Editor's note: The Serious Eats editors spent the month of September jetting around the nation; here's a snapshot from our travels.
If you were stopped on the corner of Englewood and Kenmore in Buffalo, New York, you might think to yourself, "I hope that cute place on the corner makes good doughnuts." As it happened, we had on the authority of a few SE'rs that Paula's Doughnuts did—and we're happy to report they were right.
This no-frills, open-at-4:00am shop, where you can breakfast at a knee-high counter stool, ferries their two dozen different kinds of fresh doughnuts out of the kitchen all day long, so even if yours aren't warm, they'll still taste and feel noticeably fresh. We loved the cheese doughnut*, its silky, tangy cream cheese filling nestled in a fluffy glazed doughnut with the most delicate of doughnut crusts; the cinnamon roll had a sparing cinnamony swirl and that same barely crusty edge. The raised doughnut dough is pillowy and soft; the glazes, not too sweet or sticky. We weren't quite as fond of a peanut cream doughnut, which had a deliciously peanutty outside crust but a cream filling whose sweetness recalled the frosting from a grocery store birthday cake.
*When I was in college, I had a thing for Wawa's cream cheese-stuffed soft pretzels, always hot and gooey under their register-side heating lamps—anyone with me? This cheese filling tasted remarkably similar.
There's nothing too thought-out or elevated about any of these doughnuts: they're just excellent examples of a totally classic form. And if one small doughnut isn't enough? You can call ahead for one of their Texas Doughnuts—oversized numbers nearly the size of a steering wheel. I'd take that over a birthday cake in a second.