subject: Carpe Donut
take-out vehicle: paper bag
This was the last stop (I think) on my tour of local donuts, and it's tough to say whether or not I saved the best for last. On the one hand, Carpe Donuts is one of only two places I know of (the other being The Baker's Palette's mobile donut machine) where you can get donuts cooked to order. On the other hand, a Carpe Donut is not your typical donut.
Though coated in cinnamon and sugar and initially sweet, I found these donuts to be almost savory by the end of each bite. I tasted a few different flavors, most of which are commonly used with sugar, but that here stood out by themselves: cinnamon, cloves, maybe some nutmeg, and naturally some apple (they are apple cider donuts, after all). Come to think of it, they tasted very much like apple cider in cake form—which, I imagine, was the entire point.
My only other local experience with apple cider donuts came from Carter's Mountain Orchard, and from what I can recall of their product, Carpe Donut's donuts have a larger, softer interior, more cinnamon-sugar coating, and a greater depth of flavor. Granted, my memory may be hazy since it's been two years since I've had a fresh donut from Carter's Mountain (I'm looking at you, person-who-didn't-put-up-a-sign-telling-me-that-the-fresh-donuts-had-moved!), but I'm pretty sure I'm right.
Though I did not get any, Carpe Donut also offers hot apple cider and freshly brewed Greenberry's coffee. Matt, one of the owners, told me that Carpe Donut offers its own special blend: a 50/50 mix of Greenberry's Sumatra and Costa Rican. Naturally enough, he calls it the Carpe Donut blend.
While waiting for my donuts to cook (he was just finishing the dough when I arrived), Matt also told me about his hot chocolate: "There's so much cocoa in it...it's to hot chocolate like espresso is to coffee." I'll have to make a point to return for that.
So, were these the best of the local donuts? Honestly, I still don't know. There's still something wonderful about a light, sugary, cavity-threatening ring of dough, but I will say this: If you're looking for tasty donut, Carpe Donut won't disappoint.