Surely, Matthew Dresden knew he was poking at a snake pit when he spoke ill of Shipley's Do-Nuts in today's Food Fight. Commenter Trisch responded to him with a veritable blog post of her own:
"Maybe, just maybe, if I'd eaten them warm, this piece might have read more like Robb Walsh's paean to the Shipley on Ella."
There's the rub. A fresh Shipley's glazed donut is incomparable. I can eat a dozen in one sitting. Heck, I can't eat less than four at a time. And at other temperatures, Shipley's are still successful -- at bakery temperature they're still pretty good (as evidenced by your taste test), and a stale end-of-the-day Shipley's doesn't look so appetizing, but if the glaze is still intact and not melted, it can be rescued with a 5 second zap in the microwave.
Other donuts? Not so much. Years ago at a large family gathering, we sent everyone on donut runs and did a taste test with fresh donuts from a number of sources. Shipley's was light years better than the wannabes. The Dunkin' offerings sat like lead, and the Krispy Kremes squirted copious volumes of grease into our mouths with each bite. Donuts from the other shops (can't remember which ones) were variously lumpy, overly glazed, too sweet or not sweet enough.
There is a reason for Shipley's cult following, and it's not because Houstonians don't know what a good donut is. All those ex-Houstonians out there pining away for a Shipley's (and those who make trips home just for a Shipley's) aren't crazy or somehow deficient in donut taste. Candied, iced, caked, decorated, chocolate-fied donuts are all fine and whatever, but for a real, basic, glazed donut, ain't no donut out there that beats a warm Shipley's straight out of the fryer.
We're impressed, Trish - by your impassioned comment, your four-minimum donut-consumption rule, and the fact that your family holds Food Fights of its own. And we bet a Shipley's glazed would be perfect with a White Russian...