Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Holy Donut | Maine Donuts At Their Very Best | Portland Area
Review by: Michael Stern
Donuts long ago knocked cupcakes off the pedestal of trendy pastries. Nearly every city can boast of at least one shop that makes great ones. In Portland, Maine, you will find one of the very best new-wave artisan donut shops: Holy Donut. You’ll spend money to get them, at least $2 each. They’re no bargain, but neither is champagne or prime steak. These donuts earn highest honors not just because the bakers make them in such brilliantly realized flavors as Maine blueberry, bacon maple, coffee brandy, and dark chocolate sea salt.
Maine Potatoes Make the Difference
No, it’s the dough itself that makes these donuts great beyond their festoonery. It includes mashed Maine potatoes or, in a couple of variations, mashed roasted sweet potatoes. Spuds give the body of a freshly made donut unique melt-in-the-mouth creaminess. They come out of the fry kettle with brittle-crisp skin, making even plain ones a mouth-feel joy. Glazed or sprinkled with an abundance of the very best ingredients, they become positively regal.
So Many Tempting Flavors
When The Holy Donut opens in the morning, shelves hold over a dozen varieties, most still warm. There are “regular” ones, such as dark chocolate coconut, fresh (really fresh, just squeezed) lemon, and pomegranate. Or for about 50 cents more, you can choose a deluxe one such as blueberry-lemon or coffee cake. Changing seasons inspire such temporary stars as orange Creamsicle and chai glazed. Vegans and gluten-allergic people find their needs met, too.
If you hanker for something savory rather than sweet, check out the bacon & cheddar-filled donut. What’s billed as “old fashioned dough” envelops a rich lode of Vermont cheddar and massive amounts of bacon. This one puts any ordinary breakfast sandwich to shame.
Where to Get a Holy Donut
The original Holy Donut is at 7 Exchange St. in Portland, and there is another one at 194 Park Ave. I especially like the newest one, in Scarborough, because it isn’t insanely crowded like the downtown one and it opens the earliest, at 6am. At that time, they’re still dipping and frosting some hot-from-the-kettle donuts.
Directions & Hours
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|