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Krispy Kraze

in ancient times, all roads led to Rome. One could be traveling the Goth Turnpike, heading due north toward Finland, and he would miraculously find himself back in the capitol city.

In the Triangle, to satisfy a Saturday-night case of the munchies, or to make a Sunday morning detour before heading to the house of the Almighty--the local Rome is Krispy Kreme, which is located at the corner of Peace and Person in downtown Raleigh.

The sun may not rise first on this doughnut heaven, and given Raleigh's rather confusing labyrinth of one-way streets, most roads certainly do not lead to these glazed gates. Krispy Kreme is nonetheless the real capitol in this area. And it's the home of the best doughnuts on the planet.

I know what you're thinking: "It's a doughnut. How complicated can it be?"Well, head to a Dunkin' Donuts and try to choke down one of their Wonder Bread bombs. Better yet, try a Dunkin' Bagel--which tastes suspiciously like a rejected doughnut.

In front of Krispy Kreme is a large neon red and green sign reminiscent of the Leave it to Beaver era. Furthermore, Krispy Kreme knows how to accurately spell the word "doughnuts." The interior of the diner also resembles the 1950s--from the art on the walls to the physical setup of the shop. If Krispy Kreme served fountain drinks or milk shakes, the metaphor would be complete--but it also would distract from what Krispy Kreme does best.

We've all sampled glazed, chocolate-iced, jelly-filled, cream- and custard-laden doughnuts, but Krispy Kreme simply does them sweeter, lighter and fresher. I've never checked the fat content or counted the calories on these doughnuts, nor do I intend to. It might ruin the joy experienced while traveling from Durham to Raleigh at 2 a.m. for a half-dozen doughnuts. Finally--a good reason to designate a driver.

And just because it says "Krispy Kreme" on the box at the supermarket does not mean that the flavor and texture equal the fresh doughnuts from the store in Raleigh. It's like the myth about how the best Guinness remains in Ireland and the dregs are exported to America. (We get the sediment--the Irish get hammered.) The best doughnuts can be purchased only at the Raleigh store--NOT the Cary location. There is another Krispy Kreme located in the suburb to end all suburbs, but the doughnuts there taste a bit stale--as if they were imported.

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