Stale Donuts & Burnt Coffee

“Let’s go get a cronut.” Justin hopped out of bed and headed straight for the bathroom. That’s usually how it goes on Saturday mornings. Justin’s wide awake at the crack of dawn (on weekends, 7:00 am feels like 5:00 am to me), and I dive deeper under the sheets pretending I don’t hear him.

“Let’s go! You know you want to try it,” he said while brushing his teeth, running hot water for a shower and shedding his sleeping clothes. We’re so different that way. He will do five things all at once and be ready in 10 minutes flat.

I like to ease into the day — watch my face morph from drowsy to alert while I spend two-and-a-half minutes brushing my teeth; exfoliate, then apply toner and moisturizer; check the weather to see what hairstyle will work best; find the perfect outfit that suits my mood…

We got in the car and drove toward the sun, on our way to a fancy donut shop on the ritzy side of town. Today was the day when we would try the much-raved-about cronut (Houston’s version, anyway). It was a sparkling spring day and the whole weekend was ahead of us. It was enough to make us giddy, like kids at Christmas.

The little store was charming, and tastefully decorated. But, there was no seating — just a walk-up counter and a small table with coffee condiments. We didn’t think much of it though, since it was a nice day to be outside. We placed our order and walked back to the car with our goods in tow — one cronut, one apple fritter, two coffees.

“This thing’s kinda heavy.” I said, attempting to break the cronut in half. It was so dense that I only succeeded in tearing the paper it was wrapped in. That should have been clue number one that our treat would be a dud, but I brushed aside that thought. I really wanted this cronut to be good. “Ok, let’s just bite into it then. One, two, three!”

Blech! Cold. Chewy. Stale. Some of the croissant layers weren’t even cooked through. Surely, this is not why New Yorkers stand in line for hours at Dominique Ansel’s bakery. Underwhelmed and disappointed, we concluded that this shop’s cronut experiment went terribly wrong. But, at least we had coffee. I took a big sip…of regret. No amount of cream or sugar could rescue this cup. I think I now have an idea of how it would feel to drink hot, boiling tar.

I hate to admit this, but I think we had high expectations for our visit partly because we were aware of this shop’s typical customer base. The who’s who of Houston frequent this place, oil and energy tycoons, top attorneys, the list goes on. If anyone could figure out to mimic the famed cronut, surely it would be this place. But we were so wrong. Better yet, this donut shop got it so wrong. Lesson learned — don’t idealize.

Photo credit: {Ode to Things}

P.S. Do you write reviews?

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