While most people speak with fond nostalgia about their first ride on a double-decker bus, the memories of our inaugural trip are tinged with horror that traumatizes us to this day. As with most visitors making their first excursion to London, we wanted to take in all the sights with the best vantage point you can have. That meant sitting on the top deck of a double-decker. These bi-level behemoths ride higher than almost everything else on the road save for those noisy articulated lorries ( what we Yanks call semi-trailer trucks). Despite the congestion that typifies London’s streets, double-deckers provide spectacular, mostly unobstructed views of the city.
Though we arrived early to ensure we got seats on the coveted top deck, a couple dozen early birds got there earlier. As we climbed the stairs to our lofty perch, the portly fellow in front of us “let ‘er rip,” emitting the most noxious effluvia imaginable. Our eyes began to water as we coughed and sputtered at the malodorous “silent but deadly” emanation. Surely this odoriferous rank was equal to or more potent than the sulfuric gates of Hell. Congestion at the top slowed our ascent and heightened our suffering. Then, to our horror and dismay, the only available seats were behind the mephitic miscreant who continued his “assault from the rear.” As if to prolong our distress, an accident snarled traffic. When we finally disembarked—at the very first stop—we thanked God for our delivery from our putrid purgatory.
When I excitedly told my Kim about Bristol Doughnut Co., a new donut shop in the Duke City which proffers “probably the best donuts in Albuquerque” (according to ever reliable Howie “The Duke of Duke City” Kaibel, the charismatic Albuquerque Community Manager for Yelp), she reminded me of the torment we suffered in London. It then dawned on me that the double-decker on which our torturous ordeal (death might have been preferable) occurred sported the Bristol name. Surely we thought, Bristol the double-decker manufacturer has absolutely no relation to Bristol the purveyor of peerless donuts. We were half right.
When we asked “why the name Bristol,” we were told that a bona fide Bristol Double-Decker bus is being readied for selling donuts. Can there be a better idea than donuts coming to the masses instead of the masses having to go to the donuts? For now, when you attempt to go to the (Bristol) donuts, you may have trouble finding them. Though the Bristol Doughnut Co. has a physical address, there is no exterior signage anywhere to let you know you’ve arrived at your destination. Bristol is ensconced within The Spur Line Supply Company just past Mama’s Minerals in the burgeoning Sawmill District. It’s in the southeast corner of a large complex resembling a warehouse.
In addition to its unique location, the Bristol Doughnut Co. displays its featured fare in a very distinct manner. Donuts are displayed behind what was once the back window of a vintage automobile which has since been cut in half. It’s akin to a super-sized sneeze guard. A limited number of donuts are available on any given day, not always the same kind. We ordered four of the six kinds available on the date of our inaugural visit and absolutely loved every single one of them. Bristol donuts are certainly among the very best of breed.
My Kim tends to judge the worthiness of a donut shop by the quality of its cinnamon rolls. As with almost all cinnamon rolls, she contends Bristol’s could have used a bit more cinnamon, but considering the general deliciousness of these dense, doughy spirals, it’s a nit. A light sugary glaze practically begs for the sheen of melted butter, a sweet and savory complement she enjoys. Maple bacon donuts have become as common as fake news, but Bristol’s version is better than any we’ve previously enjoyed. The complementary flavors of sweet maple and salty bacon are in perfect proportion to one another. Perhaps that’s because the bacon is in bits not strips. Of seasonal significance is an egg nog donut which might just have you pining for its liquid counterpart. Then there’s the salted butter donuts which stand out because the light glaze allows you to easily discern and thoroughly enjoy the salted butter. They go together very well.
Now, if you’re thinking you’ll get up early tomorrow to grab donuts on your way to work, you can sleep in. Bristol’s hours of operation start at 10AM Monday through Saturday and at 11AM on Sunday. The good news is that you’ll be able to pick donuts up on your way home because Bristol is open until 6PM Monday through Saturday and 4PM on Sunday. Donuts…no longer just for breakfast…and so good, we’d risk another trip on a double-decker bus.
Bristol Doughnut Co.
800 20th Street, N.W.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Web Site | Facebook Page
LATEST VISIT: 3 December 2017
# OF VISITS: 1
COST: $ – $$
BEST BET: Cinnamon Rolls, Egg Nog Donut, Maple Bacon Donut, Bristol Salted Butter Donut
RESTAURANT REVIEW #1008