Union Square Donuts! …Eventually.


The quest began on August 4th, 2014.  This was, you may remember, the day after my NYC trip where Peter and I trekked to Doughnut Plant and had the best donut (coconut lime) I have ever experienced.

Who am I kidding, even I didn’t remember the date of that.

Point is, we began discussing donuts that Monday at work, and I discovered Union Square Donuts for the first time.  Their website has pictures of the most beautiful donuts, stacked precariously and artistically, displaying flavors like “sea-salted caramel bourbon” and “maple bacon” to tempt people like me who have a weird fascination with weirdly-flavored things.  Or normal people who just like good donuts.  Whatever.

It was not until October 5th (still 2014) that I was able to try one of Union Square Donut’s masterpieces.  That’s a lie–I got to try the strawberry one at work that Friday but since I don’t like strawberry flavored things anyways and it was like a single bite off of someone else’s, I don’t think it counts.  So anyways, that Monday (August 4th) I made plans with several coworkers to go to the business’s pop-up in Kendall Square (where I work), which is way more convenient than going all the way to Somerville for a donut (particularly because, as I would learn later, public transit kind of lets you down around there).  And on the morning that we were thinking about going, someone in the office decided to treat us all to a box of them for free!  Which was great!  Except that they only had coconut and strawberry left at the store, and by the time I decided to try one there weren’t any coconut left, so I just had a bite of strawberry.  Doesn’t count.

The next Friday morning we had a department lab meeting.

The following Friday morning we forgot.

And so it wasn’t until last weekend that I decided we should actually go to Somerville to get these donuts.  And we did.  Or at least, we tried.  It wasn’t going to be that easy, right?

There was a “Fluff Festival” going on in Union Square that Sunday, so I convinced a few friends to journey with me by train, bus, and foot, in order to get across Boston and Cambridge.  Unfortunately, by the time my training on campus had finished and I had hung out at the Jazz Festival that was happening on Columbus (where I live) and we caught the orange line and the bus transfer at Sullivan and got dropped off in the middle of nowhere because buses can’t go on their normal routes during festivals such as these, Union Square Donuts had run out of donuts.  Heartbreaking.

We did manage to get a pumpkin waffle topped with caramel and bananas with a dollop of marshmallow fluff to eat away our sorrows, but the donuts still didn’t happen.

2014-09-27 17.59.09

The guys at the closing Union Square Donuts tent mentioned that their tent at SoWa market every Sunday would have the flavors we wanted, and I suddenly remembered the glory that is SoWa and made the executive decision that we (or I, really) would walk to SoWa the next weekend and finally try these sugary discs of art.

I’ve written about SoWa before, but I’ve never been able to capture the full awesomeness of the market.  In the voice of Stefon–it has everything, from newspaper flower bouquets to windows filled with beautiful glass panes and plants in spheres hanging from threads.  But actually, I am never disappointed with a visit to SoWa, despite the fact that I honestly can’t afford anything there but somehow realize an innate need for all of it every time.

If you didn’t catch the Stefon reference, please go watch Saturday Night Live reruns, especially this one or this one.  And then direct yourself to this site to get me a Stefon matryoshka doll to demonstrate your eternal appreciation.

Where was I?

Ah yes, so Leanne, Charlie, and I stroll through our beautiful city, appreciating the crisp autumn air and South End vibe until we reach the market, where we quickly get in line for the long-awaited Union Square donut.  I have to say, it didn’t disappoint.  I bought their maple bacon donut for $3.50 and ate it on the spot.  Leanne got a vanilla bean donut (and later a coffee from her favorite place, Black Magic Coffee Co) while Charlie purchased a bunch of donut holes.  The journey was complete!

Today, October 5th, 2014, is a momentous day.  It is the both the day that I tried my first (besides the strawberry) Union Square donut, and it is the day that I have (hopefully) planted the idea that you NEED to have one of these donuts so that, eventually, you make your own pilgrimage to this sugary site of dough.  It should happen.  Enjoy!

Now I just have to try the sea-salted bourbon caramel…

*Disclaimer: I watched Stefon’s SNL farewell multiple times–and cried–before sharing that link.  Watch it.  :’)


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