donut throwdown

This amazing thing happened at YALLWEST. I mean, tons of amazing things happened at YALLWEST. That’s how the YALLs roll. But this amazing thing involves donuts.

When I got to my hotel in Santa Monica, I immediately bonded with the guy who checked me in. You know how sometimes you meet someone and you just click? That was me and Josh. A bunch of authors were staying at this hotel, so we were talking about the festival and Josh asked me what kinds of books I write. His eyes lit up when I told him that I write contemporary, realistic love stories. He said he loves those kinds of books. When he said he loves romance trilogies in particular, of course I gave him an extra ARC of Lost in Love I’d brought with me. He was stoked.

“I feel like I’m always lost in love,” Josh said.

Then I asked him about vegetarian restaurants nearby. We were talking about good places in Venice for green juice when I mentioned that my birthday was coming up that Sunday. I had already researched potential cake places and found a nearby donut place that looked good called DK’s Donuts.

“Shut the front door,” Josh said.

Josh called out two guys from the back who work with him. He explained that every Monday is Doughnut Monday, where they order late night donuts and kick back to get their sugar rush on. The three of them and one other girl even have an official Doughnut Club. For reals. And this guy Josh works with, Rigo, is all about the DK’s. He was mad gassed that some girl from New York City shows up in Santa Monica and even she knows DK’s.

“It was obviously the superior choice,” I said.

Or was it? Because Josh is a Donut King lova and thinks those are the best. You could tell this was a hot debate in their Doughnut Club. Rigo was taunting Josh how DK’s was getting bicoastal attention. But Josh stood by his Donut King loyalty. So Josh and Rigo made an executive decision to order donuts from both places and have me do a taste test in the lobby on my birthday after the festival events were over.

The DK’s Donuts vs. Donut King Throwdown was on.

When I showed up for the donut throwdown, I was super impressed.

Donut King and DK's Donuts, Santa Monica

Rigo had arranged donuts from both places so I couldn’t tell which came from where. I was psyched to see that some of my classic faves – rainbow sprinkle, twist, coconut – were represented. So it was Josh, Rigo, two other Doughnut Club members and their manager, all gathered with me to celebrate donut excellence.

We cut pieces for everyone. Rigo and Josh watched my face carefully as the donuts were sampled one by one. I didn’t want to know which donuts were winning, so I tried not to look at their reactions because these guys were not even trying for poker faces. This was a hardcore throwdown of epic proportions and every bite was crucial.

I gave my feedback after each sampling. The rainbow sprinkles one was adorable, but a bit on the dry side. The twist was fluffy and delicious. The bomb maple log was a fan favorite. And so on…until only two remained.

Glazed vs. Glazed

Oh yeah. It was down to Glazed vs. Glazed for the win.

The winner? Donut King! Josh was ecstatic. Ringo was all “In your FACE” when I showed up raving about DK’s and now he had to deal with his beloved bakery being bested.

As if I already wasn’t hoping to be at YALLWEST again next year, the prospect of Donut Throwdown 2 makes everything even sweeter. We have agreed to take it up a notch with more complex flavors next time. I can’t wait.

Donut Throwdown party people

Oh, and PS? I just want to say how much I freaking love people. These friendly neighbors got together to include me in a special birthday treat over our mutual love of donuts. How incredible are they? Just one more amazing thing to add to the list…

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