Friday, November 12, 2010

Laurel Tavern Donuts in Laurel

The flavor in a donut comes from sugar and oil, but the magic comes from making fried food that tastes light.

The donuts at Laurel Tavern Donuts comes out soft and puffy, topped with the simplest cinnamon or frosting and easily the best part of a cold morning.  Even the cake donuts are light.  They have a sweet crust that supports the strawberry frosting, then gives way to airy cake inside.

If Laurel Tavern Donuts were owned by some 21-year-old college grads, it would have a marketing story about old-fashioned technique and artisan donuts.  They'd hit up a local farm for some berries, and they'd push a tale of locally-grown produce to get some of the love that food writers have blindly lavished on cupcakes and lawyers who quit to make food.

But this is Laurel.  The "tavern" sits on U.S.1, and its immigrant owners offer coffee and a dozen variations on fried dough.  You should go for a donut worth the calories.  Sweet, slightly oily, but still light enough to make Dunkin Donuts taste leaden and tired.  Check out the donut holes as well.

The Laurel Tavern is in the former location of the Little Tavern chain.  They also serve up breakfast sandwiches and mini-burgers along the lines of the Little Tavern speciality.  I haven't tried those yet.

Laurel Tavern Donuts
115 Washington Boulevard (U.S. 1)
Laurel, MD 20707

NEAR:  The donut shop is on the south-bound side of U.S. 1 where it separates in downtown Laurel.  It is a few stores south of the light at Main Street.  Look for a converted Little Tavern -- and thus a tiny white building with green trim -- on the right side of the road.

Laurel Tavern Donuts on Urbanspoon


Sarah said...

Darn! I was just down in Laurel today! (At Super Grandmart per your recommendation... what a lovely place.)

Alex said...

I've heard that the mini-burgers were brought back after the donut shop opened because people kept wandering in asking for them. I've yet to try either, but I hear they're pretty tasty.

John in HoCo said...

Once again, reading this blog has me heading to a new place. I used to go to the Little Tavern a few times a year with coworkers, and now I plan on taking my kids tomorrow for donuts. If they serve the Little Tavern burgers for breakfast, all the better!

HowChow said...

@John -- How were the donuts? You're right that the donuts are perfect for kids. A great little morning excusion.

John in HoCo said...

The kids loved the donuts. They both had strawberry glazed, while I had a donut twist with chocolate glaze. I also ordered 6 mini burgers to go. While they were good, they did quite measure up to the old Little Tavern burgers. It's probably due to the old flattop being replaced with a new one.....years of seasoning lost.

chris said...

I may have to give this place another try. Hubby and I went after seeing it re-open, and we got burgers and donuts. Neither of which were very good. The burgers were merely microwaved and the donuts were okay, but not great.

dzoey said...

I tried this place a couple of years ago when they had just opened, out of nostalgia for Little Tavern. The donuts were decent and worth stopping for - I had a glazed donut and a custard filled.

I also tried the hamburgers and they were OK, but not as good as my memory of Little Tavern. I'd rate them better than White Castle though. They were fresh when I tried them. I might grab another one if I were stopping for donuts.

Holly said...

I've been curious about the Little Tavern donuts for some time. Anyone know if these donuts are made from scratch on the premises?

Barbi said...

Stopped by this last Sunday for doughnuts. My daughter enjoyed the frosting with sprinkles and I went for the Strawberry filled. Both were good, but the cinnamon sugar that we took home was better. Looks like they are certainly making these fresh onsite. It is one of those "hole-in-the-walls" that you would normally pass right by, but turns out to be a really good stop. It is also nice supporting a local, non-chain business. After our doughnuts we headed down to the Super Grand in Laurel. I have been shopping the H Mart in Catonsville for years and after our visit to the Super Grand I will continue to go to Catonsville. The place stunk...thanks to the fish. The produce was ok, but you had to sort through for the fresh stuff. The rest of the store was poorly stocked and dirty. Dirty floors, dirty shelves, etc. They may have more room and a larger selection of ethnic foods, but is it really worth the trip? I don't think so.