The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Charlottesville, Day 4: Donuts, Jumping, and Runaway Lamb Nubbins

Every morning, millions of people across the country start their day with fat rings of fried dough.

...Well, technically they go to the potty (or "loo," which I think sounds nicer) first and freshen themselves up for the outside world...

But after that, they get donuts! DONUTS, YEAH! I think. As someone who rarely eats breakfast (don't bug me about this; my stomach generally reacts to being stuffed with food first thing in the morning with moans and gurgles) you shouldn't take my words as cold, hard, facts (EVEN IF I AM A BOTTOMLESS PIT OF UNQUESTIONABLE WISDOM!!!), but these "donut" things have proven to be popular. Over the years. Notice, I have taken it.


Olivia and I started our last morning in 2007 with a visit to Spudnuts, Charlottesville's famed donut shop. Or semi-famed. Tristan nor any of his friends had ever been there, it seemed, although Tristan did at least know where it was. When we mentioned it to other people in Charlottesville, most of them had either never been there or hadn't heard of it. I, on the other hand, had been determined to enter the long-established haven of potato flour-enhanced goodies ever since I read about it on The Blognut.

I had a goal. A delicious, mildly unconventional goal.

I haz a flava

Ten flavors of donuts sat before us: glazed, chocolate, cinnamon and coconut for yeast raised; blueberry, chocolate cinnamon and plain for cake; and two special mega-donuts, cinnamon apple and cinnamon cherry. Now that I'm looking at the menu, I can't believe I didn't just get one of each. I guess I exercised some sort of control. Stupid, Robyn.

Annnd what do we have here?

Donuts were stored in a front glass-covered case and shelves behind the counter. The top row held the cake donuts, the bottom right tray held the cinnamon cherries, the middle tray held two lonely cinnamon apples, and the bottom right tray was stuffed with glazed donuts.

My donuts
My stash

I walked out with a bag of three donuts—plain, glazed, and cinnamon apple—while Olivia had gotten two. Or three. Whatever amount we collectively bought, it was foolishly low considering that were also buying donuts for Tristan, Ryan, and whoever else happened to be working at Hedge that morning. WE COULD'VE BOUGHT EVERYTHING. I mean, one of each, not the entire store. (A girl can dream. Oh, yes.) On retrospect, I feel like a dumbass.

So how were the donuts? As someone who is just a malformed fetus squirming in the soothing womb of the donut world (in other words, I don't know half a shit), I'm unable to give anything approaching an expert opinion about the donuts. But here's my feeble attempt: "FREAKIN' AWESOME PILLOWY HALOS OF FLUFFY, EDIBLE JOY BLESSED BY THE TINY, DELICATE PAWS OF NEWBORN SUGAR KITTENS (that is, kittens made out of sugar)!"

Something like that.

I mean, it's a fresh donut; of course it tastes good.

One reason I can't describe these donuts well is because they were shared among a handful of people, meaning that each donut had a lifespan of about 30 seconds or less. My brain is unable to process much sensory data in such a short period of time.

Glazed yeast donut

My glazed donut gave a perfect balanced of "glaze" to "donut." And softness to chewiness. And sugar to fat. And moistness to dryness. And air to non-air.

Plain cake donut

If plain cake donuts tastes so good, why can't someone just make a huge cake out of it? ...Okay, the frying part may get tricky. But a giant slab of plain cake donut would be marvelous. What a perfect lil' pudgy dough ring it was.

apple cinnamon
Cinnamon apple

Cinnamon apple was my favorite of the three. I don't remember why exactly, but I'd venture to say that it had something to do with coating a twist of fried dough in the combination of a light glaze, a touch of apple, and a sprinkling of cinnamon, a triad that led to a magically delicious crust. It just triggered some part of my brain that caused me to feel a melting "mmm"-ness, maybe like whatever cats feel when you scratch their heads and they get that glazed-over, squinty look on their little faces. Like this --> ^--__--^ But three-dimensional.

Spudnuts = success.

Update (1/17): Check out cVillain's post about Spudnuts! The photos will look familiar, but it's more informative than what I wrote.


