Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Nutting With the Devil

On days when Blognut is unable to enjoy the slurp of our favorite morning pick-me-up, Gorilla Coffee, we often turn happily to Dunkin Donuts. Their medium-bodied roast has consistently good flavor and is always perfectly satisfying (plus, if we must support such a powerful corporate juggernaut, why not at least pick one that makes great donuts?).

And now a confession: As regular readers know, with the exception of the aforementioned Dunkin coffee, Blognut's stomach is generally in favor of the mom and pop establishment. This said, we would like to reveal that in those instances when neither Gorilla nor DD are available, we sometimes must resort to – yes – STARBUCKS! Many of you probably thought you would never see such words on the pages of Blognut, and we assure you that said occurrences are, at most, merely occasional. But one morning last month, during one such visit to the dreaded Seattle-based roastery, our eyes were met with a colorful and summery looking little ring labeled "Pina Colada Doughnut." We ordered a small iced coffee (fine, Tall!) and, full from the morning's bagel, knew we must return once more.

As the most discreet member of Starbucks' current summer line of tropical food and drink, the Pina Colada Doughnut has not enjoyed the heavy promotional push the other offerings have received. Unphased by the many wall hangings advertising the Pomegranate Frappacino, or the decadent Banana Passion Coffee Cake, this beautiful baked good sits quietly in a glass case, listening happily to Jimmy Buffet on its IPod and swigging Bacardi 151 straight from the bottle.

Monday morning: Blognut guiltily enters our neighborhood Starbucks – we order a Pina Colada Nut ($.95) and a cup of water. Though not a huge fan of the Colada itself (both rum and coconut must be delivered in small amounts for us to enjoy them), we are pleasantly surprised with the doughnut. Basically a glazed-cake topped with toasted coconut and pineapple drizzle, the fruit flavors have just the right intensity and are perfectly balanced by the thick, moist dough. And kudos to the Starbucks marketing team, as one bite has us sitting ocean-side sipping a frozen Colada by the light of a tiki torch. Our only knock is against the bartender, for we cannot taste any rum.

With expectations shattered, and psyche racked with guilt over so thoroughly enjoying a Starbucks Nut, like so many others we concede victory to the evil empire (at least for today). We order a Vente iced coffee and leave with our head down and our coffee in hand.

Doughnut Score: 8.4

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