Congdon's Doughnuts ImageI can’t deny that her answer wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear. But I had asked the question for a reason, and I was determined to see it through. We stopped at Congdon’s Doughnuts in Wells, Maine, on a whim and I had just asked our cashier, Rebecca, for their best doughnut. Her response: jelly. With options like chocolate crunch and blueberry filled, how can jelly be the answer to that question? A jelly doughnut is so ordinary, so typical, and not usually my first choice. But she was the expert, or at least more expert than me in all things Congdon’s, so who was I to question her wisdom? Jelly it was.

I could tell the pastry was going to be terrific the moment I plucked it from the bag. It was plump, and pillowy, and almost impossibly fresh. Just the feel of it in my hand was something to be admired. A bite confirmed my suspicion. Holy crap these are good doughnuts. The fresh raspberry preserves still contained lumps of fruit and had just the right sweetness to complement the sugar dusted cake. Too often jelly doughnuts are sweet enough to induce diabetes, but not Congdon’s, theirs are perfectly balanced. Somehow they’ve managed to raise the simple jelly doughnut to a form of high art, a masterpiece. Thank you Rebecca!

When we’re lucky we happen upon places like this. Little, nothing-looking, road-side establishments that turn out to be memorable gems. We found out later, though, that many others have discovered Congdon’s before us. This mere doughnut shop is listed by Trip Advisor as the sixth best restaurant in all of Wells. If anything, it is probably ranked too low.

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