Tristan, Olivia and I headed to our next food victim: feast! Or Feast. The exclamation mark makes it sound exciting, but that the name is all in lowercase also gives a sense of restraint. "We know how to party, but it's the kind of party where everyone is sitting down and eating cheese." A kind of party that I'm all for, by the way. I like cheese.

hummus and stuff samples
Hummus and stuffus

The awesome thing about Feast is that they have lots of samples of their gourmet foodstuffs. You could eat lunch here for free. Kind of. If you're not starving. The cheese samples were the most appealing (and they worked—I ended up buying a slab of one of their featured cheeses, Délice de Bourgogne, an unbelievably heavenly buttery-soft thing of coagulated beauty), but the various kinds of hummus goo were also favored.

olive oil samples
Olive oil!

I was also fond of the wall of extra virgin olive oil. ...Or wall of olive oil interspersed with other kinds of oils and vinegars, but I was mostly interested in the olive squeezings. After tasting the Tuscan olive oil ("bright and spicy with a grassy sweetness and a pleasant bitterness") I took a bottle of it into my arms with the intention of giving it a good home. In my stomach.

interior If only I were hungrier!

After we were done at Feast, we went around the corner to Albemarle Baking Co to pick up a baguette to go with my slab of cheese. Despite nearly weeping at the sight of golden croissants and danishes, I didn't have the appetite to try any of their pastries. :'( The donuts and the free samples at Feast stomped all over my appetite and for good measure also shot them with lasers. If the croissants taste as good as they looked, then I missed out on a very good thing.

Gearharts chocolate!
Gearhart's chocolates

We popped into the next door Gearhart's Chocolates where I picked up a 16-piece box containing one of every chocolate they made. That's how I roll.

mm...over exposed

Sufficiently stuffed, we went back to Tristan's apartment—Olivia and me in my car and Tristan on his bright yellow fixed gear bike.

TRISTAN'S BUTT (sorry, Tristan)

Yes, we used Tristan as our GPS that morning. He did a fine job of not getting us lost. We mostly had a view of his ass, but...I think that was alright.

I attempted to ride his bike, but my midget-like stature prevented me from mounting the bike in a comfortable way. However, my size did prove to be optimal if I wanted to dangerously waver and fall over after two seconds.


This will be the cover of Tristan and Olivia's collaboration album.

white columns

We strolled around UVA since it was across the street and it's a pretty area to roam about. Especially when no students are around.

the old dorms without bathrooms
No potty for you

Tristan told us that the dorms around the quad are the oldest on campus and are highly coveted...despite that they lack modern bathroom facilities. Heat is provided by burning wood, hence the piles of cut logs outside the doors. Old skool. Just the way Jefferson would've liked it!

students, they like grilling
Grillin' time?

Besides burning wood, students like to grill a lot. For at least one block it looked as though every room had a grill.

college drop out

One room is dedicated to preserving the memory of Edgar Allen Poe, at least until a student more famous can command their own historically accurate eternal chamber. Instead of a door, the room has a glass partition so that visitors can peer inside and see where he had his nightmares. Pressing a button near the entrance causes a prerecorded voice to burst forth from the room and recount a short history of Mr. Poe's existence at UVA...until he dropped out.

Olivia and Tristan jumping

Since the weather was gorgeous, sunny, clear, and overall happiness-inducing, I demanded taking some jumping photos.

"Wait, we can make pixelations!" suggested Olivia.

Which is how some" turned into "a shitton." For example:

Olivia jumping Olivia Jump 1

Olivia went first. We progressed from there.

Me!...jumping Robyn jump 1
My turn

Six frames for me!

Tristan jumping, frame one Tristan jump 1
Tristan floats!

More frames for Tristan. His look is priceless...or worth a few hearty guffaws accompanied by pointing.

Olivia...gliding... Olivia walking

Olivia proceeded to glide.

Tristan and Olivia jumping Olivia and Tristan jumping
Jump back!

Olivia and Tristan jumped back...

Me and Tristan jumping Tristan Robyn jump

...While Tristan and I jumped forward. (The photos are in the wrong order. Doh.)

