If you live in Texas, the extent of your familiarity with Hurts Donut probably amounts to a degree of schoolyard nostalgia for a joke that gave you an excuse to punch your lesser friends. If you live in the Midwest, however, you may be familiar with the growing small doughnut chain, Hurts Donut. The operation started in Springfield, Missouri, and in only three years has grown to 11 stores across seven states — from Oklahoma to Wisconsin — with four more locations soon to come.
The newest franchise location of the chain — its first in Texas — opened in Frisco last week on West Main Street in a retail strip including Marco’s Pizza and the newly relocated Frisco frozen-custard favorite, Double Dip. On the eve of their 5 a.m. Wednesday opening, more than 50 local doughnut devotees camped out just for a taste of something that, in theory, is sold on just about every street corner in DFW.
Fresh-baked aromas are prevalent from across the parking lot. Next to the front door, an entire window pane is devoted to the stores hours: 25 hours a day, eight days a week. The lack of sleep may be affecting their ability to manage numbers, but hopefully it’s indicative of their devotion to the dough. This doughnut shop doesn’t even close for Christmas.
Once inside, it may be the knuckle tattoo poster or the Rage Against the Machine playing, but there’s a distinct feeling of trying to be ever-so-slightly edgy in the most marketable way possible, almost like the progeny of an illicit love affair between a Top Not and a Hypnotic Donuts.
By Thursday, the line was able to be contained within the store, but it spirals through the entire space and the wait time is still around an hour. There’s a large overhead menu to peruse while waiting, and in between customers gawking at the cases, there are fleeting glimpses of colorful and attractive doughnuts packing the cases. More than 70 varieties are in regular rotation here, and of those, two or three dozen varieties are available in the case at any given time. Each store can be followed on social media to see what special varieties may be available at any given time.
Despite the long line and the large quantities of doughnuts flying off shelves, things move along at a reasonable pace and the case stays stocked. There are about a dozen employees behind the counter at around 11 a.m. and, as evidenced from peeks through the windows that look into the kitchen, there is no reprieve to their rapid-paced work.
When you finally arrive at the case, you will be accosted by an array of over-the-top icing colors and doughnuts named with clever puns. While a large part of the novelty is a simple substitution of toppings — a variety of cereals, candies and other snacks — the store’s offerings do cover a good bit of ground, including yeast-risen doughnuts and various cake doughnuts.
The varieties range from the White and Nerdy, topped with Nerds candy; the Fred Flinstone adorned with Fruity Pebbles cereal; and the Jesus, implementing all the flavors of a churro into doughnut form. Other flavors range from Bubblegum to Oreo Cheesecake (all $2) but traditionalists, rest easy, there are traditional glazed doughnuts ($1) as well.
While most of the toppings translate well into doughnut form, some crispier toppings like pretzels and cereals become slightly soggy from the icing, and their textural elements are lost.
The Bart Simpson, chocolate cake covered with white icing covered in heaps of crumbled Butterfinger, had a dense, moist cake foundation, and the candy bar pieces provided plenty of crunch and sweetness, while the jelly-filled doughnut featured a generous helping of fresh fruit jelly inside.
The Maple Bacon Long-John ($3) is a sweet and salty treat for those seeking maximum indulgence. The maple icing is bordering on excessively sweet, and there’s probably about a quarter-pound of bacon jammed aground the entire surface, balancing the sweetness with salty and savory elements.
Growing pains can be expected for any new establishment — not to mention one selling doughnuts faster than they can make them — so it’s hard to hold the slightly inconsistent levels of doneness against them too much; however, some of the doughnuts were significantly more dry than others. This seemed to apply more to the yeast-risen doughnuts than the cake doughnuts.
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That said, the value on these doughnuts is more than fair. Most are only a buck or two, and those looking to buy in bulk can purchase a Hurt’s Dozen (their pick) for $12, or a Dirty Dozen (your own choices) for $15. Aside from doughnuts, there are enormous cinnamon rolls and, if you’re lucky enough to order while they’re in stock, kolaches.
Doughnut holes and doughnut shakes (milkshakes topped with — as you may have astutely guessed — a doughnut) will hit the menu once things settle down a bit and the store gets its sea legs. Vegans and the gluten-free be warned: While the menu is indeed varied, dietary-restricted offerings do not seem to be present here.
Overall, the doughnuts here are decent, albeit over-hyped. If you live in Frisco or the surrounding area, Hurts Donut will fill the designer doughnut hole that has undoubtedly been ever-present in your hearts. If, however, you’re in Dallas, save yourself the mileage and skip the wait and continue on with your Hypnotic routine. At least for now.
Hurts Donut, 3288 Main St., Frisco