As I was driving home from yoga class Sunday, I nearly caused a wreck.
My head whipped to the side as I drove past a newly-erected brick building, part of a new development a mile from my apartment in Atlanta. The pink and orange lettering spoke to my soul: DUNKIN' DONUTS COMING SOON.
Why did I nearly risk life and limb for a second look? Because I spent nearly six long years in the Dunkin' desert that is South Carolina.
When I worked on upper King Street and lived in Cannonborough, I had two unnecessarily difficult options to satisfy my craving for a pillowy, slightly coffee-scented doughnut: Haul ass over the James Island Connector and hope it didn't take long enough for anyone to notice I'd disappeared in the middle of the day, or fight off tourists and spend a lunch break's worth of time finding parking for the now-closed Dunkin' that was near the corner of Meeting and Market streets. Now that the sole peninsular Dunkin' has closed, you better pray that Glazed hasn't closed for the day by the time your doughnut craving hits.
As a student at the University of South Carolina, I literally had to cross a river to get a vanilla kreme doughnut and a medium black cold brew. It took 20 minutes to drive from my crappy apartment on the west side of Greenville to the sole Dunkin' within city limits, on Laurens Road.
Related Why Krispy Kreme, the South's doughnut chain, beats Dunkin' every time: I Dream of Krispy Kreme
Why am I making such a stink about how difficult it is to get to a Dunkin' Donuts in South Carolina? Why not just go to the nearest Krispy Kreme, or, even easier, pick up a box of Krispy Kremes from the nearest Publix?
The answer, dear reader, may get me forcibly removed from the South back to my Yankee roots, but I don't care: Dunkin' Donuts is better than Krispy Kreme.
While I did grow up in New York, my youth was not devoid of Krispy Kreme. When we visited my grandparents each year in Surfside Beach, the lighter-than-air, sugar-laquered pastries were special treats, given only if we behaved and the HOT light was on.
They were exciting, foreign, and delicious. But after the sugar rush wore off, my hands were sticky and my stomach felt sour from the overwhelming sweetness.
Dunkin' Donuts' eponymous treat is just the right level of sweet, delighting taste buds without making the backs of my teeth ache. While slightly denser than a Krispy Kreme doughnut, the yeast doughnuts are still light and airy (Dunkin' also sells cake doughnuts, but those are trash).
At Krispy Kreme, you're going for the glazed doughnut. If you want it chocolate frosted, that frosting will be carefully painted atop the glaze. Boston Kreme doughnuts will be encased in a sugar shell and there will not be one speck of powdered sugar to be seen on your jelly doughnut.
The variety of Dunkin' Donuts is vastly superior. Instead of having a dozen variations on a glazed doughnut, you can get yours glazed, frosted, or powdered. Instead of a dozen identical pastries shining at you like round naked newborns, your doughnut box will be filled with a rainbow of bright colors and array of textures.
Instead of an indiscriminate sugarbomb, Dunkin' gives a hint of subtlety. Instead of sticking to one gimmick, Dunkin' has an array of delicious options.
South Carolina needs more Dunkin' Donuts locations so the rest of y'all can see the light.