Donut Queen - Camarillo, CA

Overall Shop rating: 3 Nadas
In life, however much I wish we were all winners, there must be losers for there to be winners. This shop wasn’t a winner. With high hopes I visited Donut Queen accompanied by my sister. I was excited that the shop is so closely located to my parents’ house. This would have been the perfect place to jump on my beach cruiser and mosey on over for a nibblet but, alas, I don't make a habit of regularly eating donuts that have a rating below 4 1/2 Nadas. Call me a donut snob, call me what you want, but I know what donuts deserve blue ribbons and those are the ones that belong in my belly.Vibe of Shop: 4 ½ Nadas
I was excited about the look of the interior of the shop. Ample seating, good lighting, street views, and good use of donut pink had me thinking that this shop may create a winning donut, but looks aren’t everything. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

Outside Appearance: 5 Nadas
The location is great. Right on the corner of 2 busy streets and across for the train station, it has a large bright sign and plenty of parking.

Hours: 24 hours!!!

Service: 3 Nadas
I got the vide that the people running the place didn’t want to be there. Not a very good way to welcome visiting customers, especially donut critics like myself.

Taste of Glaze Donut: 2 Nadas
The donut was dry and stale and the glaze was too thin. What a disappointment. Also, could have been the time of the day, but the selection of donut was very thin.

Blueberry Donut: No

Coffee: 1 Nada
Tasted like dirty mud water… and it wasn’t even that hot. Here’s some advice, Donut Queen: I’ve been told if you have bad beer, serve it really, really cold because the taste buds will not be able to taste it. In the same way, if you have bad coffee, serve it really hot.

Special: They sold bananas, a healthy choice. They also sold cigarettes to accompany your bad coffee, a not-so-healthy choice.

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Lanky's Pastries - Hilo, HI

Overall Shop rating: 4 Nadas
At this point I’ve been away from Santa Cruz and Ferrell’s Donut for over 2 months… I’m beginning to forget what the glaze donut like mana from heaven tastes like. I’ve been in Hawaii since April 7 and it is now June 5. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying all the fresh fish, shave ice, and warm water ocean waves, but I have not been able to find a shop dedicated solely to donuts. Instead, the commonality is the bakery. I understand that this diversifies the products sold and broadens the customer base in towns where populations are smaller than on the mainland. This is yet another reason why I love Hawaiians: They are survivalists, molding and shaping businesses into what works in order to generate income to buy more poi and spam for their hungry families. I respect that. On my last day in Hilo, I was doing errands and I happened on this bakery in a quaint strip mall and I was warmly surprised to find one of my favorite baked goods ever (refer to “Special” below)!!!

Vibe of Shop: 4 Nadas
I like my donut shop/bakeries to feel warm, used, and slightly dirty like home, but still clean. This bakery had the perfect balance. It looked as if it had worked hard for years making many, many loaves of bread and cakes to celebrate births and deaths, love and loss, failure and success… But this place has succeeded. Note: No good seating indoors, but it’s Hawaii! Go sit outside.

Outside Appearance: 5 Nadas
Perfect seating outside for cruising and talking story. The bakery had nice large windows allowing everyone to see the baked goods… a great marketing strategy.Hours: 5:30am – 9:00pm everyday
That’s what the sign says, but I did show up one day in the early afternoon and they were closed. Like any good mom and pop shop, I think they close whenever they feel like taking a break. Again, I respect that.

Service: 5 Nadas
Asian, Friendly, and Happy. I love donuts served with smiles.

Taste of Glaze Donut: 2 1/2 nadas
Truthfully, this donut could use a little help. The dough was not fluffy enough for my taste and the glaze was a bit bland.

Blueberry Donut: No

Coffee: ?
I didn’t have coffee here because right next door there is a coffee shop called Kope Kope, where I performed at an open mic a few nights before. I decided to give Kope Kope my business because they could use the help. Go drink coffee there!Special: Oh My!!! I was blown away! Lanky’s came up with this: Custard Filled Chocolate Donut Hole. Simply, amazing. It’s like jumping in a cool pool in the hot desert, or hitting all green lights on your way to work, or putting on a jacket and finding $20 in your pocket. Man, I can’t even explain to you how wonderful this little nugget was. Perfectly balanced dough, custard and frosting… It massaged my taste buds into pure relaxation and peaceful bliss.

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Happy National Donut Day!!!

Check this video out! I love it.

Daily Donuts – Sunnyvale, CA

Overall Shop rating: 4 Nadas

Sometimes when you dig through the dirt, you find a gem. Daily Donuts is gem I found while driving home from a gig in the bay area. It is next door to 7 Eleven and almost hidden from plain view, but once you eat from here you will never miss it again!

Vibe of Shop: 3 1/2 Nadas
I loved the checkered floor, even though it was blue instead of pink. My favorite part was the giant refrigerator right in the shop. They didn’t try to hide anything. They just plopped it right there. Ha! Also, there were no tables or places to sit. That was a disappointment, especially after I noticed the TV in the corner playing Vietnamese music videos.

Outside Appearance: 2 Nadas
I was dirty and there are no places to sit and enjoy the donuts, once purchased. Travis and I ended up using a cart with unassembled cardboard boxes as table. It worked.

Hours: 5am – 9pm

Service: 4 1/2 Nadas
Asian, friendly, Aunty-like… What more could you ask for?

Taste of Glaze Donut: 4 1/2 Nadas
Wonderfully soft, moist and tasty. I was pleasantly surprised

Blueberry Donut? No.
No blueberry donuts, but they did have blueberry filled. I didn’t try one.

Coffee: 3 1/2 Nadas
I liked the coffee, though it didn’t blow me away. If I had to make a choice between Daily Donuts and 7 Eleven next door, I’d choose Daily.

Special: I really loved all the random signs in the windows. They kept making me laugh. This place really knows how to market!

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