by Sarah Puleo
Donuts don’t get any respect. Sure, they’re not fancy like their cupcake cousins all covered with fondant and glitter, but the homely donut is found in almost every culture. The Italians have zeppoles, the French have beignets, and in Indonesia you can find donat kentang, or potato donuts. Not only are donuts delicious, but they are an affordable luxury. In a time a when a simple cupcake can set you back $4 or more, donuts are still only around $1 a piece. On the South Shore, we’re lucky to have a number of locally-owned and operated donut shops that are putting out top quality pastry for not a lot of dough. Dishing on Donuts is here to put the humble donut back in the spotlight and showcase the local flavor found in the pastries of southeastern Massachusetts.
My first stop on the road to donut redemption is The Other Coffee Shack in Pembroke. Though coffee is in its name, a sign outside announces that they offer “Handcut Donuts” and they are the real star at this local gem. At the junction of Route 53 and Route 139, the Other Coffee Shack has been serving homemade donuts, fresh and flavorful coffee, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches since 2006. Kenny and Lynda Glod own and operate this shop and The Coffee Shack in Marshfield on 259 Dyke Road. Kenny bakes all of the donuts from scratch for both locations.
Inside the Other Coffee Shack is not much larger than a bedroom, but they do big business! Sharon Morganelli, who works behind the front counter, estimates they sell between 15 and 18 dozen donuts a day. All of the pastries are made from scratch: muffins, scones, brownies, and even the old- fashioned hermit.
The small shop bursts with big flavors. In the name of research, I tried one dozen donuts ranging from the old-fashioned cake donut to the Boston cream donut to the strawberry frosted donut. I even tried a whoopie pie donut which was overflowing with sweet frosting. The yeast-raised donuts are tall and fluffy, while the traditional cake donuts are slightly crisp on the outside with a tender crumb in the middle. All of the donuts are big enough to split, if you’re willing to share!
At The Other Coffee Shack, the donuts are inexpensive despite their quality. A single donuts costs $1.10, a half dozen are $5.75, and a bakers dozen will set you back only $10.75. They’re open Monday to Saturday from 5 am to 2 pm and Sundays from 6 am to 2 pm. You’ll find me at the counter, chatting with the ladies and eating lots of decadent donuts.
The Other Coffee Shack is located on 15 Schoosett Street in Pembroke.
Sarah Puleo is a Texan transplant who blends her Southern home cooking with the flavors of Massachusetts and the Irish-Italian family she married into. When she’s not cooking or doing dishes, she’s playing trucks with her son or driving around the South Shore with her husband looking for her next great meal. Read about her adventures at www.bettycupcakes.com