Donuts & Kolaches from my 25 State Road Trip

Donuts & Kolaches are LOVE
PIKADIYO Restaurant 468 x 60

Donuts are not at the top of my food list, but Kolaches, now that’s a whole other story altogether. Nevertheless, they’ve been steadily climbing the list of my favorites for the last few years.

Marcela, Chunktronics, and I spent 27 days on a road trip for the Camacho Bold Burger Battle. During that tour, we drove through 25 states, 5 of them twice!

We found ourselves picking up or using drive-thrus for many breakfasts when we weren’t eating the hotel’s morning freebies. So, on most occasions, donut shops became our on-the-drive morning stop.

We tried to steer clear of national chains and focused on restaurants frequented by locals. However, there was one exception I wish I had made, Dunkin’ in Boston.

It seems like there is a Dunkin Donuts on every corner in Boston, and they’re all busy. After leaving town, I realized that if I was going to grab a donut and coffee from Dunkin ever, it should be in their hometown.

Most restaurant chains treat their hometown fanbase very special unless you’re talking about Burger King. I’m pretty they hate everyone in Miami; just kidding :).

Enter Kolaches

My first interaction with kolaches was at Southern donut shops. What’s not to like about these giant pigs in blankets?

The first time I remember eating one was from Fox’s Donut Den in Nashville, Tennessee. I couldn’t figure out what to call the kolache, so I asked for a wrapped hot dog. But unfortunately, they didn’t correct me.

Even though a real deal kolache is a Czech pastry, it is believed that Texans brought meat into the equation. I found a couple of Kolache-centric shops in Houston, and both were great.

One Last Thing…

This list excludes Laurel Tavern Donuts in Laurel, Maryland, which was out of donuts but the time we arrived, but luckily the sliders were not. There was also DONUT-Licious in Spring, Texas, where Chunktronics went at it solo and took some horrible pictures that will never see the light of day.

DONUTS

Saugus, Massachusetts

Kane’s Donuts

Kane's Donuts in Saugus, Massachusetts
Kane’s Donuts in Saugus, Massachusetts

If you come across one of the Kane’s Donuts locations (1575 Broadway, Saugus, MA) in and around Boston, you must make a stop. First, eat a breakfast sandwich and a donut, then take some to-go to fulfill your afternoon cravings.

Drive-Thru Menu from Kane's Donuts in Saugus, Massachusetts
Drive-Thru Menu from Kane’s Donuts
Donut Display Case at Kane's Donuts in Saugus, Massachusetts
One of the Donut Display Cases
Kane's Donuts Box in Saugus, Massachusetts
Kane’s Donuts Box
Box of Donuts from Kane's Donuts in Saugus, Massachusetts
Our box of Donuts
Maple Bacon Donut from Kane's Donuts in Saugus, Massachusetts
Maple Bacon Donut from Kane’s Donuts in Saugus, Massachusetts
Bagel Breakfast Sandwich from Kane's Donuts in Saugus, Massachusetts
Bagel Breakfast Sandwich
Breakfast Burrito from Kane's Donuts in Saugus, Massachusetts
Breakfast Burrito
Breakfast Sandwich from Kane's Donuts in Saugus, Massachusetts
Breakfast Sandwich

Niagara Falls, New York

Frankie’s Donut

Frankie's Donuts in Niagara Falls, New York
Frankie’s Donuts in Niagara Falls, New York

The sour kreme donut from Frankie’s Donuts (717 Portage Rd, Niagara Falls, NY) was excellent, and don’t skip out on the pizza. It’s cafeteria school goodness.

However, I could have done without the overwhelmed employee who would drown in a cup of coffee. Also, a couple of fellas were discussing stabbings and killings, which made the wait more tolerable.

Frankie's Donuts Display Case in Niagara Falls, New York
Display Case
Sour Kreme Donut from Frankie's Donuts in Niagara Falls, New York
Sour Kreme Donut
Pizza from Frankie's Donuts in Niagara Falls, New York
Pizza

Maumee, Ohio

Tim Horton’s Donuts

Coffee from Tim Horton's in Maumee, Ohio
Coffee

I’ve had Tim Horton’s (161 W Dussel Dr, Maumee, OH) in New York City and Columbus, Ohio before, so this wasn’t a first-time visit. Also, it was near the antique mall Marcela was shopping at, so I had some time to kill.

