On my way back to Virginia from Kansas City, I had to make one last pit stop in Terre Haute, Indiana. Mostly to say some overdue farewells, because since my Grandfather died six years ago, and my grandmother retired to Florida last year, I’ve less of a reason to return to Terre Haute, but also to reacquaint myself with some of the things that made me enjoy growing up here.
The one that I’m telling you about today is Square Donuts.
A Terre Haute tradition since 1967, Square Donuts have been a Hoosier staple for half a century now. They’ve rightly become a regional staple in that time, I’ve loved the place and their signature square donuts since my grandparents first brought be here as a kid, and I’ve always love to tell people that in Indiana, ‘the beef is Italian, the tenderloins are breaded, and the donuts are square’ ever since.
As to what makes Square Donuts so unique – aside from a dozen varieties of donuts that have corners – it’s actually kind of hard to put into words. In my experience, a lot of donut shops, and especially chains, the donuts are off in some small way. For Krispy Kreme, there is too much glaze. For Dunkin Donuts, too much cake. For some of the smaller, quirkier donut shops popping up these days, while the bacon maple donut was a revelation, nobody wants a pastry with breakfast cereal on it. Again, none of them are bad, but there are little things that keep them from perfection.
Square Donuts has none of that. The donuts strike the perfect balance between glaze and cakiness. If there is icing or filling, there is just the right amount, and nothing too out there. There is just the right mix of sweetness and flavor. Square Donuts serves the rare donut that is perfectly balanced – that they come square shaped is the bonus, not the draw.
Oddly enough, since I was last in Terre Haute, Square Donuts has started to grow into a proper franchise, with locations in Indianapolis, Bloomington and Richmond, Indiana, as well as a new location closer to downtown in Terre Haute. As many donut shops are setting up shop in Richmond, Virginia these days, one hopes they’ll eventually work their way east
So if you ever should find yourself passing through the state of Indiana, pop on in to sample this Hoosier classic for yourself. Be there or be square!