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Love My Way: Discovering Late-Night Bliss at Hurts Donut Co.

1:37 PM EDT on May 18, 2023

About a week or two, I attended a concert at the Tower Theater. It was stellar—the Psychedelic Furs always are—but afterward, perhaps high off contact vapors, I found myself very hungry.

As I exited the building and walked down 23rd towards Western, I came upon an untried vendor of baked goods – Hurts Donuts Co., 601 NW 23rd.

While I have heard of them, I admit I was not very familiar with the Springfield, Missouri-based concept, but as I sauntered into the sweet-smelling establishment, I was quickly taken back to my early twenties, when I'd frequent the all-night dives of sugar-laden hovels for the weary and the tired.

It was good to be home, even if it was just one night.

As I walked to the sweet-laden cases, my sugar-boner was extended upward, stretching for the best choices. As I perused the glass cases of nighttime donuts, my breath fogged up the outside as a bakery worker asked what I was looking for—so many options, so many choices, I marveled!

As I drooled, the best and the brightest donuts called out to me, illuminating in the fluorescent light. I chose four, along with a travel-size bottle of 2% percent milk, and made my way to a wonky table, worn and abused by years of sugary abuse.

With the paper bag serving as my clandestine plate, the donuts were strung-out for all to witness – the saccharine scent of the freshly made treats wafting into the clean air, signaling to all onlookers the combustibles were ready to eat.

Strawberry Cheesecake & Maple Bacon Long John

I started with the breakfast-like Maple Bacon long john. Long, strong, and waiting for the moist friction of my mouth, it was an elongated snack, covered in a maple glaze, with a string of bacon bits. Of course, this was the start of the sweetest night, but this snack was given the royal treatment, with a royal taste.

Next up, I had the “Bullseye” selection with the Strawberry Cheesecake donut…and it was a rowdy thing! A crusty fragment with a creamy dollop of strawberry cheesecake topping, it was a true treasure to be discovered as I erotically drained every single drop into my mouth.

The Jesús & Twix

Still even wanting more, I had the delightful fantasy of the Twix variety. Much like it says, it’s a chocolate cake donut with scads of Twix bits sprinkled on top. It was a smart choice, giving me enough caramel and cookie energy for one final nut.

For that grand finale, I chose the most holy ghost around – the Jesús. An exclusive taste, it featured swirls of caramel dancing on white icing and brown sugar layered sweetness. I tried to eat it down to its hollow core, but it was just too much. I sheepishly pushed the rest away, understanding why they call the place "Hurts."

Fully filled, I was more than done for the night, and most of the next week, too. With my sugar-rush crashing from this donut bender, I went into a glazed-coma for about two or three days, surviving only on celery sticks and miso-based soup for the rest of the week.

Looking back on Hurts Donuts, it was an extraordinarily good time—but maybe I should have stuck with just one donut. You know, being a stroke survivor and all.

But, as they say, you only live once, and I recommend everyone should give Hurts a try before entering the afterlife, and maybe bring along a Jesús with them.


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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