The coffee and donuts were ok, but those Timbits Donut Holes were excellent.

Cake Donut from Tim Horton's in Maumee, Ohio
Cake Donut
Glazed Donut from Tim Horton's in Maumee, Ohio
Glazed Donut
Timbits Donut Holes from Tim Horton's in Maumee, Ohio
Timbits Donut Holes

Carmel, Indiana

Jack’s Donuts

Jack's Donuts in Carmel, Indiana
Jack’s Donuts in Carmel, Indiana

Most of the Jack’s Donuts (516 E Carmel Dr, Carmel, IN) locations are in Indiana. It’s a solid choice for donuts, and yes, the sour cream was the best of the bunch.

Bag from Jack's Donuts in Carmel, Indiana
The Bag
Donut Holes from Jack's Donuts in Carmel, Indiana
Donut Holes
White Iced Jelly Donut from Jack's Donuts in Carmel, Indiana
White Iced Jelly Donut
Chocolate Cake Donut from Jack's Donuts in Carmel, Indiana
Chocolate Cake Donut
Sourcream Cake Donut from Jack's Donuts in Carmel, Indiana
Sourcream Cake Donut

Cordova, Tennessee

Howard’s Donuts

Howard's Donuts in Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee’s Howard’s Donuts

Howard’s Donuts (8130 Bellevue Pkwy, Cordova, TN) is another small regional donut shop chain in the Memphis area. Again, the donuts were good, but the kolache was even better.

Glazed Donut from Howard's Donuts in Memphis, Tennessee
Glazed Donut
Maple Bacon Donut from Howard's Donuts in Memphis, Tennessee
Maple Bacon Donut
Sour Cream Donut from Howard's Donuts in Memphis, Tennessee
Sour Cream Donut
Cinnamon dusted Twisted Donut from Howard's Donuts in Memphis, Tennessee
Cinnamon-dusted Twisted Donut

Ruston, Louisiana

In-N-Out Donuts

In-N-Out Donuts in Ruston, Louisiana
Ruston, Louisiana’s In-N-Out Donuts

In-N-Out Donuts (802 W California Ave, Ruston, LA) has some magic happening in the kitchen. My favorite things were the kolaches and Marcela’s croissant, which I was allowed to try, lol.

The chocolate long john filled with Bavarian creme and maple bacon donuts were worthy of a repeat order. But, unfortunately, we were heading to Houston.

In-N-Out Donuts Menu in Ruston, Louisiana
Menu from In-N-Out Donuts
Croissant with Strawberry & Cream Cheese from In-N-Out Donuts in Ruston, Louisiana
Croissant with Strawberry & Cream Cheese
Glazed Donut from In-N-Out Donuts in Ruston, Louisiana
Glazed Donut
Chocolate Iced Donut from In-N-Out Donuts in Ruston, Louisiana
Chocolate Iced Donut
Jelly Donut from In-N-Out Donuts in Ruston, Louisiana
Jelly Donut
In-N-Out Donuts Chocolate Long John filled with Bavarian Creme in Ruston, Louisiana
Chocolate Long John filled with Bavarian Creme
Maple Bacon Donut from In-N-Out Donuts in Ruston, Louisiana
Maple Bacon Donut

Timpson, Texas

Timpson Kolaches & Donuts

Timpson Kolaches & Donuts Menu in Timpson, Texas
Kolaches & Donuts in Timpson, Texas

We broke so hard to make the turn when we saw a kolaches and donuts (673 N 1st St, Timpson, TX) sign. They were out of almost all the donuts, so we went with the glazed.

The lady at the drive-in window behaved somewhat erratically. First, Fred asked for a donut; then she’d shut the window to get them, then ask, what else? She repeated this technique for everything we ordered.

Bobas were also promoted on the backside of the building, and Marcela was shut down when she asked for one. The “girl who makes the Bobas” had already gone home for the day.

Cup of Coffee Timpson Kolaches & Donuts in Timpson, Texas
Cup of Coffee
Glazed Donut from Timpson Kolaches & Donuts in Timpson, Texas
Glazed Donut

Houston, Texas

Karma Kolache & Dessert

Karma Kolache & Dessert  Sticker from Houston, Texas
Sticker from the Karma Kolache & Dessert

Karma Kolache & Dessert (12647 Tomball Parkway, Houston, TX) does a bunch of kolaches and donuts; sign me up! The old-fashioned buttermilk was the big donut winner as far as I was concerned.

