Doughnuts from Donut World deliciously problematic

by Brian Clarey

A sampling of the best doughnuts any of us have ever tasted, courtesy of Donut World in Greensboro. (photo by Devender Sellars)

The apple fritter almost didn’t make it.

It had been sitting on my desk in the big white box with all the other doughnuts from Donut World since I brought them in this morning, and I promised everyone in the office we’d be eating them together for this story as soon as I got a free moment. That free moment didn’t come until early afternoon, by which time News Editor Jordan Green had liberated the apple fritter from the box and sequestered himself in his office with it.

Luckily we got to him in time. The doughnuts from Donut World are problematic, and not just because the store spells the name of its core product differently than we do in the YES! Weekly Style Guide. The problem is that they may be the best doughnuts any of us have ever had. Even cantankerous Greensboro blogger Dr. Joe Guarino likes the doughnuts from Donut World, and as he pointed out on his blog last week, the last thing any of us needs to be doing is sitting around eating doughnuts all day.

At least this time it’s for work. Donut World has exploded on the Triad pastry scene since opening its first location on West Market Street last year, necessitating a second location on Battleground Avenue, where just this morning I encountered a queue before the glass counter five patrons in length, the single table occupied by a small family.

This place is not a Starbucks, and it doesn’t want to be. Sure, you can get some juice or a cup of coffee if you want, but don’t expect to be holding business meetings here. The whole place is a business meeting — the business of making and selling excellent doughnuts.

You like doughnuts? They’ve got them all: dense devil’s food and yellow cake doughnuts, light “rise” doughnuts, old-fashioned doughnuts with serrated edges, jellies and Bavarian crèmes; doughnut holes, stout buttermilk loaves, chocolate and maple bars and this thing covered with chocolate chips. They have twists and cinnamon rolls and bear claws and apple fritters. And the aroma inside is one that makes you smile like a little kid.

Adding to that childlike euphoria is the impulse to order one of everything. But I maintained some discipline and took back just a thin sample of confections, which sat on my desk more or loess unmolested until the staff was able to sample them later that day.

In the tasting, we all agreed that these doughnuts rise above all area chain competitors in quality of ingredients and versatility of options.

The buttermilk doughnuts are actually small, dense cakes and the chocolate one had actual chocolate icing atop and not just some brown, sugary glaze. A maple raise doughnut is likened to a cloud by creative assistant Jordan Owens, who adds that it has “more substance” than the classic Krispy Kreme. A cinnamon roll is a bit disappointing — no nuts or caramel or crumbly topping and not even all that much cinnamon, but it was so light an fresh it disappeared quickly anyway.

And the apple fritter… crispy and sweet, ribboned with real apple filling,… well, the apple fritter is wonderful, perhaps the finest item of its kind in town, and among those who taste it, at least one will be back to Donut World within 48 hours to get another.

wanna go?

Donut World 5561 W. Market St., Greensboro 336.315.0202

2509 Battleground Ave., Greensboro 336.286.6001