There are donuts. And then there are donuts from Roche Harbor Resort’s Lime Kiln Café.
Plucked from the Donut Robot Mark II, these cake-like babies are moist, with a toothsome bite you can really sink into. Coated with sugar. Dipped in chocolate. Naked as the moment they came out of the fryer. It doesn’t really matter how you get your hands on these donuts, as long as you get one before the café runs out.
And run out they do, especially on the Fourth of July. Even with the industrial-size mixer and donut machine working non-stop before the small café even opens, they’re nearly always behind. Together, these two workhorses pump out an impressive 37 dozen donuts an hour. It’s not enough.
“We can’t keep up. Especially on the Fourth, the line will stretch all the way around the building,” said Lime Kiln Café Manager, Megan Marquette.
However, the Fourth of July is a rare occurrence. Between the donut-eating contest and the completely sold-out resort, there’s a lot of demand. On a regular day, you’re more likely to wait only few minutes for your choice of plain, chocolate, vanilla, maple, sprinkles or cinnamon and sugar.
During the summer months, they also feature the “Flavor of the Day,” such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch. “It tastes a lot like a churro,” explained Megan.
What’s Megan’s favorite? Salted caramel. “We’ve started experimenting with different flavor toppings and that one just gets me every time,” she said.
The donut machine is tucked at the edge of the kitchen, just beyond the cash register. A large dispenser plops round donuts out of a ring mold into the perfectly heated hot oil conveyor belt bath. The machine fries, flips and scoops the donuts until they are bronze. It then carefully lifts them out on a wire rack and drops them onto a lined cookie sheet. Megan arranges the donuts in neat little rows to cool. (Or to be eaten immediately. Whatever’s your pleasure.)
Donuts can certainly be eaten as a side at breakfast. But with the café’s platter-size portions, it’s hard to find room. Those in the know often stop by for their pre-breakfast coffee and indulge in a bit of a nibble. Or, they make the return trip for a mid-morning snack. For our part, we often opt for the to-go mode, picking up a donut (aka a dozen) for the flight back home.