Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I think I made myself hungry.

It'll be a while, possibly a long "while," before we see one here in the Greater Portland area, but the news out of Bangor is good.  Krispy Crème is coming to Maine.

The news articles I've seen say a New Hampshire Donuteer, another of my new words, is planning to build three of the franchise shops with Bangor the most likely spot for the first one.  Nevertheless, the "ice" will be broken.

Because of the lack of one anywhere near here my lack of experience with Krispy Crème donuts is understandable.  I'll bet there are a goodly number of folks here who have never had one.  I have.  My wife and I were in, I think, New Orleans when we first ran across a Krispy Crème coffee shop.  Having seen them on TV for quite a while, we decided to try one of their donuts.

Then two.  And both of us would have liked to just go on with more, but we resisted that temptation and left. 

But I must say I've never had a better donut anywhere before or since.  There are two or three absolutely wonderful donut shops here in Greater Portland, including a franchise place and several small bakeries/coffee shops.  Remember when Dunkin' Donuts were made on premises?  They were far better, in my humble opinion, than the trucked in ones offered now.  In fact, they may have been in line with the Krispy Crème.  My favorite local bakery, though, no longer exists.  I was among the many to mourn when our favorite "Uncle" closed shop in South Portland.

But that Krispy Crème in New Orleans still ranks as the very best.  At least when one gets it right out of the cooker.  We went back a second day and it was equally as good.  Have you ever seen that little light in the window?  That signaled "Get your donut NOW."  Both of our visits had been early in the day when the store was cooking its inventory.  I didn't know about that light then and we both wondered what it was for.

We found out on the third day as we were leaving New Orleans at a different time.  Naturally we stopped by that Krispy Crème shop to pick up a couple of donuts and coffee for the first part of our ride.  We almost didn't eat the donuts.  Thinking back, there was no light in the window.  The donuts we got had been made probably a couple hours earlier.  And they were simply awful.  The quality of the donut went from one extreme flat down to the other in a relatively short period of time.

But, Boy!  Within a short while of being cooked, there wasn't a better donut anywhere.  That would send me to a local Krispy Crème in a heartbeat once I learned the local's cooking schedule.  I, for one, am looking forward to the arrival of Krispy Crème in Greater Portland.  (I certainly wouldn't drive all the way to Bangor to get one.)  I hope that "light" signal is still in effect.

Speaking of food, there's another place I wish would come to Greater Portland.  One of the best buffet food restaurants I've ever eaten in is Golden Corral.  We were introduced to Golden Corral during one of our retirement trips a few years back.  We first checked one out in Branson, MO, when we visited there to take in a whole bunch of their famous shows.  It was one of our better trips and that Golden Corral just outside the city caught us by surprise.

We've eaten in others since then and in each instance found the establishment to be extremely neat, clean, and laid out.  The food was delicious and, most importantly, the hot food was hot.  The selection was outstanding and the staff extremely pleasant. 

I'd like to see a Golden Corral come to Greater Portland.

I have had good experience with other franchises, too, that we visited elsewhere.  When a couple of them came to our area in Southern Maine, they soon became favorites of ours.  We prefer Texas Roadhouse for steak dinners and love Five Guys for fast-food hamburgers. 

I haven't tried one yet, but both my wife and daughter like Red Robin, too.  However, I'd have to quickly add there's a super hamburger shop in Falmouth we like and another one in Auburn.

There are too numerous eating places in Greater Portland to mention them all and I'm sure I've missed your favorite place.  I do apologize for that, but we started out here just praising that one donut shop.  I was just trying to point out that being a "franchise" doesn't mean it can't be a super place, although there are a whole lot more mediocre ones than great.

Hmmmm.  I wonder if it's eating time, yet.


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