Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dynamo Donut, Part I: To Die For

San Francisco, CA
Sunday, May 8 2010

A half dozen minutes before 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time—when Dynamo Donut, located in the Mission District, opens—another customer in line reminds my wife and I to order the most popular donut. The Bacon Maple Apple, he says, “is to die for.”

Unlike the AMHL/Donut Photographer and I, who will delight in what S.F Weekly claims is the Best Doughnut (2009), our donut consultant and his daughter are regulars. “We come here about once a week,” the father says.

As Team Dynamo bustles about the shop, the line of customers—and the anticipation of what Daily Dynamos will be featured—grows as I read the placard placed to the right of the stand:

“We use Clover Organic Milk for our coffee and donuts. Our donuts utilize organic, sustainable, and local ingredients whenever possible and are always handmade daily by Sara Spearin and her staff. We offer a rotating selection of 6 to 8 donuts per day so quality and freshness of ingredients can be guaranteed. EVERYDAY is Bacon Donut Day!!!”

In the shade of the sycamore trees lining 24th Street, the storefront gate rolls up, and then an employee hangs the thin, rectangular placards over the nails affixed to the display.

First in line, we order one each of the Vanilla Bean, Spiced Chocolate and Blueberry Cornmeal, and two of the Bacon Maple Apple.

“The Caramel De Sel,” whispers our donut advisor.

Now with seven heavenly halos hunkered down in the shoebox-sized container, my wife says, “Treat them like china.”

Twenty minutes later and back at our wharf-side hotel, we converge on the real San Francisco Treat(s) (according to local tour guides, the Rice-a-Roni recipe and commercial were conceived in Chicago).

The Caramel De Sel: Its chewy topping, like dripping water freezing in the form of an icicle, dangles. I bite past the thin layer of sea salt and sweetness and into the core; the middle is surprisingly resilient, similar to sponge-cake, and the orange zest and nutmeg soothe my palate. One donut down.

The Blueberry Cornmeal is a gritty performer (Bruins’ fans: Think Gregory Campbell, Sean Thornton, and Danny Paille). With all the blueberry boldness sans the sugary syrup, the fruit complements the cornmeal. Like the Bruins’ energy line, this donut leaves a refreshing taste in my mouth. And it sets the tone for the glory-getter.

The Bacon Maple Apple is the David Krejci/Nathan Horton/Michael Ryder/Whoever gets the next OT game-winner of donuts. The subtle maple frosting and real bacon bits beckon this donut beholder to delve past the tantalizing toppings and into the fresh forest of apple chunks. Oh so divine, these donuts are to die for.

Contented, me echo una siesta, and I rest in peace.
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