Thursday, January 12, 2017

Go for the beaches, but stop for a heavenly donut

Most people visit Destin, Florida, for the startling white sandy beaches and breathtaking emerald waters. That's why we were there this past weekend, heading to the Florida Panhandle for a winter stroll at the Gulf water's edge. The problem was, a cold front had blown in and temperatures plunged into the 20s with a strong wind blowing from the north. We did brave the beach — had to walk on that sand created from quartz traveling down from the Smokies and listen to its unique squeaking sound — but we barely made 10 minutes before rushing inside.

Our tourism friends mentioned The Donut Hole, a popular spot on Harbor Boulevard that commands lines outside the door. We were told these donuts are something special, light and fluffy but oh so sweet. The Angel Donut was our friends' favorite and they couldn't stop describing its deliciousness. People come in and buy whole trays of them, they claimed.

So on the way back to our resort from dinner, we just had to stop at The Donut Hole Bakery Cafe. It was late so no Angel Donuts, much to our dismay. But a few others lined the shelves so we sampled the chocolate donut with a chocolate glaze and a regular cake donut that's akin to a glazed. We ordered our treats beneath a watching rooster (photo at left, and no, not a real one), then hauled our treats back to the hotel where we indulged.

The Donut Hole Bakery Cafe serves up breakfast that we've heard is to die for, as well as bakes up cakes, pies and other bakery treats. It's open for lunch and dinner too, but after hearing about those Angel Donuts and breakfast dishes, I would recommend saving this spot for the morning.

Cheré Dastugue Coen is a food and travel writer living in South Louisiana who never says no to something sweet. She is the author of several Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire and the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at

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