One of my favorite foodie blogs is the “increasingly-inaccurately named” (as Douglas Adams might have termed it) Food Near Snellville. I noticed his work several months ago – he and Jennifer Zyman’s Blissful Glutton have been in a war of attrition for the top spot on Urbanspoon for the Atlanta region – and even though he’s based in one of this region’s many traffic-clogged, sprawling messes, he gets out to plenty of good restaurants and writes with a sense of infectious fun. To celebrate his finally claiming the number one spot from Blissful Glutton, we headed over to his turf.
Okay, that’s a complete lie. To be perfectly honest, Snellville, nothing more to me than that oft-gridlocked, badly traffic-managed corridor between Stone Mountain and Loganville, just happened to be on the road back from Walnut Grove, which we visited a week ago for our roadfood tour. Well, since we’re never in that neck of the woods, I wondered whether there might be anything we could grab for a snack after lunch at Kelly’s, just to try something a little different. And as for finding a new thing to try, I did this little trick: I zoomed in really close on US 78 in Google Maps until the names of restaurants started showing up. Donut King stood out, so I figured we’d each grab a treat there.
Yeah, sometimes here, you get lovingly-told stories of our life spent eating well and the wonderful histories that we have with favorite restaurants, and sometimes you get this. Anyway, there’s some really good doughnuts in Snellville.
Honestly, other than food, I’m hard-pressed to come up with a single reason to visit Snellville. Well, fair’s fair, food is, you know, second to friends as the best reason to visit anywhere, but the town is seriously lacking in bookshops and record stores. Several years ago, the kids and I were coming back from Athens this way just to have something different to see and we stopped into this utter craphole of a CD store where my son bought a VHS copy of the awful film Space Jam and the idiot behind the register wouldn’t let my daughter use the restroom. Even that place is gone now.
Food-wise, Snellville looks to be a chain paradise, with only a few standouts. Sri Thai sounds very promising, and FNS gave that place a good review. Actually, doing a little research, the most interesting thing that I’ve learned is that the national chain Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has one of its three Georgia locations in Snellville*, only it’s not listed on the corporate website, while four forthcoming restaurants are shown as “coming soon.” That’s just lovely, I say sarcastically. There’s no such thing as a good nationwide chain of barbecue restaurants. (*note: a commenter has informed me that this store has already closed.)
As for Donut King itself, I’m glad we made it an early start for the day, because this place closes at the unfortunate hour of 1 in the afternoon. It’s in a strip mall with a Provino’s and a Philly Connection and sixty thousand cars. It’s not particularly easy to get into, and a downright pain in the neck to get out of. But the dougnuts, well, they’re wonderful. Marie puts on airs of not actually liking doughnuts very much, but she found her chocolate frosted to be incredibly yummy, and the girlchild in the back seat was making happy “mmmmm” sounds as she wolfed down her eclair.
Despite their early closing time being a little inconvenient for curious eaters, the business clearly does a good job anticipating demand and bakes and fries accordingly. As you see in the photograph above, I had Marie hold her doughnut out for me to shoot. The last few times we’ve gone into a dessert place, I’ve had good results from shooting the display case showing off all the treats. Here, we arrived so late that most of their food was gone, and while my food composition skills are still admittedly meager, there’s no way any photographer could bring that decimated display to life. Thus said, the community must clearly love this place to have cleaned it out so thoroughly by 12.30 that only slim pickings were left for us. They were really good slim pickings, but it left me curious what Donut King looks like at five in the morning.