Express Donuts – Lodi, CA

Overall Shop rating: 4 ¾ NadasUp to this point, when I find myself in Lodi, CA, I can only thing of one place I would like to visit, and that is Star Donuts which I have deservingly dubbed, “The best donut east of Santa Cruz.” I say all this because I honestly didn’t think Lodi could offer much more but, boy, I was wrong! My buddy, Tyson, and I were on a hunt for a whiffle ball set when we drove past this little gem. Please, if you have the time, stop here and honor your taste buds by eating a glaze donut.

Vibe of Shop: Insane Nadas
Though there was no donut pink involved, this place embodied the classic donut shop vibe and there was plenty of seating for all!

Outside Appearance: Grungy Nadas
I truthfully wouldn’t have expected such a delicious thing to come out of such a ghetto looking building, but then again, I’m kind of shallow at times and I tend to judge on appearances. My favorite part was the taco truck just outside the door tucked under the shade of the tree in the parking lot. You can have lunch and dessert by walking 10 paces!Hours: Honestly, I was too excited about the tasty donut that I didn't check on the hours. I'll just have to go back... Oh darn. ;)

Service: Kind and Happy Nadas
This lady was amazing! She truly reminded me of a happy aunty who won’t stop feeding me even when I say I’m done and can’t fit anymore in my belly.

Taste of Glaze Donut: Boom-a-licious Nadas
I did not have high expectations but when I took my first bite my jaw dropped with amazement. It was so perfect… moist, fluffy, and perfect glaze.

Blueberry Donut? Yes, and it was amazing. Just ask Tyson.

Coffee: Warm and energizing Nadas
I was so happy to enjoy a cup of joe at this point. Searching for a whiffle ball set is much harder than you would think.Special: When you make donuts this quality and tasty you don’t need gimmicks or specialties to draw customers. The donut does all the promotion itself. Go see for yourself. Be informed: we are getting closer everyday to finding the best donut in the world.

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K D's Doughnuts and Desserts - Ramona, CA

Overall Shop Rating: 3.5 Nadas
You may be thinking “Hey, who is this Tyson character? Isn’t this website called ‘Dave’s Donut Blog? How does Tyson expect me to respect his opinion on donuts and donutry when he has no qualifications that I know of?” – This is perfectly understandable, as Dave is widely recognized as a wordwide virtuoso of all tenets of the donut world and I am nothing more than, well, some guy or whatever. So please take this particular blog as a kind of wikipedia in the world of scholarly donut articles.

I have been taking a break from playing bass with Kokua to do some music at various Young Life properties in California. This gave me ample donut tasting oppurtunities which I took eager advantage of. This particular day I sampled some of the craftsmanship of KD Donuts in Ramona, California – but not alone. In fact I employed the taste buds of three more donut critics: Martin Cachero and AJ Pitkin from San Diego, as well as a donut critic abroad: Sean Pearson, a pastry enthusiast from Phoenix, Arizona.

Overall Vibe of shop: 3.5 Nadas
The exterior had a well designed, clean sign, as well as decal of layered donuts. I should have taken a picture of the decal but I didn’t. Think about it like this: a donut transport airplane broke in two during a flight over Detroit and all the donuts fell into the empty swimming pool of a bygone millionaire who moved to the Bahamas after he closed his automobile manufacturing plant and fired all the employees (that’s why the pool was empty) – and then somebody snapped a quick picture and made it into a window decal. I’m not sure if that’s the way this decal came to be but hey, it’s like a way to understand, you know? The interior wasn’t usual donut shop interior. It had pictures that weren’t of budda or island scenery. A little use of donut pink was apparent - and - surprisingly, there were ample pictures of Ramona, as well as a lot of advertisements for the California Lottery. If your day is going pretty good, why not get a donut, right? And then, your day is really looking up, so why not win the lottery? KD Donuts know how to do a correct sell of the lottery.

Service: 5 Nadas
The service here was like no other service I’ve ever encountered in a donut shop. When we informed the nice woman behind the counter, named Stephanie I think, that we represented a donut blog, she went out of her way to accommodate us – even giving us free donuts! Hooray! That’s another $3.45 towards my future children’s college fund. Her husband came out of the back to give us a tour of the donut case. “The maple bar has a money back guarentee. If you don’t like it, your money back!” Five stars, sir. He even let us take a picture of him holding a donut with Martin, Sean and AJ. He let us behind the counter which was exciting. (See illustration 1.a)Regular Glaze: 2 Nadas
Martin had this one, and he wasn’t impressed. He even called it trash, which is like a slap in the face to any donut. Calling a donut trash is like calling a human being 10 swear words in their own language. I think perhaps KD Donuts has been smitten with the “Krispy Kreme Kurse” where the donuts are delightfully crispy and soft and delicious in the morning, and then turn into a round shaped turd tasting donut in the afternoon, like a werewolf in reverse. Stephanie even told us that we had to come back in the morning. She backed it up by showing that over half the case was empty from the numerous early bird donut consumers. (See image 1.b).

Blueberry Donut: yes.
AJ tried this one. To his disappointment there were no real blueberries baked into the donut, but hey, we were in Ramona, not Monte Carlo. Who do you think you are, man? They also had a regular glaze with blueberry frosting. Yum ahoy! Sean thought this was a top notch donut, adding that it would be better in the morning.

Coffee: N/A
We didn’t try the coffee because it was a flamboyant 207 degrees farenheit outside. Call me what you will, but I wasn’t in the mood.

Cash only! I like cash-only donut shops. They stay true to American currency. They way it was, and should be. Cash-only is 101 in donut culture.

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Note from the donut blog guru, Dave: Tyson is a good friend of mine. We have been playing music together for a long time and we visited many donut shops together. He is still a donut padawan learner, but I feel he has been adequately trained and his opinion can be taken as near truth. I'll let you know all know when I feel he has outgrown his donut critiquing adolescence.
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