While a ton of breakfast places and bakeries light up the main strip of Destin, Florida, you’ll hear about the Donut Hole only if you ask for a recommendation from the locals. Indeed, this bakery and breakfast food spot is out to make top notch goodies and pies for the local and tourist crowds alike, with a real emphasis on fresh ingredients. Whether you’re sitting down for a bite to eat or you’re taking out one of the esteemed pastries, I found the spot a good place for one of Florida’s signature dishes: the legendary Key Lime Pie.
So, if you aren’t familiar, the key lime is a special kind of lime grown I the Florida keys. It is smaller, more tart and more bitter than the average lime. Now the beauty of that is that the lime works wonderfully in a different kind of pie than the traditional lemon meringue; and indeed, the key lime pie is made with condensed milk and some other ingredients until it is a thicker, custard-like pie with a heavier and more tart flavor. The execution from Donut Hole? Flawless. The restaurant boasts it makes its pies fresh every day and you can sample them by the slice or on the whole. The crust is flaky and maintains the flakiness well with the pie within it. And a whipped topping to accentuate the pie really hits home. It’s just fantastic.
There are a number of other pastries on the menu, including a range of donuts and muffins. These are good because they’re largely muted a bit on the sugariness. The donut dough isn’t sugary but it maintains a light and fluffy texture, and lets the toppings — from coconut to peanut butter and red velvet cake — dominate the flavor. It’s excellent. In the meantime the apple strudel muffin I tried was heavy on the apples and strudel. No filler needed.
Something you need to know about this place: They generally don’t seem to run out of key lime pies quickly but as for everything else; all the donuts and other goodies, it’s first-come, first-served. If they sell out, they’re out for that day. I noticed that by early afternoon, 2 p.m. or so, they start to run out of baked goodies. By the 4 p.m. range, there isn’t as much selection left. Keep that in mind.
Service is decent, in two visits I found the front counter was not as courteous as you’d expect, in fact they seemed distracted with the rest of the restaurant. But the servers coming to the tables were fantastic both times. One way or another, though, Donut Hole is easily worth a visit to grab those baked goodies.
- You want a good key lime pie from the Gulf Coast — locals will tell you to come here. And yes, it’s absolutely fantastic.
- They sell out of goodies during the day and don’t bake more. The earlier you get there the better.
- You can buy whole pies or by the slice, and they’re packaged to go.