Game of Dones: A Blind Taste Test of 6 Doughnuts Including Reigning Champ Pharaoh

dones.jpg
The worthy contenders. | Jessica Lussenhop/Kelsey Meyer

Back in March, Gut Check bought five plain glazed doughnuts from five local shops and pitted them against one another in a blind taste test. Pharaoh's Donuts (200 North Seventh Street) beat out Strange Donuts, World's Fair Donuts, a doughnut of humble origins from Schnucks and Donut Drive-In. Were you, dear Gut Check reader, amused? You were not.

We received an onslaught of e-mails and comments challenging the validity of our little test and scolding us for omitting your favorite dones. Your cries of anguish did not fall on deaf ears. Today we bring you a second attempt -- we call it Game of Dones: A Song of Icing and Fried. We raced to the four corners of the county and city to bring back reader-suggested doughnuts and put them through a trial by combat with reigning champ Pharaoh. Who will claim the Iron Done?

See also: A Blind Taste Test of 5 Doughnuts Including Strange, World's Fair and, Yes, Schnucks

This time, our low-born doughnut was from QuikTrip, and it entered the arena against Old Town Donuts (510 North New Florissant Road, Florissant; 314-831-0907), Tony's Doughnuts & Ice Cream (12218 McKelvey Road, Maryland Heights; 314-739-1388), Ray's Donuts (2542 South Brentwood Boulevard; 314-962-6210) and John Donut Co. (1618 South Broadway; 314-241-3360). So, how did they measure up?

As before, it should be noted that these weren't fresh and warm at 5 a.m.; we purchased them in the early afternoon. We also used plain glazed doughnuts to be able to compare, so places that specialize in cake doughnuts are at a disadvantage. These were decisions made of practicality and logistics.

RFT staffers sampled all six doughnuts without knowing which was which and ranked them according to taste. The votes were then tallied and the doughnuts revealed (and extras eaten!).

1. Pharaoh's Donuts
2. Old Town
3. QuikTrip
4. Ray's
5. Tony's
6. John

Pharaoh cut down all others in its path again with 38 out of 40 points, while Old Town came in second with 31 points. Surprisingly, QuikTrip came in third with 25 points followed by Ray's with 20 points. Tony's and John Donut Co. rounded out the bottom two.

Our takeaway is that you have got to get to Pharaoh. It recently reopened after a brief hiatus, but lucky for us, it's now open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Now, doughnut devotees, is your bloodlust sated? We expect likely not. Who should enter the contest next? Will there ever be a Pharaoh-slayer? Leave suggestions in the comments.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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32 comments
lucasrincon1967
lucasrincon1967

Unreal..... Tonys donuts are a million times better. All the others are so greasy and they hurt your tummy later. Please get your donut act together. Maybe somebody switch them. Tonys donuts are the best.

Heather Folkerts
Heather Folkerts

Check out Baker's Dozen at Page and Spencer. To DIE FOR.

thatguyoverthere
thatguyoverthere

Finally settling the age-old debate, "who has the best stale donuts in St. Louis?" 

Next up, "who has the best toasted ravioli that's been in a to-go box for 4 hours?"

Jerry Lintner
Jerry Lintner

Hoeckele's Bakery and Deli is a bit of a drive, but once you've had one of their glazed, nothing is ever the same...

Karla Terhark
Karla Terhark

I'm gonna throw my support behind QT donuts, maybe because the same time they come in fresh is when we are doing a late night snack run

Karen Hodapp
Karen Hodapp

You have yo try Ahne's in Waterloo! The best everything!

inmattwetrust
inmattwetrust

DRIVE IN DONUTS FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pharaohs_donuts
pharaohs_donuts

@gutcheckstl o man thanks so much for doing this we really appreciate it..... And thanks for likening our donuts!!!!!!!!!!

Alex Hinton
Alex Hinton

Qt's donuts are shit and there are always flies tryin to creep in those glass doors. Why would they even be included in a local taste test? Donut drive-in for life baby..

sauerpower83
sauerpower83

I second that both the venerable Donut Stop and St. Louis Hills Donut Shop should be in the 3rd round.


blackgold1155
blackgold1155

Your test is invalid because you didn't include Strange Donuts. Try again.

Southcity
Southcity

St. Louis Hills Donut Shop. The only worthy contender that can take down Pharaoh. Give them a shot at the title! Pharaoh is going down!

SteveKat
SteveKat

If I could only find the entrance. It's like some cruel game to continue to talk about how wonderful Pharoah donuts are, yet there is no apparent easy way into the building that houses them; almost like a pyramid.

Scott Miller
Scott Miller

ST. LOUIS HILLS donut shop has the perfect chocolate long johns

mbison42
mbison42

I would like to know why Donut Stop is not included.  Considering it has been in Bon Apetite Magazine as one of the 10 best donut shops in the country.

Megg Ray
Megg Ray

When I rarely crave a donut, only at Donut Palace on Clarkson. I will not go anywhere else.

Brett Gilmer
Brett Gilmer

Donut King in St. Charles City has the best glazed donuts in the land. Although, they only take cash so I can't imagine them having a facebook page to fend for themselves.

Joe Luckey
Joe Luckey

O'Fashion Donuts are the best in town, hands down

Shawn Smith
Shawn Smith

First of all, who calls doughnuts "dones"? Is the plain glazed doughnut really the best way to judge who's the best in town? The French crullers at Tonys are far better than any plain glazed doughnut could ever dream of being. I'm calling shenanigans!

Archie Mckinlay
Archie Mckinlay

Only donuts from Strange Donuts are called "dones." These are donuts, though I appreciate the pun.

Southcity
Southcity

That's because Pharaoh kicked the ish out of them in the first round.

Yojimbo
Yojimbo

Um, see the first post and attendant reply.  RTFC.  

mbison42
mbison42

@Yojimbo Those comments were not there when I posted.  Thanks for playing.

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