Olivia floating around me Olivia floats

We finished off with Olivia floating around me. MAAAGIIIC!!

You can watch a cute movie of the photos splodged together at Olivia's website. We probably needed about a gazillion more frames to make it smooth, but maybe next time. All that jumping constitutes as a workout, man.

And what does a workout do? It creates hunger. Hellooo, lunchtime!

lamb something something!
Lamb thing!

After driving past an unexpectedly closed Korean House and internally sobbing for our lost kimchi, we drove to Sticks, named after its kebob-erie nature, for food that was filling but not supremely unhealthy. I ordered a rosemary-rubbed leg of lamb kebob flatbread sandwich with cilantro-lime sauce. The juicy lamb chunks were satisfyingly cooked to something between medium and medium rare, and had the plumpness of fat, exploding marshmallows. You know—you've seen so many exploding marshmallows. One of the chunks sadly (well, sad for me) escaped a stomach acid bath by shooting out of the crevice of my flabread across the table, then rolling under the table to meet some other kind of non-acidic demise. Yes, it did this all on its own. Had nothing to do with the Earth's gravitational pull on the sandwich's contents as I held it in a position prone to meat nubbin escapees.

Oo, vegetables!

Olivia went for a healthier choice; a kebob on a salad. No fluffy, warm, chewy flatbread.

...Yeah, all these carbs are making me hella fat.

veggie platter!

Tristan's vegetable platter was the heftiest with two sticks of grilled vegetables, basmati rice, grilled flatbread, and a side of roasted eggplant salad. Now that I'm looking at it, I think I probably should've ordered that instead. My fiber intake over the weekend was sorely lacking. Fiber and vitamins. Oops.

I'm not entire sure what happened the rest of the afternoon. Some sleeping probably occured. A grocery store trek was also called for. But alas, my camera didn't document every waking moment of our lives (thank god, you'd flee so quickly) and this is all I've got:

YEAAAH rock on

Tristan and Olivia rocking out their party attire for the New Year's Eve party Tristan would be throwing that night. (Of course, I didn't change. I can't haz party attire.) Notice Tristan's mildly tacky and adorable Christmas-themed sweater—it unlocks the mysteries of the universe. The mystery that is FUCKIN' MOONGOLFING! (Alright, it's probably the North Pole, but moongolfing sounds better than North Polegolfing.)

cookin some BEANS

And here are some green beans. See, we went to the grocery store to buy ingredients that would allow us to make a niscoise salad for dinner since we weren't in the mood to eat much else. But by the time "dinner" rolled around, it turned out we weren't even in the mood to eat salad. Our pot of potatoes took so unbearably long to cook (we were stuck in a dimension of culinary hell where water refused to boil, seriously) that we abandoned it and mostly picked at the green beans as partygoers started filing into the apartment. Appetites had mostly dissippated by that point. Maybe that rum and coke I sipped had something to do with that. This is where I totally fail as a lover of eating. Sorry.

Oh, and then we had a party. Which you shall read about in the next entry. Bwahaha.


309 Avon St
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Albemarle Baking Co
Gearhart's Chocolates (Yes, they all live together in gustatory harmony!)
416 W Main St
Charlottesville, VA 22903

917 Preston Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903

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And an unimportant announcement

I tied for first place with 101 Cookbooks for Best Food/Health Blog of 2007 from Obviously not for the "health" bit. Thank you for your support! As flattering as it is, I have no idea how this happened. Computer error? Misalignment of the planets? So many possibilities...


Mikey / January 17, 2008 7:38 AM

Hm. If I had to choose a name for my donut-shop, I'd definitely go with something other than "Spudnuts". Just doesn't fill the mouth with water, now does it.

Still, good donuts, I gather from your report.

Tina / January 17, 2008 8:03 AM

If there was a Spudnuts in the city, I would probably get some donuts. They all look too tempting to resist...

How's Gearhart's chocolates? They look yummy.

The pixelation photos look AWESOME, btw. :D Jumping photos are bad enough...doing pixelation would wear me out.

