We’re moving like chess pieces.
The summer heat is heavy as iron, even in the morning; we’re sweating through our masks as the line spills onto the sidewalk in front of Jarams Donuts in East Dallas.
Each of us seems ready to face the new challenges that come with grabbing a box of freshly glazed doughnuts and warmed klobasneks in the epicenter of a pandemic: You’re going to wait a minute during the morning rush.
You’re going to move like chess pawns, striding from social distancing sticker to sticker like that scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with the booby-trapped floor. We’re fine with it. Sausage rolls are worth every minute under the sun.
Every time the door opens, smells of hot sugar and dough waft out in the super-heated air. It’s the aroma of frosted chocolate, of glazed things, that makes you want to cannonball into a cup of coffee.
There are numerous kinds of “kolaches.” Some look like fritters, with braided dough and ornamented with many sliced sausages. They look like special-occasion klobasnek. There’s jalapeño and croissant rolls and a few wrapped in a coat of bacon.
We file in one at a time, taking our position in the grid, not minding the air conditioning that’s struggling through the cakes of heat. Yell out your order from a distance then step to the left or jump forward. It’s like a casual version of the Soup Nazi guy's line in that Seinfeld episode. We’re a human board game, and checkmate is chewy, warm dough.
Six of the sausage rolls — American cheese woven through the center — and six of the rolls embedded with jalapeños, please.
They are arranged neatly as a gift box. Six of them have budding sausage links; the others have silver-dollar-sized slices of jalapeño resting on them because they’re fancy. It's not hot enough to level you, but just enough to draw beads of forehead sweat.
Most klobasneks at Dallas doughnut shops taste the same: the replica mass-produced sausage lodged in the chemically puffed-up bread. Many taste like vapid calories.
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Jarams' rolls are special. Their klobasneks have good heat, some snap, and the melted cheese swirls through the chewy, tender dough.
Fresh out of the oven, they’re an extraordinary way to spend a couple of bucks. You won’t need many: One or two fill you up for a long haul of a morning, and each costs less than a gallon of gas these days. Or grab a dozen, splitting up croissants and the jumbo options with jalapeño coins.
It's been a hellish year; you need this hot dog sunk in a tomb of bread. You need this klobasnek — one that doesn't just taste like salt and air but is instead oven-warm and homemade every time.
Jarams Donuts is open for pickup and delivery at 2117 Abrams Road.