Thanksgiving is a time for lots of food and gratitude. In our home, it is also a time to celebrate birthdays. Our family (thanks to my sister and her family) has a very popular birthday tradition. The doughnut. Yes, I admit it. We get doughnuts early in the morning (while they are yummy and fresh) put a candle on top, and wake the sleeping birthday honoree with the “happy birthday song” and a yummy warm donut aglow. There is nothing like the sweetness of a glazed doughnut pumping through a 9 year olds blood to get them going first thing in the morning. It’s akin to a triple espresso.
In Southern Marin, it has been a challenge to find doughnuts, much less good ones. It’s troubling that on the East Coast, one can find a Dunkin Donut on every street corner, but in Marin -- you fear saying the word "doughnut" out loud! We Marinites are very “health” conscious and exercise driven. You rarely find someone willing to say they went for a long trail run, and then ate a doughnut. But, I’ll admit it – I love a good doughnut on occasion – especially on a birthday!
Finding that doughnut is not as easy as it should be in Southern Marin. Of course you can go to the grocery store – but that’s not the same as getting them right where they are made! In Sausalito, Peter Pan Donuts is closed shop. So now, the one and only Southern Marin doughnut place is: Donut Alley in Larkspur, our family favorite. We have been going to this spot for years and didn’t realize how special it was until I started looking for another doughnut place for the days Donut Alley is closed. Really, you can’t help it if your birthday falls on a day that Donut Alley is closed! This is a serious issue in our home! It now means a drive to San Rafael, not quite the end of the world, but Donut Alley rocks in our family, so it's just not the same!
Donut Alley is tucked away in a little parking area off of Magnolia. It is really quite special. The fryer is right there – so it is often possible that the doughnut is still warm; the glaze still melting. They are the perfect amount of fluffy and delicious. For a memorable treat – or on a birthday, you call ahead and order the giant glazed doughnut. This is the way to go for a special occasion! The giant donut is amazing and why everyone wants to wake up at “home” on his or her birthday! We love tradition – and this is our family favorite! Thank you Donut Alley!
I recently read an article in 7x7 magazine about the glazed doughnut, and while I’m not a food critic - I think Donut Alley could race Happy Donuts for the best glazed any day! Truth be told, I think doughnuts are hip! Okay, so that’s just my humble opinion!
When you make it to Donut Alley, tell them we’ll see them soon – on the next birthday!