Santa Maria Sun / Eats
Doughnut think twice: Sweet and savory collide at Yummy Donuts & Deli
Have you ever caught yourself craving a doughnut instead of that boring bag of chips with your sandwich? The thought had never occurred to me, but it felt so natural once I tried the combination at Yummy Donuts & Deli in Santa Maria. The concept of mixing a doughnut shop with a deli seems quite unique to me, although I could be mistaken—is it already a common thing I'm just not aware of? Either way, Yummy Donuts was the first of that kind I've ever encountered.
Whenever something is named after a positive adjective like "yummy," it's just begging to be challenged. Does it deserve to be called yummy? And even if these doughnuts and sandwiches are yummy, why pick such a bland name? Maybe "yummy" was picked out of a top hat, beating out other words like "delicious" and "scrumptious."
But perhaps I'm overlooking the possible deliberateness behind this choice. "Yummy" is straightforward after all, not unlike other doughnut shop names. I imagine the founders went through a process of elimination.
"There's Main Street Donuts on Main Street, maybe we should call our place 'South Broadway Donuts & Deli,'" one founder might have proposed.
"But naming it 'South Broadway' would only reiterate the name of the street we're on. It wouldn't tell the customer whether we're actually yummy or not," another founder might have said in objection.
"Well, what the heck? Let's just call it Yummy Donuts then!"
That's probably nowhere near how it actually went down. But hypothetically speaking, if "South Broadway Donuts" was chosen, it might have caused controversy—since Yummy Donuts shares the street with House of Donuts (less than a mile away). My GPS confused the two establishments and advised me to make a left turn at House's location (that's what I get for not being specific). It should have only taken a minute or two to find the right place, but three red lights in a row prevented that outcome.
Seven years later, I finally arrived at Yummy Donuts & Deli. I wasn't alone though—I begged my baby brother, home from UCSB for Thanksgiving, to join me. "It'll be fun, I'll buy you a doughnut, it'll be great!" I halfheartedly assured him earlier that day. All of my three friends were busy, so he was my last resort.
We walked into Yummy Donuts like we owned the place—I only say that because both of us were wearing pajama pants and flip-flops. The only person working, who I assumed to be the proprietor, greeted me right away. I think he could tell by my goofy expression that I needed a moment to decide. Apparently his priority was not synchronized with mine—doughnuts now, Pokémon Go later (yes we still play). I made a vow not to open the app until after ordering (only a Snorlax could have persuaded me to break it).
"Don't worry, it's just a Pidgey," my brother said. Relieved, I turned back to the doughnut selection in front of me—and the menu on the wall behind it. I knew I needed to try a sub sandwich for sure, and at least one doughnut. Conveniently for me, Yummy Donuts offers a combo that includes both, plus a drink of your choice.
There are 12 sandwiches to choose from: ham, turkey, roast beef, B.L.T., club, veggie, chicken, sausage, meatball, pastrami, salami, and tuna. I chose ham, which would have been $6.25 by itself (the combo costs $8.25). "You OK with everything on it?" The worker asked me. "Umm, let me see." I hesitated and double checked what it came with. All sandwiches include: mayo, mustard, pickle, tomato, onion, bell pepper, lettuce, and cheese.
"Yeah, I'm fine with everything!" I exclaimed. "And what kind of bread?" My options: wheat, white, sourdough, or croissant. After choosing sourdough, it was time to pick some sweet dough—a doughnut, that is. When it comes to doughnuts, I'm pretty boring—glazed are my favorite. But I'll occasionally go for a frosted one with sprinkles, like I did that day. The last thing for me to pick was my beverage—I chose a 12-ounce bottle of Sunny Delight. For a couple extra bucks, I could've upgraded to a smoothie (mango, pineapple, strawberry, banana or blueberry). I declined, not because I'm cheap—it's just that my Sunny D bottle was already half empty before I even paid for it (or half full if you're an optimist).
When I finally joined my brother at the Pidgey table, I decided to eat my sprinkled doughnut first. It honestly tasted exactly the way I expected it to—good but I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between it and one from anywhere else.
The sandwich was a different case though—it was actually better than I anticipated. Everything from the ham to the veggies tasted fresh. And it was adequately stuffed, the type of sandwich that ends with a surplus amount of leftover lettuce.
The menu boasts that the bread is homemade—I'm not sure if that was one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much, but I'm sure it didn't hurt. Overall, the ham sub was ... what's the word I'm looking for? Dare I say—yummy.
My brother ended up ordering the same ham sandwich as me—by itself, not the combo. He said it was "aight." I wonder if that word was in the hat too when Yummy was chosen. Aight Donuts & Deli does have a certain ring to it.
Caleb Wiseblood still wants a Snorlax. Send him where to go via Editor Shelly Cone at email@example.com.
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