Last Friday, my Valentine gave me a great gift. He took the morning off so that we could be tourists in our own town and walk the streets together on a Chef’s Kitchen Tour with Culinary Tours of Charleston. I honestly have only just stopped squealing every time I talk about it not just because the tour itself was a great way for us to see the “behind-the-scenes” of some of our recent favorites in town and to meet some of the chefs, but also because the hubby and I got to engage in some restaurant espionage and figure out where we’ll be heading next.
Up first on our tour was Glazed, a local doughnut shop that we frequent on weekends when we’re feeling especially indulgent and up to the task of dealing with a toddler on a raging sugar high. All of Glazed’s doughnuts are made by hand with fresh ingredients (not from a mix), and the shop owner’s mom wakes up at 2:45 am every morning to help the bakers out with baking all of the day’s supply. The flavors are constantly rotating (the shop’s daily Facebook posts list each day’s roster). It was great to learn about the trials and tribulations of baking delicious doughnuts and of running a small, successful business. Because I’m like, the most risk averse person I know, the idea of taking a huge leap of faith required to start a business is kind of terrifying to me, so it’s really nice to see a young upstarter realize her dream.
Clockwise, from top: sweet potato and pecan donut; the famous raspberry glazed, and a rosemary scented honey bun
God, and where do I start with how good these doughnuts are? Lots of major publications in America have recognized these doughnuts as winners. These doughnuts are so good that they make me feel kind of bad about myself, because every time I’m there I can’t just eat one. My absolute favorites are the raspberry glazed, which is made with fresh raspberry puree (and it’s basically ruined me to all raspberry glazes) and the Purple Goat, which is a goat cheese filled doughnut with a lavendar glaze. Glazed also understands that with great doughnuts must come great coffee, and I’ve never had a bad cup there.
One thing to note about Glazed’s successful business model is that the shop closes each day whenever it runs out of doughnuts, so on particularly busy days, the shop could close as early as mid-morning. The owner originally concocted this plan for logistical reasons (it takes a certain amount of time to allow the yeast to rise, which limits their ability to produce doughnuts consistently throughout the day), but I think it gives the doughnuts a certain exclusivity to them. I can only imagine the sad faces of hungover college kids with their faces pressed against the window at 11:00 am while casting resentful side glances towards the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry around the corner, knowing that inside are hordes of toddlers with sugar caked on their faces, feverishly burning off the day’s supply.
Actually, if I were back in college, that is probably exactly how I’d be.