of me would love to be one of those people to simply say no altogether to all sweets, but since I heavily believe in moderation I allow myself a little something here and there! I allow myself 1 “treat” meal a week, on a day when I have worked out and eaten “clean” for the rest of my meals. My “treat” also has to be eaten outside of my apartment/home because it gets me out and about but also makes it feel much more definitive so that I do not binge or have pressing cravings after. For some reason, eating sweets inside of my home makes my body ask for more.
So with my plan in place for my “treat” days I decided to try all the best donut shops so of course while in Waltham, I had to stop by Union Square Donuts in Somerville. The shop is so small we almost missed it on our drive in! Thankfully, they use a chalkboard sign to reel you in.
After reading a few Yelp reviews we were a little scared earlier in the day they would be completely sold by the time we arrived but thankfully, arriving early on a Tuesday morning seemed to ensure that our trip was not in vain. By the time we arrived they were either out of or not offering two of the flavors I was most hoping for: Vanilla Bean or Brown Butter Hazelnut Crunch but there were plenty of Maple Bacon donuts left which seems to be the flavor that pulls people in the most!
We got a half-dozen which included 3 types of yeast flavors: Chocolate Covered Pretzel, Maple Bacon and Sea-Salted Bourbon Caramel as well as 2 cake flavors: Birthday Cake and Carrot Cake. Talk about yum! I love how their cake donuts are as big as their yeast donuts! I tore into the Maple Bacon Donut first. Despite the fact that I am not normally a fan of bacon, it worked really well on the donut because the maple glaze is a tad bit on the sweeter side. Union Square’s yeast donuts are so soft and chewy in texture though that I can imagine the donut would taste incredible with a light vanilla glaze. I loved how the glaze melted in your mouth instead of cracking off into granules of salt as I have seen other donuts do.
The Maple Bacon was surprisingly my second favorite flavor out of the 5. The Chocolate Covered Pretzel really took it home for me! The donut really tastes like and has the texture of pretzels and matches perfectly with the milk chocolate drizzled over the top. My only qualm was the saltness of the donut, which was also one of my qualms with the Sea-Salted Bourbon Caramel.
To me the Sea-Salted Bourbon Caramel simply tasted like a sticky, salted donut. I found the saltness of the donut to be a little too much, especially considering the fact that the sweet elements of the donut were so muted.
Birthday Cake and Carrot cake took fourth and fifth place for me. Having tried cake donuts from Doughnut Plant and Dough Loco in New York City, I was slightly unimpressed with both the texture and flavor of Union Square’s cake donut. While I liked the frosting used on the Birthday Cake as well as the level of crispness on the donut, I felt that the donut had no real hints of vanilla bean or birthday cake flavor within the treat aside from the sprinkles on top. This flavor is probably better for anyone who wants a donut with a more traditional and muted flavor.
Carrot Cake is also an option for those who cannot handle overly sweet flavors. This was my least favorite flavor mostly because like the Birthday Cake, the donut tasted quite plain. The carrot element within the donut can be visibly seen but my best friend commented there was not much that separated a spice donut from Union Square’s Carrot Cake donut, which I agree with. The “cream cheese frosting” on the donut was too thick for my liking. I hoped for a more whipped texture but unfortunately it missed the mark. I think this donut would have benefited from some more flavor such as from raisins as well as some crunch either through some chopped walnuts or pecans.
I will say, I still cannot find a place that holds a candle to NYC’s Dough Loco! All in all though, the trip out to Somerville was well worth it! On my next visit I would love to try their Vanilla Bean, Brown Butter Hazelnut Crunch, Peanut Butter + Jelly and Green Tea + Black Sesame flavors.