Glazed Donut from Karma Kolache & Dessert from Houston, Texas
Glazed Donut
Kronut from Karma Kolache & Dessert from Houston, Texas
Kronut
Old Fashioned Buttermilk Donut from Karma Kolache & Dessert from Houston, Texas
Old Fashioned Buttermilk Donut

Pensacola, Florida

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Neon Sign in Pensacola, Florida
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Neon Sign

It was getting late; the Krispy Kreme at 980 N 9th Ave in Pensacola had a beautiful vintage sign and the Hot Now sign was lit. It was a sign from the nighttime snacking gods.

We ordered half a dozen of those puppies, and luckily they left the last two beauties for me.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Hot Now Sign in Pensacola, Florida
Hot Now Sign
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Two Glazed
Two Doughnuts Left

KOLACHES

Daytona Beach, Florida

Buc-ees

Buc-ee's in Daytona Beach, Florida
Buc-ee’s in Daytona Beach, Florida

There’s an entire post forthcoming about Buc-ee’s, the mega convenience and gas shop. In the meantime, let’s focus on their kolaches.

We stopped at two Buc-ee’s, one in Florida (2330 Gateway North Drive Daytona Beach) at the start of the tour and the other Texas (4080 East Freeway Baytown) on our way home. The jalapeño cheese kolache took a concise route from the shopping cart to my stomach on both occasions.

Buc-ee’s version has a sausage link with pieces of jalapeño rolled in American cheese inside sweet bread. While I fumbled to add the following address to my phone, it was the perfect snack.

Jalapeño & Cheese Kolache from Buc-ee's in Daytona Beach, Florida
Jalapeño & Cheese Kolache
Jalapeño & Cheese Kolache Beauty Shot from Buc-ee's in Daytona Beach, Florida
Kolache Beauty Shot

Memphis, Tennessee

Howard’s Donuts

Howard's Donuts in Memphis, Tennessee
Howard’s Donuts in Memphis, Tennessee

The cheese kolache from Howard’s Donuts was good but nothing particularly memorable.

Kolache from Howard's Donuts in Memphis, Tennessee
Kolache

Ruston, Louisiana

In-N-Out Donuts

In-N-Out Donuts Drive-Thru Window in Ruston, Louisiana
Drive-Thru Window from In-N-Out Donuts

At In-N-Out Donuts (802 W California Ave, Ruston, LA), we realized the power of the spicy boudin kolache. It was freakin’ incredible, and we need more, but we are already on our way to Houston.

Chunktronics and I were so excited over the boudin kolache that we were ready to pull over if any sign on the current road trip sign mentioned a kolache.

Kolache with Cheese from In-N-Out Donuts in Ruston, Louisiana
Kolache with Cheese
Spicy Bodain Kolache from In-N-Out Donuts in Ruston, Louisiana
Spicy Boudin Kolache

Timpson, Texas

Timpson Kolaches & Donuts

Timpson Kolaches & Donuts in Timpson, Texas
Kolaches & Donuts in Timpson, Texas

Roughly two hours after leaving In-N-Out Donut, we come across a kolaches and donuts (673 N 1st St, Timpson, TX) sign. Unfortunately, they were out of donuts, but cheese kolaches were available.

It was a no go on the boudin kolache, but the cheese kolache hit the spot.

Cheese Kolache from Timpson Kolaches & Donuts in Timpson, Texas
Cheese Kolache
Cheese Kolache Beauty Shot from Timpson Kolaches & Donuts in Timpson, Texas
Cheese Kolache Beauty Shot

Humble, Texas

Shipley Do-Nuts

Shipley Do-nuts in Humble, Texas
Shipley Do-nuts in Humble, Texas

And speaking of cheese kolaches, Shipley Do-nuts (15135 Old Humble Rd, Humble, TX) had the best sausage kolache we ate all trip. This was a straight drive-thru visit for a kolache and a coffee. We got the kolache fever!

I enjoyed Shipley’s cheese kolache so much that I returned a few mornings later to repeat the same order. The only problem was the coffee was horribly burnt both times.

