Can you believe that one week ago, we were shivering in our homes despite wearing sweatshirts and fuzzy socks and oh-so-carefully driving over nearly completely iced streets, only to get snowed in again two days later? The snow hunger has not melted away like the snow in Memphis (or Houston, I hear), so I zipped over to Gibson’s this afternoon, happy that I didn’t have to fear slipping on ice.
This week’s doughnut is chocolate on chocolate: How can you go wrong with chocolate on chocolate? I don’t think you can (unless you have an unfortunate allergy). And why have I not noticed this doughnut in my 17 month trek through Gibson’s Donuts’ menu?
This doughnut tastes much like it appears: a deep chocolately taste that is somewhere between a milk chocolate and a dark chocolate. The doughnut itself is slightly less cakey than the Old Fashioned; it almost borders on creamy. The chocolate glaze is thinner than on the Chocolate Glazed doughnut and not as sweet – a wise choice, as too much sugary sweetness on top of this doughnut would clash with the chocolate in the doughnut part.
I like this doughnut. It’s not my favorite, but if you’re at Gibson’s, give it go.
Tastee score: 8
Doughnut news: You’ve heard of the Tide Pod Challenge? As a
lawyer person with common sense, I must say that you should not eat a Tide Pod. But a doughnut shop in Wichita, Kansas decided to poke a little fun at this dangerous trend and create a Tide Pod inspired doughnut. I can’t decide if this is funny or in poor taste (see what I did there?).
It’s been a cold, long, very frigid weekend here in Memphis. As in, hair ties frozen to the ground cold.
Preparation for the snow and ice included the long-honored last-minute trip to the grocery store for supplies, including the mandatory bread and milk, which we all buy even if we don’t really have plans to eat/drink those particular items. I loaded up on other foods sure to keep me healthy over the icy weekend, too – like cheese sticks, pizza rolls, and cookies – and then ate almost all of them.
Is there some kind of biological need to eat everything in sight during a snow storm? Do our bodies feel the need to add a layer of fat to keep us warm during sub-freezing temperatures? My friend Hillary calls this “snow hunger.” (Also check out her IG – lots of beauty for a dreary day. Also nice on pretty days.) This snow hunger naturally led me to Gibson’s Donuts this fine MLK, Jr. Day.
This week, I went with the lemon filled:
This doughnut has some heft, so I expected a lot of lemon filling, and I wasn’t wrong. It spilled out of the doughnut in the way you want doughnut filling to spill out of your doughnut. The lemon filling was a tad sweeter and not as tart as one would expect of a lemon filling. As always, the glazed doughnut part was perfect.
Overall, not a bad doughnut.
Tastee score: 7.
Doughnut news: Cousin Gwen sent me this news story several months ago, but a couple of hurricanes and Hallmark-Christmas-movie-
mocking watching postponed linking to it here: A woman in Florida was trapped inside her home by a family of bears. In the video, the news people explain that the Bear Catchers threw some doughnuts in a cage to entice the bears into their trap (I hope to return them to a place where they can enjoy being bears away from humans).
We all need to remember this: if you see a bunch of taste-looking doughnuts thrown into a cage, DO NOT APPROACH! A hungry bear will fight you for it and might possibly tear off a limb you need for doughnut eating.
So here’s the deal. When I started my trek through Gibson’s Donuts’ menu, I didn’t want to do any repeats. So I started a log, and then on the prompting of Cousin Gwen, this blog to keep up with which of the many doughnuts Gibson’s I’ve tried. Despite those efforts, today is a repeat:
The raspberry-filled doughnut:
Turns out, this was one of the first doughnuts I reviewed. Should I be concerned that I couldn’t remember trying this doughnut? I’m not sure. I re-read my review, and I think it still stands. There was a stronger raspberry taste this time, so maybe Mr. DeWeese is reading?
Tastee score: I’ll keep it at a solid 7.
It’s a chilly, cloudy day here today, so I also indulged in the Old Fashioned (THIS ONE I remember!). I’m not gonna post a photo of this pinnacle of doughnut-making excellence. Just go get one. It’s in the case on the far right at Gibson’s. Usually on the middle shelf.
