Food: Bad for You Breakfasts, Born in Houston
Empty carbs have been the villain in the nutrition world for some time now, and before that, fat was the big foe of dieters. Here are two eateries, both founded in Houston, Texas, that are guaranteed to bust any diet:
It's a little sad that the worst donut franchise, Dunkin' Donuts, is also the most common one. If you've ever had a DD donut and wished it were a little fresher, a little hotter, and a little softer, than Shipley is the place for you.
Like Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Shipley locations generally cook their donuts on the premises, leading to better, fresher donuts but necessitating bigger locations and more equipment (Dunkin' Donuts is successful partly because franchisees do not cook their donuts on-site). Unlike KK, who experienced problems with their aggressive expansion, the majority of Shipley Do-nuts locations are in Houston.
They're pretty good donuts, striking a balance between the cakelike feel of a DD donut and the fresh airiness of a KK donut. They're such an institution in Houston, even the Houston Texans Cheerleaders like 'em:
She didn't eat the whole thing, of course - not hard to see why. One last thing...Shipley donuts are best consumed fresh - they lose much of their luster when they've sat for a few days.
(Hot Donuts) 3/4 stars
(Three Days Old) 1/4 stars
Kolaches are small pastries that hail from central Europe. The magic of immigration has spread them all over the world, and they're particularly popular in Texas.
That popularity has fueled Kolache Factory, a fast food bakery chain that serves kolaches with various fillings. You can get simple cheese or fruit-filled kolaches, or opt for something heavier, like ham and eggs. Whatever version you get, though, be prepared to loosen your belt a few notches.
In terms of taste, these are pretty run-of-the-mill, mass-produced food items - sort of like eating a sweet dinner roll with stuff inside it. Yet while they'll never compete with a real Czech bakery, the good KF franchises are convenient and addictive, the sort of guilty fast-food pleasure that keeps you coming back. If you visit a bad Kolache Factory location, though, you can expect non-English-speaking service, cold coffee, and old kolaches.
(Good Location) 2/4 stars
(Bad Location) 1/4 or 0/4 stars