Makers vs Duck Donuts

Erin Mancini, Student Writer

With the latest popularity of the gourmet donut sweeping across the nation, Knoxville has recently acquired two of these donut shops, Makers and Duck Donuts. Because Knoxville Catholic students are very busy at this time of year, I set out on the journey to answer the age old question, “which shop sells a better donut?”.

To try my first donut, I stopped in Bearden on my way home to visit the newly opened Duck Donuts. When I walked in, I was pleased by the polite staff but put off by the aesthetic of the venue. It appears it has not been extensively renovated, so the interior resembles a walk in veterinary clinic that has been painted pink in some places. The biggest problem I faced was the wait. Because they make the donuts on sight and it was a busy time of the day, it took nearly half an hour for me to purchase one donut. As for the donuts, I decided to make this taste test as accurate as possible by ordering a maple bacon donut, which is a claimed specialty both at Makers and Duck donuts. The donut was beautifully decorated with a pile of bacon on top of shiny light brown glaze. On its own, the glaze was very sweet and tasted only a hint of maple, the bacon was very salty and very chewy and the donut was vanilla flavored. When eaten together the staple vanilla favor of the cake donut that is used in all the donuts sold, was overpowering and took away from the flavors of the bacon and glaze. The donut was crumbly and fell apart when I took a bite. I give Duck Donuts as a whole a personal rating of 5/10 based on these factors.

To try my second donut, I ventured east on Broadway avenue to find Makers Donuts nestled in the courtyard of two aged, r

ed brick buildings. I appreciated the aesthetic of this restaurant with its hardwood floors, antique accents and modern music. It had an old timey, urban feel that for the venue as well. Ordering the donut was easy as it was very early in the morning and the donuts had been pre made. I ordered, for the second time, a maple bacon donut and tasted each component part. The glaze was much thicker and had a very detectable maple flavor. The dough was much denser, had both salty and sweet hints and was flavored almost exactly like an animal cracker. Finally, the bacon had a smoky flavor, and was very crunchy in comparison to the Duck Donut. As a whole, the flavors and textures of this donut complimented each other well. The donut was dense and stayed intact with the bite. The maple flavor in the glaze was perfected by the salty crunch of the bacon. The flavor of the dough corresponded with the toppings and was not strong enough to overpower them. Overall I give this donut a 9/10. My only complaint is the location, as it was difficult to reach and did not offer a lot of parking.

The question has been answered. Makers has a better donut. However, I will cut Duck Donuts some slack as they are brand new. They have a much broader range of customers because they are in town and easy to access. They just need to work on their product as well as efficiency. Secondly, it appears the majority of Knoxvillians love Duck Donuts, so maybe it is just me. I urge catholic students to make the drive down Broadway, order a maple bacon donut, and decide for yourself which is truly better.

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