The Golden Circle Doughnut Shop — A Primer and Introduction — Part 3

For the purposes of many of the stories that will unfold in this forum, there is very little that the casual reader will need to know about the Golden Circle, beyond its aforementioned location. However, here at the outset, it might interest the completist to gather a more comprehensive picture of the establishment.

The Golden Circle began its life in an earlier era, when certain rococo tendencies in fast food architecture were still in their prime. Hence, atop its slanted red roof, there sits a ceramic honey-colored doughnut, about the size of a Volkswagen Bug. The words “NEVERENDING TASTE” follow the circumference of the doughnut around its edge, and below it, along the rim of the roof, a sign spells out “GOLDEN CIRCLE,” followed by “Coffee,” and “Donuts.”

The present owners of the Golden Circle are fanatical about its upkeep. The entirety of the shop, especially on a foggy night (which is six nights out of seven) seems to glow with a warm, Edward Hopper radiance. Each of its clean windows showcases a comfortable leather booth and a red linoleum table, each with their own bronze ceiling lamp shining out a soft yellow light. Every table has its own napkin dispenser, dairy creamer, and sugar dispenser, as well as a cream colored ramekin stuffed with a tidy selection of white packets of sugar and pink packets of sugar substitute.

The shop’s counter matches the red of the tables with an equally rich green linoleum and a similar assortment of utensils and accoutrement.

The menu, back lit with a steady white light, reads clean and simple along the top of the kitchen’s wall. Doughnut prices, coffee prices, and a tiny selection of other beverages, plus one rotating weekday breakfast special from the grill (Monday: Scrambled eggs on an English muffin, Tuesday: Huevos Rancheros, etc). The doughnuts themselves sit in clean, neatly labeled shelves. Unlike most 21st Century doughnut shops, The Golden Circle’s coffee is exceptionally good, and bottomless for eat-in customers.

The most distinguishing quirk of the eatery is evident to anyone who reads the menu: each doughnut variety is named for a saint. Saint Ursula’s Eleven Thousand Sprinkles, Saint Brendan’s Pumpkin Spiced, Don Bosco’s Chocolate Glazed, Saint Anthony’s Jelly-filled, St. Brigid’s Bearclaws. If you were to ask the counter help about this unusual naming practice, she (invariably, it is almost always a she) will smile and point to a message along the bottom of the menu that reads: “Please do not ask us about the Saints. Thank you, Mgt.”

 

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