Sarasota County Eats Donuts
How do you prefer your donut? Are you the glazed twist with a side of piping hot coffee type? Or, is diving into a Bavarian crème filled chocolate covered concoction a better match for your enjoyable Saturday morning?
There are so many types of donuts, sans filling or cake-like in texture versus an apple fritter or cinnamon roll – – there really is no wrong decision when it comes to looking at the dessert case and scoping out that perfect representation of what you want your donut to be.
When I was a toddler, I loved to go to a place called “Dawn Donuts” in Saginaw, MI. I can still hear my dad recount what was obviously a favorite story of his, in which I would stand on the bench seat next to him in the car (pre seatbelt law days) and say, “We going to Dawn Donuts today?” Supposedly if the answer was favorable, I would smile, and all would be good. But, if a donut was not on the horizon, I would scoot to the other side of the vehicle. I am unsure if I remember that happening or just my dad always talking about it. But I so clearly remember the cake donut with fudge frosting and freezing cold chocolate milk that was my standing order.
A couple of years later and we moved to a tiny town on Lake Huron which did not have too many offerings as far as restaurants, stores, and the like. But what they did have was a fantastic bakery with the absolute best donuts I have ever tasted. Lutz’s Bakery and Restaurant became the place we took everyone for those amazing donuts. My favorite was a “long john,” which was the biggest chocolate donut they offered so I figured I should try it. I was hooked, and so looked forward to the weekends when I would see a white box of sugary wonderfulness sitting on the table.
It was not until I was well into my thirties that I found a suitable replacement for Lutz’s when we moved to North Port and discovered Abbe’s Donuts. I would drive by this empty little strip mall at the edge of town and wonder why people had lined up outside. Then I saw the sign, “Donuts!” It was love at first bite for me and my family. On any given weekend you can find the same locals sitting and discussing everything from politics to religion to other people standing in the line. It is small-town Americana at its early morning finest. From crullers to lemon curd filled to seasonal favorites like red velvet and pumpkin – -their donuts are fresh and always delicious, the loving byproduct of decades old recipes. They are open every day from 5 AM to 3 PM, but the donuts will sell out before they lock the doors at 3. Do not bother coming in on Monday, even bakers need a day off! The North Port Abbe’s is at 13625 Tamiami Trail. For more information, please visit their FB page here.
Abbe’s Donuts has been serving Sarasota County for the past 40 years in a couple of different areas. The North Port location was opened in the 1980’s by Art and Valerie Duncan, whose mantra “Every bite is a delight” still stands today. There is not a Sunday that the line does not run out into the parking lot, so it is clear they have been successful. When Valerie passed away in 2016, the bakery underwent a couple of management changes but is now being run by Valerie’s son and daughter-in-law. Two other locations are independently owned and operated, Abbe’s Donut Nook at 119 S. Indiana Ave in Englewood and Abbe’s Donut Nook at 2150 Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte. All locations serve those amazing donuts we have come to love.
Until Abbe’s makes a presence in Sarasota, residents remain loyal to Five–O Donut Co. This quirky bakery serves up tantalizing “cakes” with curious names to match. S’moreos and a Butterfinger yeast ring are just some of the cool choices you can make at Five-O. My absolute favorite is the coconut cream pie filled donut. This pairing is too good to be true for me. Open weekdays 7AM until they sell out, and weekends 8 AM until they sell out, means one absolute: They will run out of donuts, so get down to their 2241 Ringling Boulevard location in the morning, first thing! For more information on Five-O Donut Co., please visit their FB page here.
All photos courtesy of Abbe’s Donuts Facebook page.