No donuts were harmed at Shipley’s because we didn’t eat any.

The following morning we found a kolache factory.

Drive-Thru Menu from Shipley Do-nuts in Houston, Texas
Drive-Thru Menu
Coffee Cup from Shipley Do-nuts in Houston, Texas
Coffee Cup
Cheese Kolache from Shipley Do-nuts in Houston, Texas
Cheese Kolache
Cheese Kolache Beauty Shot from Shipley Do-nuts in Houston, Texas
Cheese Kolache Beauty Shot

Houston, Texas

Kolache Factory

Kolache Factory in Houston, Texas
Kolache Factory in Houston, Texas

A Kolache Factory? Yup, it really exists.

The selection was overwhelming as you can see below from the three displays. Chunktronics and I pick three kolaches each and throw in cream cheese for good measure.

Left Display Case from Kolache Factory in Houston, Texas
Left Display Case
Middle Display Case from Kolache Factory in Houston, Texas
Middle Display Case
Right Display Case from Kolache Factory in Houston, Texas
Right Display Case
Our Kolache Order from Kolache Factory in Houston, Texas
Our Kolache Order

The cream spinach was his idea and I never tried it, nor was there any interest from this guy. On the flip side, the cream cheese is great and not as sweet as I expected.

Also on deck were a potato egg cheese, sausage jalapeño cheese, sausage egg cheese, huevos rancheros, pepperoni pizza, and a pimento cheese kolache. Meanwhile, Chunktronics concentrated his energies on the breakfast kolaches.

I was so enamored with the pimento cheese that I’m pretty sure I never offered him a bite. But it serves him right for ordering that cream spinach when he knew I wanted no part of it.

Cream Cheese Kolache from Kolache Factory in Houston, Texas
Cream Cheese Kolache
Breakfast Potato from Kolache Factory in Houston, Texas
Potato Egg & Cheese Kolache
Cheese Kolache from Kolache Factory in Houston, Texas
Sausage, Jalapeño & Cheese Kolache
Cheese Kolache Beauty Shot from Kolache Factory in Houston, TexasKolache Factory in Houston, Texas
Sausage Jalapeño & Cheese Kolache Beauty Shot
Breakfast Sausage Kolache from Kolache Factory in Houston, Texas
Sausage, Egg & Cheese Kolache
Huevos Rancheros Kolache from Kolache Factory in Houston, Texas
Huevos Rancheros Kolache
Pepperoni Cheese Kolache form Kolache Factory in Houston, Texas
Pepperoni Cheese Kolache
Pimento Cheese Kolache from Kolache Factory in Houston, Texas
Pimento Cheese Kolache

Karma Kolache & Dessert

Karma Kolache & Dessert  Sticker from Houston, Texas
Karma Kolache & Dessert Sticker

We stayed in on our final afternoon in Houston. While scrolling through one of the delivery apps, I came across Karma Kolache & Dessert. They’re a kolache AND donut concept, genius!

We tried the cheeseburger, ham cheese, pepperoni pizza, smoked brisket, smoked sausage, and sausage cheese kolaches. There wasn’t a bad one in the bunch, but I go with the ham and cheese as the best one.

The simplicity of a rolled slice of ham with American cheese inside of the sweet bread was a winning combo. A very close second was the smoked brisket since I’m partial to brisket sandos.

Our Order from Karma Kolache & Dessert from Houston, Texas
Our Order
Cheeseburger Kolache from Karma Kolache & Dessert from Houston, Texas
Cheeseburger Kolache
Ham & Cheese Kolache from Karma Kolache & Dessert from Houston, Texas
Ham & Cheese Kolache
Pepperoni Pizza Kolache from Karma Kolache & Dessert from Houston, Texas
Pepperoni Pizza Kolache
Smoked Brisket Kolache from Karma Kolache & Dessert from Houston, Texas
Smoked Brisket Kolache
Smoked Sausage Kolache from Karma Kolache & Dessert from Houston, Texas
Smoked Sausage Kolache
Sausage Cheese Kolache from Karma Kolache & Dessert from Houston, Texas
Sausage Cheese Kolache

My only real negative takeaway from all of the kolaches I ate in different states…what..no dipping sauce?


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