By Benjamin Solomon, Staff Writer
Friendly Doughnuts, located at 2301 Purchase Street in New Bedford, has some of the best donuts (or doughnuts depending on your preference) around.
It’s got the standard range of cream-filleds, frosted donuts, and glazed donuts.
The glazed donuts are among the best I’ve ever had. These are not your average, scrawny Dunkin Donuts donuts. These are fluffy, airy, voluminous baked goods.
This donut is relatively sweet but surprisingly mild. The glaze doesn’t congeal excessively like a standard glazed donut either. If you find glazed donuts too boring, don’t worry – there’s more to come.
Like the malasada, which is a sugar covered kind of fried dough thing. The word malasada apparently means undercooked in Portuguese, which conveniently informs us of the confection’s Portuguese origins.
While it is like fried dough, a malasada isn’t the crispy kind, rather the relatively fluffy kind, sort of like a sweet pita bread but more fried. Also covered in sugar.
Malasadas are big in local circles with strong Portuguese ties. In Newport, Rhode Island they can be found with ease on Sunday mornings.
Local Cumberland Farms in Newport display them at the front counter for sale weekly. New Bedford is a lot closer than Newport.
It is definitely worth the trip to try the confections at Friendly Doughnuts.
Next is the maple donut. This is the best one they’ve got. This is what I venture out at 1:00 a.m. to get before they’re gone. It’s a maple donut because it has maple frosting.
This is very sweet – borderline excessive sweetness. Despite this sweetness it manages to maintain the actual maple flavor which overpowers the flavor of the bready-part.
So, if you get one of these babies, be ready for a strong flavor. If you want one though, consider going early in the morning, because they are a favorite and can go fast.
Friendly Doughnuts also offers a variety of more savory breakfast foods.
For example, they often have something best described as a croissant with ham and cheese in the middle, but there are different fillings, too.
These are pretty tasty but most importantly they survive being reheated in a microwave very well.
When food with bread components gets microwaved it tends to end up soggy. I don’t know how it works but these things come out nearly as not-soggy as when they are fresh.
Despite all of the praise I have showered upon Friendly Doughnuts’s food, the restaurant’s atmosphere is slightly more questionable.
It has a fair amount of seating in a kind of retro seafoam green and pink colors, though it does not look retro by design. There’s also a television that usually has sports on.
The establishment is located next to some train tracks in an area that isn’t quite industrial but is definitely not residential, and it looks pretty creepy outside at night.
It does have a large amount of parking in front of it, so that’s never a worry.
There are often some questionable individuals inside, but this is evened out by the equally common, casual presence of police officers picking up donuts themselves.
So maybe it’s a place better suited for to-go food rather than long visits. Check out 2301 Purchase Street in New Bedford for some seriously delicious donuts (or doughnuts, what have you).