Tastee score: 10
Doughnut News: My friend Bess (of the Dutch Creme Brûlée doughnut) let me know that on her recent trip to Gibson’s, she learned there is no doughnut of the month for January. The Gibson’s person let her know there are Very Exciting Things happening in February. So why don’t we guess? Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s Day this year. So my guess is we’ll have a King Cake doughnut and some sort of cute Valentine’s Day something.
Leave your guess in the comments. Then we can all meet at Gibson’s to celebrate the winner!
Last week, I was scrolling through Gibson’s Donuts Instagram account and saw a post I had somehow missed: the December doughnut of the month: devil’s food cake with vanilla frosting topped with candy cane crumbles.
Why did none of you alert me to this??
Also, I like that during the season of “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “O Holy Night”, Gibson’s is using Devil’s food cake as the doughnut base. Cheeky, as our friends across the pond would say, no? (Do people on this side of the pond say “cheeky” as well? I do not know the answer to this question. Or perhaps I’ve been watching too much of The Crown.)
But I digress.
Devil’s food cake is apparently supposed to be darker in flavor than regular chocolate cake. It was difficult to find the origin of the name (and by difficult, I mean I couldn’t find a consistent story after a good 5 minutes or so of googling), but it seems as if it was deemed “sinfully” delicious, thus devil’s food.
Based on my research, Gibson’s nailed the taste of the devil’s food cake. It was chocolatey, but not overly so. The candy cane topping and vanilla frosting were just right and balanced perfectly with the chocolate flavor. All the flavors come through in each bite and none overpowers the other. The candy cane crumbles were also crumbled nicely – they were not too crunchy so as not to annoy our friends with misophonia.
Tastee score: 9
So take a break from eating Christmas cookies and run over to Gibson’s for the subversively named Christmas doughnut.
Happy Holidays, y’all!
When you think of eating Gibson’s Donuts, do you ever think of eating just one? Of course not, silly! You either eat several or you have to exercise a will power of the strength of 1,000 Jerry Lawlers and Dwayne The Rock Johnsons to limit yourself to one (or two).
In other words, you always want some more. Or S’More, if you will (and yes, I most definitely will).
Which brings me to Gibson’s Donut of November, which I am belatedly evaluating: everyone’s favorite campfire food, the S’More:
On visual inspection, the S’More checks all the boxes: chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker. One hiccup: I think some of the graham cracker topping worked its way off the doughnut by the time it got home. So I was unable to get a good taste of it.
Still, you can’t go wrong with chocolate and marshmallow, can you?
It’s a good doughnut. Definitely put it on your list (for next November).
Tastee score: 7
Doughnut news: Some of you know that I run primarily so I can support my Gibson’s Donut-eating habit. I decided to give myself a running goal to keep myself running consistently (and therefore eating doughnuts consistently), so I ran the St. Jude Half Marathon last weekend. At the end of the race, a Large National Doughnut Company was offering their glazed doughnuts to the finishers, so I partook.
Now, I recognize I was not in Tip Top Doughnut Enjoyment Shape, but I gotta tell y’all: even in my nutritionally depleted state, these doughnuts were not great. At best, they were merely mediocre. It made me homesick – can one be doughnut-sick? – for Gibson’s Donuts.
So I look forward to Gibson’s Christmas doughnuts. They’ve got to be magical, right?
All the sparkly prettyness! Getting a photograph that captures the glittery sparkles was tricky, and compounded by the unique shape of the doughnut.
This has got to be one of THE PRETTIEST doughnuts I’ve seen at Gibson’s. The shades of blue, purple, and silver are so perfectly balanced, the Sugarbakers would’ve used this color palette for a little girl’s fairy-princess-themed bedroom.
So it’s a large doughnut, obviously. My nephew tried one of these at Thanksgiving last year and could only eat about a third of it (his did not have the fairy-princess-glitter). BUT his was filled with either cream or frosting. Mine was not. Still, I took his near-miss of a tummy-ache seriously. I ate half of this on one day and the rest on the next day. That decision was a good one. As Cousin Gwen said, “You don’t want to have to go to the emergency room with a case of Icing Overdose … it could be kind of embarrassing if the ER doctor pumped your stomach and had to write in the medical report, ‘stomach contents: shimmery pink and blue icing.'”
