As a small child in the early 1960s I used to walk to Stan's Donuts, crossing Homestead Road after attending catechism at St. Justin's Church on Saturday mornings. My mom would give me $2 for a dozen donuts, which I would carry the 1 mile, very carefully, all the way down Homestead Road, the change stuffed into my pocket.
I no longer live in California, but every year when I fly back to visit family, I stop in at Stan's. Last month's trip for donuts was as amazing as it is every year. I had no idea how good I had it when I could get a Stan's Donut whenever I wanted. How do they do it? Their jelly filled is like no other. Large and flaky, slightly crisp on the outside (it's a texture, mouth appeal thing--I haven't found anything close anywhere around the United States), soft and cloudlike on the inside, with just the right amount of red jelly, and copious amounts of mouth-watering powdered sugar that coats the front of your shirt with tell-tale white puffs--the way a jelly donut should. All the other donuts and bars, in all the usual classic variety, are just as memorable.
Stan's is known as a greasy spoon kind of place. One long old counter. Dreary walls. A big deep fryer, a cash register, glaze-drippy donut racks out front and a very focused donut maker in the window wielding huge wads of cream-colored dough. Need I say more? It's been the same for decades. I hope it never changes. Stan's donuts are just that good.
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