Kelly’s Donuts – San Clemente, CA

Overall Shop rating 4 ½ NadasIn the year 2000 A.D. I was introduced to a man who would change my life forever. His name is Peter Culp. During the summer, Peter and I taught surfing to high school students at a camp called Mount Hermon in Santa Cruz, CA. It was here, on these 5am early mornings that we would consistently head to Ferrell’s Donuts after dawn patrol surf sessions, and it was here that I began to develop my pallet for donuts under the supervision of my friend and donut mentor, Peter.
Now, Peter lives in San Clemente, CA and has a hand full of favorite shops that he regularly enjoys. On this day I was passing through town and asked him to show me what donuts San Clemente has to offer.

Vibe of Shop: 5 Nadas
The shop came with everything I’d want out of a good donut shop… classic donut posters, some good seating for donut consumption, a bit of donut pink in the d├ęcor, some signed surf posters of pros who love the donuts, and the most important staple: Old men enjoying donuts and coffee while telling stories of the way things were in the old days. I glimpse into my future every time I see men like that.

Outside Appearance: 4 ½ Nadas
Any donut shop that has a neon sign promoting everything but donuts must be confident that their donuts need no promoting, other than by taste. I found that to be true here. Also, the shop is located in a large strip mall-style plaza that has ample amounts of parking, just in case people rush to donut shops for their donuts just as they rushed to banks for their money during the great depression.

Hours: 5:00am to 5:00pm

Service: 5 Nadas
Asian, friendly, and helpful. Here I don’t so much as see into my future, but I’m given something to strive towards.

Taste of Glaze Donut: 4 ½
The glaze donut was so close to donut perfection. Great glaze, great moistness, and great fluffiness… but for some reason it was just shy of the mark. I would actually give it a 4 7/8 Nadas but I don’t get that advanced in my fractions for scoring donuts for the sake of readability for the younger donut enthusiast readers.

Blueberry Donut? No

Coffee: 4 ½ Nadas
It was a tasty cup of Joe. It wasn’t bad or old tasting which impressed me since we were visiting later in the day.

Special: They serve Dreyers ice cream, which facilitates potential for monumental donut greatness: A donut-ice cream sandwich!!! Doesn’t that just make your taste buds dance and your stomach turn?



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