Y’all, I work with healthcare professionals. Don’t think for ONE MOMENT that the healthcare team wouldn’t make fun of someone for this shimmery stomach emergency. In a strictly HIPAA-compliant way, of course.
On that legal note:
Tastee score: 8
Doughnut news: To borrow from Pitbull, we are going INTERNATIONAL! My friend Bess Bartusch and her daughter Sarah went to The Netherlands for fall break and sent a photo of – get this – a Creme Brûlée doughnut:
They also sent a lovely video of the doughnut-makers creating this masterpiece of a doughnut, complete with blow-torching it twice, but my internet skills have not reached the point of converting the video to a format allowed by WordPress (ahem, WordPress, one more allowed video format, please).
Book your ticket for The Hague, The Netherlands and ride your quaint, Dutch bicycle straight to the food court outside the train station so you, too, can experience this sumptuous doughnut. Bess and Sarah confirmed that it tastes even better than it looks.
Very Careful Internet Research told me that the King and Queen of The Netherlands live in The Hague. I’m sure they have a royal courtier fetch them one of these doughnuts several times a week. (I sure would). The Hague is also the home of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. I wonder how many convicted criminals have asked for this doughnut with their last meal? (I sure would.)
Mr. DeWeese, we know you can adopt this doughnut into the rotation at Gibson’s. I’m not sure if you’d need special liability insurance for the operation of the blow torches, but I’m certain your Highly Skilled Doughnut Chefs would handle it brilliantly!
Oh, Gibson’s! You know I love you with a love deeper than the deepest part of the Mississippi River, right?! I’ve waxed almost poetic about you. When my friends from Texas come to Memphis for a visit, and I ask them what they want to see, you know where they want to go? Up there with Graceland, any number of music museums, the Peabody ducks, and Memphis BBQ? They want to go to Gibson’s Donuts.
Why do I explain all of the above? Because the following hurts me to admit.
I had a less than satisfactory doughnut at Gibson’s.
Here’s the deal: in a way, it’s a compliment to the fine folks at my favorite doughnut shop. The bar is very, very high. Gibson’s can nail just about any flavor you challenge them to translate into doughnut.
So it was with high hopes that I got (last month’s) doughnut of the month: Key Lime. I have to admit: I was a tad wary of the color of the green filling:
The doughnut was … okay. The key lime filling wasn’t quite as tangy as I was expecting. The powdered sugar doughnut didn’t seem to mesh well with the sorta tangy flavor. And I must have forgotten that the powdered doughnut was not my favorite.
For a good description of what key lime should taste like, read Southern Living‘s history of it (and a recipe) here.
So according to the experts, key lime should be a creamy yellow, not green.
And this green was an, ahem, unusual green color. Almost like slime green. I was going to include a photo of green slime, but it is not Pretty, and I don’t want to do that to your eyes or do anything that seems to be making fun of Gibson’s.
So I give this doughnut points for creativity and boldness. Who else would have attempted a key lime doughnut? My opinion: if Gibson’s wants to try this again (and maybe it shouldn’t), go with the sugary doughnut and a graham cracker-ish topping, kind of like the Strawberry Shortcake. And if it wants to stay with the green color to differentiate from its other cream-filled doughnuts. go a tad darker and / or brighter.
Tastee score: 4 (it hurts me more than it hurts you)
Doughnut news: Taking a break from doughnut news for Important Memphis News: this week is International Elvis Week to commemorate Elvis’ death 40 years ago. Graceland’s list of things you can do to honor The King of Rock ‘N Roll is here. Cross-check that list against the events listed in the I Love Memphis blog here.
One very important change: you have to buy a ticket to participate in the Candlelight Vigil this year.
Y’all, I started my trek through Gibson’s Donuts’ menu just over ONE YEAR ago! Weeks and weeks of tastee-ness later, here’s what I’ve learned:
- Gibson’s tagline of “tastee” really does set the standard of tastee-ness in the doughnut world.
