Every now and then, I'll overhear (accidentally, of course!) a great food tip while I'm eating at a place I love. One day, I'm lulled into a happy trance by the phenomenal nem nuong cuon at Dat Thanh when my ears perk up. One of the owners is raving about a donut shop he's enamored with. Any man who obsesses over food as good as his ought to be listened to like E.F. Hutton [insert old people wisecrack here].
That shop? Anaheim's M & M Donuts, known for their blueberry donuts.
It's a basic cake donut with that artificial blueberry flavor and aroma, probably made from the exact same commercial mix that every independent donut shop in Southern California buys from the Cambodian donut cartel that runs the guild here.
The same dry mix in the wrong hands turns into either a mushy mess, or a bone-dry dough clod you can't choke down without a quart of cold milk.Is it too much to ask from a donut-maker that does this every day to get these details right?
M & M threads their batter through the needle-eye of perfect moistness: dry enough that the coarse edges of the crust fry up nice and crunchy yet mixed delicately enough so the crumb stays tender and moist as moss on the north side of a Michigan blueberry farm.
A simple glaze sugars up the outside enough to make your endodontist debt-free, and the purple splotches of artificial color give you false hope that the too-potent-to-be-real flavor of blueberry might be from actual fruit. Some foods are best made the good old-fashioned, American way: with artificial, over-processed everything and a deft touch at the Fry-o-lator.
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M & M Donuts. 1614 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 490-0718.
The list so far this time around:
No. 58: Tempura Fried Poached Egg at Break of Dawn
No. 59: Mulitas from Tacos Y Mulitas Ruben Truck
No. 60: Pho Ga from Pho Quang Trung
No. 61: Panuchos from Conde Cakes
No. 62: Sandwich and Egg Cream from Benjie's
No. 63: Margherita from TJ's Woodfire Pizza
No. 64: Macaroon at Disneyland
No. 65: The Sputnik at Rick's Atomic Cafe
No. 66: Corn Dog from Disney California Adventure's Corn Dog Palace
No. 67: Bacon Fried Rice at The Loft Hawaiian
No. 68: Charcuterie and Cheese at SideDoor
No. 69: Burger (With Duck Confit) at Watermarc
No. 70: Korokke Pan at Cream Pan
No. 71: Chorizo and Quail Egg on Toast at Sol del Sur
No. 72: Fried Brussels Sprouts at 320 Main
No. 73: G-Style Fries at G Burger
No. 74: Fried Cuttlefish at Benley
No. 75: Roti at Bangok Taste
No. 76: Wet Burrito at 301 Cafe
No. 77: Pork Curry at Miyabi-Tei
No. 78: Bánh Tieu at Bánh Mì So 1
No. 79: Any Sandwich at the Crosby
No. 80: Fish Pho at Pho Vinh Ky II
No. 81: Quesadilla Chilanga at Alebrije's Grill
No. 82: Lobster Roll at Lobsta Truck
No. 83: Nem Nuong Cuon at Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
No. 84: Wild Boar Balinese Sausage at Valhalla Table
No. 85: Comida Corrida at Taquería La Raza
No. 86: Breakfast Burrito at Troy's Drive-In
No. 87: Mandoo at L&M Liquor and Deli
No. 88: Chicago Dog at Chicago Harv's
No. 89: Sweet Potato Tater Tots at Pee Wee's Famous
No. 90: Kaya-Stuffed French Toast at Chomp Chomp
No. 91: Egg Breakfast at Rick's Atomic Kitchen
No. 92: Sticky Rice With Chicken at Quan Hy
No. 93: Beef Koobideh at Hen House Grill
No. 94: $5 Fish Bento at Bentoss
No. 95: Milanesa Sandwich at Piaggio's Gourmet on Wheels
No. 96: Samurai Burrito at Wafu of Japan
No. 97: Carnitas Gordita at Bodega R Ranch Market
No. 98: Spam Musubi at k'ya Street Fare
No. 99: Tortilla Andorra at Anepalco's
No. 100: Lemongrass Chicken, Extra Spicy at Vietnam's Pearl