In response to my rant against the so-called pumpkin spice donut, one commenter suggested that I try the pumpkin spice doughnut holes at River Oaks Donuts. Never one to turn down an excuse to eat deep-fried sugary bread, I stopped by Houston's newest haute doughnut shoppe (ironically, en route to Target) to see if its pumpkin wares were better than those on offer at Dunkin' Donuts.
This visit was not my first encounter with River Oaks Donuts, which initially attracted my attention because of their unusual giant doughnut birthday cake. In the past six months, I have tried a number of their baked goodies and have developed a particular fondness for the red velvet cake doughnut. The doughnut holes, some of which are stuffed with creative fillings such as cappuccino cream, are also very good, though if pressed I have to admit I generally prefer Munchkins.
Of course, as soon as I arrived at River Oaks Donuts, I was immediately distracted by the possibility of getting a "crownut" (their take on the cronut), but reminded myself my mission (which I had already chosen to accept) was to try the pumpkin spice doughnut holes.
In the early afternoon of a weekday, the shop was unsurprisingly already sold out of several varieties, but I managed to snag a few holes (thinking about the literal implications of this phrase, by the way, puts me into existential crisis).
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My two-word verdict: "very good." Not spectacular, but definitely superior to Dunkin' Donuts' pumpkin spice doughnut on several counts, namely a clearer squash flavor and a fluffier cake interior. It's probably a good thing I bought only a few, because I could easily nosh on these things like popcorn.