- Gibson’s employees are some of the friendliest, most efficient, hard-working folks I’ve ever encountered. Employers, if a resume lands on your desk with “Gibson’s Donuts” listed in the candidate’s work background, then that person should be your leading candidate for the job.
- The fans / patrons / devotees of Gibson’s are warmly congenial and absolutely devoted to their favorite doughnut shop.
- Gibson’s captures the heart of the #Choose901 movement: love Memphis, love people, make Memphis a better place, and brighten the day of each person you meet.
National Doughnut Day is no ordinary day, so in celebration I visited Gibson’s three times.
Let’s review the tastee-ness, shall we?
OLD FASHIONED (Plain)
This is the Old Fashioned without the glaze. Each bite isa combination of the soft inside and the crispy edges. With no sugary glaze, the taste is distinct from just about every other doughnut I’ve had at Gibson’s. And that’s the poetry of this doughnut: you find out how tastee a Gibson’s doughnut really is: cake doughnut so perfectly fried, it tastes almost creamy, juxtaposed against the crispiness of the edges.
Tastee score: 9
I ordered two of these. You know, to pace myself on my marathon Doughnut Day, but the Gibson’s person said they were sold only in threes.
Twist my arm, why don’t you??
At first, I thought these were the doughnut hole version of the New Orleans. But I later learned they’re called Lemon Drops. Y’all. These are so very tastee: a thin sheen of glaze encasing a slightly dark-tasting crust. Then a bright lemon flavor in the middle, like a burst of sunshine on a gray, cloudy day. Go get yoself
one three of these at your next available snack time.
Tastee score: 10
My last trip to Gibson’s on National Doughnut Day was at about 11 pm. I went with two of my Aggie friends who have lived in Memphis for years and not been to Gibson’s. THE HORROR! So I persuaded them to make the drive, regaling them with stories about the glory of the glazed doughnuts, the cakey perfection of the old fashioned until I could see them drooling (Mentally, not physically. They are ladies.). Even though the magical Gibson’s doughnut bakers (friers?) had been at work non-stop for more than 24 hours in preparation for National Doughnut Day, there weren’t many options (Memphis drains Gibson’s dry on National Doughnut Day), so I went for what I’ve now decided is my favorite doughnut, the Old Fashioned:
Tastee score: 10
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
At church the next Sunday, someone brought Gibson’s doughnuts to share with the class. In the spirit of National Doughnut Day weekend, I partook:
For reals, I could almost smell the glorious chocolate glaze through my computer screen. Gibson’s does simple so well: a delicious glazed doughnut topped with just enough chocolate that you can taste the chocolate without losing the doughnutty doughnut-ness.
Tastee score: 9 (because the Old Fashioned has my whole heart)
Stay tuned for the Key Lime Doughnut!
One thing I love about Gibson’s Donuts (and there are so many things to love) is finding new doughnuts I haven’t yet sampled at every visit. This week, I tried the chocolate-cream filed doughnut.
This is the basic glazed doughnut filled, and I mean FILLED, with chocolate cream. Nearly every bit of the inside of this doughnut was jam-packed with chocolate. As I was aware of the filling pre-bite, I cut it open (this blog is a non-chewed food zone) to get a photo of the inside of the doughnut to demonstrate the fullness of the filling.
Chocolate in every bite!
The chocolate itself was a subtle chocolatey flavor. A milk chocolate with a bit of a chalky (in a good way) taste. Personally, I’m a dark chocolate fan, but chocolate is one of my favorite flavors, and I love it all. The glazed portion of the doughnut was perfection, as always.
This doughnut gets points for being filled to the edge with the chocolate cream filling. I wish the chocolate flavor was a tad more chocolatey, however.
Tastee score: 7
Doughnut news: This Friday is NATIONAL DOUGHNUT DAY, so be sure to visit your favorite doughnut shop. If you’re in Memphis, your favorite doughnut shop is Gibson’s Donuts. If it’s not, then you’re wrong.
I hope to see you there!