Last week, Dave and I drove up to Portland, ME. While researching places to check out, I came across a shop called Tony’s Donuts and this video about it. We pulled up to the unassuming shop around noon on a warm and sunny day. Every single aspect of the place was endearing, from the humble sign and posters in the window proclaiming “Life is uncertain, Eat dessert first!” to the clusters of old folks socializing at the tables, who I am certain are a fixture at Tony’s several days out of the week.
We were both dying to try Tony’s signature molasses-glazed donut. The flavor of the donut was reminiscent of gingerbread, and it was covered in a thick, sugary glaze. There were edges on either side that split and had become crispy in the fryer. Beneath the outer crust was a tender and cakey molasses crumb.
I also chose a cinnamon and sugar cruller. It had a hearty, yet soft and cakey crumb, with a golden brown outer crust. The cinnamon-sugar coating made me feel like I was eating a cider donut, which up until now was my favorite donut, but the molasses glazed is giving it a run for its money. Following these two, I suggested getting one more molasses-glazed, to which Dave responded, two more. I should mention that it was almost lunchtime and we’d barely eaten anything yet. After our second round, we left Tony’s and headed to downtown Portland, but I made sure to ask the fabulously quirky man behind the counter if they usually sell out of molasses-glazed during the day. We fully intended to make a stop back on our way out of Portland to get some more donuts to bring back with us. He assured me they keep cranking them out so that they are always available.
Later that evening, before getting back on the road, I was delighted to see not only a full tray of molasses-glazed behind the counter, as promised, but even MORE varieties than were out that morning. We decided on two more molasses glazed, as well as a blueberry glazed, and a glazed cruller. I kid you not, earlier in the morning I had expressed my desire for a blueberry donut, just to Dave, not inside the store, and Tony’s had magically heeded my call. The blueberry and the cruller were both fun and intensely sweet from the glaze. The nice thing about the molasses donut is that the more robust flavor from the molasses provides a solid base and contrast for the sweet glaze. It is less of a sugar bomb than some of the other varieties. Tony’s Donuts has firmly earned itself a spot amongst my Portland favorites. I fully intend to get a molasses donut, or six, on my future trips to Portland.
9 Bolton Street