As happy as I was to see my out-of-town friend, picking her up at 7 a.m. was also the perfect excuse to make a stop at Donut licious, a family-run doughnut shop north of IAH in Spring. Exhausted and less than enthusiastic from her red-eye flight from San Francisco, a detour was the last thing she wanted, but the promise of boudin tacos and kolaches perked her up.
Yes, you read that right, boudin tacos and kolaches.
My first encounter with Donut licious happened innocently enough when a co-worker offered me a breakfast taco, forgetting to mention that it wasn't just any old breakfast taco and not knowing that he'd forever instill an insatiable craving that would lead me to want to drive 45 minutes for breakfast.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
The shop is in a strip center on Spring Cypress Road and I-45, and nothing about it particularly stands out. To the average person driving by, it's just your neighborhood spot to stop in for a coffee and a dozen doughnuts to bring to the office when you're already running late. But inside is a bright, cheery and friendly place that has some amazing things that you should feel guilty while eating but enjoy too damn much to care.
Donut licious opened about a year ago, and already has a loyal following, people who come by daily for a taco, kolache or one of their specialty items, such as the maple-bacon bar and the red velvet and cream cheese-frosted doughnut.
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The boudin taco is a simple but delicious entry, a whole boudin with egg, jalapeño and cheese rolled up in a flour tortilla. The boudin is spicy, but only subtly so. You can keep eating it without knowing your mouth has a slight burn until you've popped the last of it into your mouth. No salsa is needed, but if you want some, the green tomatillo is the way to go. The kolache is a two-handed monster, the same flavorful boudin encased in flaky pastry.
The red velvet doughnut was a hit with my friend, the cake moist but firm and the cream cheese perfectly sweet. Every bite better than the last, according to her.
Donut licious is making doughnuts into more than merely breakfast food. You can order them for parties or events. How about doughnuts made to resemble delicate pieces of sushi? Arranged on a platter, they are perfect for theme birthday parties. And don't forget Donut licious's Hello Kitty doughnut.
If you ever find yourself heading to the airport to pick up a friend, take a slight detour on the way back and stop by this unique doughnut shop. I'm sure your friend won't mind.