The Donut Shop is a bright beacon of flavor just South of Natchez as you get back on Highway 61. The big blue building and busy parking lot are signs that you ought to stop and see what’s going on.
We peruse two donut cases full of offerings both unusual and expected. What’s missing are raised glazed donuts. That’s not because they don’t make them; it’s just because they are fried constantly and sold immediately. They are presented too hot to eat and still runny with fresh vanilla scented glaze. The results melt on the tongue and disappear in two bites. If there is a wait, your donut has probably not even met the frier yet when you first line-up to order. There are a lot of good donuts out there, but there is no substitute for this level of freshness.
Hot glazed donuts are the best sweet thing to get, but they aren’t the only donut worth recommending. Donut cinnamon buns are particularly good. While not melting and hot like the fresh glazed, they stay soft and the icing stays aromatic, its bouquet enhanced by the cinnamon swirl. Then there are seashells, which look like funnel cakes. They are dense and made of thin strips, like fairground fried dough but crisper and more precise. Both caramel apple and raspberry-powdered sugar varieties are delicious. As difficult as it is to not fill up completely on the hot glazed, a trip here isn’t complete without one of these unique sweets.
Although we find it to be too sweet, the sugar crystal topped, colorfully iced king cake donuts would be fun for kids or sugar fiends. Maple bacon donuts are above average. We don’t think there is really a bad choice to be made. Eat the hot ones now, and take some kookier creations for later on down the road.
With all of these tasty donuts, you might forget about the off-the-menu hot tamales that are manufactured next door by “Big Pappa.” For us, they are even more of a must-try than the superb donuts. Firmer and spicier than those farther north, they are the hottest hot tamales we’ve had, which makes them irresistible for us. Unusually, they are served with packets of hot sauce for even further incendiary amplification.
Sweet hot donuts and spicy hot tamales are a royal breakfast. Any time you drive anywhere near Natchez, this is a must-stop for both sweet and savory cravings.