Kathy / January 17, 2008 10:49 AM

Best Health/Food Blog tie = UNIMPORTANT announcement??! I think not!

We shall celebrate! With, uh, banana gelato, honey loaves, hawaiian food and stuffs...CONGRATS! =)

Julie / January 17, 2008 11:14 AM

Congrats on your Best Food Bloginess! I love Heidi's blog, too--definitely different, but two sides of the same coin--food lovers to the core.

I've heard of Spudnuts, and I've never been anywhere near there. I'm always wary about cake donuts, unfortunately--I'm always sure they'll be totally dry.

Thinking about all the jumping you had to do to make your pixelations made me kinda tired, but the one with Olivia floating around you is RAD.

Olivia / January 17, 2008 1:32 PM

ZOMG! Congratulations on best food blog robyn! tonight we will have to celebrate with something! gelato? cake? horchatas?!?

Graeme / January 17, 2008 2:13 PM

You don't see Donuts nearly as much as you should around here. These pictures aren't helping much either.

Love the Lamb thing though.

roboppy / January 18, 2008 1:01 AM

Rasa: I feel like donut shops are going DOWN here. -__- But we have enough. Yeah. Not enough Spudnuts but donuts in general.

Jane: ME TOO.

Mikey: I like the name Spudnuts! It's...kinda cute?

Tina: I'd totally go to Spudnuts if it were in the city. OH WELL.

The chocolates were good! I like. The pieces were...laargge. A bunch of them had some alcohol so I didn't try those. -__-

Pixelation = my only workout.

Danny: Ahh yes, those were totally her idea. I mean, they ALL were! Crazeh! :D


Julie: Thanks! I like Heidi's blog too. It's, like, PROFESSIONAL. We are kind of on different levels. -__-

Oh yes, I've had bad cake donuts. THESE ARE NOT BAD. THEY ARE FULL OF JOY.

Janet: Haha, thanks!

Angie: Thanks. We try SO VERY HARD.

blognut: I want one of each donut! If I go back, that's what I'm doinnn.


Graeme: I'm just here to torture you! Maybe I should take more photos of donuts. :D :D :D

theeng2 / January 28, 2008 12:45 PM

Never left a comment before, but just had to now that you've been to Charlottesville two times (I'm going to grad school at UVa). It is not surprising that few people know about Spudnuts, but it's just as well. Apparently they close after they sell out for the day. Luckily, one guy I know lives nearby and he bought these yummy yummy treats for me twice, which was the only evidence I had that this place is open!

roboppy / January 28, 2008 2:41 PM

theeng2: Thanks for commenting! So it's a good thing that Spudnuts isn't overrun by hungry college students! I guess only seeing two of those apple cinnamon donuts was a telling sign. THOSE WERE SO FREAKIN' GOOD. I would totally wake up early to eat those...

roboppy / February 9, 2008 2:08 AM

Alissa: WOOHOO, more Spudnuts love! I like that you got a box of 12; it's the only way to go, eh? ;) If I lived near Spudnuts I'm afraid I'd go there way too often. For better or worse, there is no good donut shop in a convenient location for me in NYC. ...Then again, there are a lot of other tempting things I have to worry about. -__-

CVILLE, I MISS UR DONUTS!! Among other things. I hope to visit again sometime!

David / June 30, 2008 1:42 PM

If you like really exotic olive oil, I highly recommend trying the extra-virgin olive oil from Holy Food Imports.
It is imported to the US from Israel, and it is produced using cold presses,
as was the method over 3,000 years ago.

Ida / June 13, 2011 7:59 AM

OHMYGOD! You went to all my favorite places in Charlottesville - Spudnuts, Feast!, Gearhart's, ABC, UVA! (Haven't been to Sticks yet, must try that out next year when I have a car!) But OHMYGOD!!!! It makes me so happy that I recognize every single place you took a picture of - when I first read this post when it came out I just looked at all the food porn and drooled. But now that I'm a student, I can look AND share in the experience! Yay for actually tasting and not just living vicariously through delicious pictures! You should visit Charlottesville again soon!! I have another place for you to try!

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