Thursday, December 5, 2013

Britt's donuts of Carolina Beach high on national list

You may have come across directly if you're a foodie, or while poking around at, which reposts some of its articles. covers a wide range of  food- and drink-related subjects, from chefs and cookbooks to traditional food-related breaking news to food-related travel.

Its forte is lists: "10 Best College Football Stadium Eats," "7 Healthy Kids' Drinks," "11 Rum Cocktails for National Rum Day," etc., and one posted recently was "America's 25 Best Donuts."

No, N.C.-based Krispy Kreme didn't make this particular roster, though's "8 Decadent Donuts From Around the Country"  included KK's Key lime.

But the just-out top-donut list did have the plain glazed created at Britt's Donut Shop, in Carolina Beach, in  11th place.

It's an inspired choice, even if Britt's is open only during tourist season.

H.L. Britt's debuted in  1939. Britt sold the operation (and secret recipe) in the mid-1970s; the Nivens family has operated it since.

The glazed, airy  wonders cost 90 apiece in 2013; the shop usually opens for the season around Easter. Regular-season hours are 8 a.m. to around 10:30 p.m. Monday Saturday, with an early closing (4 p.m.) Sundays.

It's right on the Carolina Beach boardwalk, adding a  sweet and tasty morsel to North Carolina history.

The illustrious Oxford American magazine did a detailed and glowing feature on Britt's in its July 2012 issue. And on the Internet you'll find its fan club site.

You'll learn at the fan site that a book about the place , "Britt's Donuts: Forever Sweet," will be coming out in March.

And while you can't buy donuts at the site -- and the shop doesn't open until spring, remember -- you can pad your holiday gift list by ordering Britt's bumper stickers (starting at $2) or art prints (starting at $45). One of the stickers available from the fan site is shown at the top of this tale.

Of the top 25 on the "Best Donuts" list, only three are from the Southeast. Britt's is the only one from the Carolinas.

Here, by the way are the 10 ranked just above Britt's:

1              Doughnut Vault, Chicago (Plain glazed)
2              Round Rock Donuts, Round Rock, Texas (Plain glazed)
3              Dough, Brooklyn, N.Y. ( Lemon poppy)
4              Bouchon, Yountville Calif (Broiche with seasonal preserves)
5              Stan’s Doughnuts, Los Angeles (Peanut butter and banana)
6              Danny’s Donuts, Vista, Calif (Blueberry cake)
7              Verna’s Donut Shop, Cambridge, Mass. (Chocolate honey-dip)
8              Congdon’s Doughnuts, Wells, Maine (Blueberry jelly)
9              Federal Doughnuts, Philadelphia (Cookies and cream)
10           Donut Man, Glendora, Calif- (Fresh peach and strawberry)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Asheville's Grove Park, Poinsette in Greenville, S.C., named to historic hotels list

                                                  Grove Park Inn (N.C. Tourism photo)

Historic Hotels of America -- an official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation -- has added 21 more  hotels and resorts to its list. The list includes two noteworthy places in the Carolinas: Asheville's Grove Park Inn and The Poinsett, in Greenville, S.C. 

The program "Identifies quality hotels that have faithfully maintained their historic integrity, architecture and ambiance." Properties also must be at least 50 years old.

The full 2013 inductee list (and the date those properties opened):

American Empress, floating boutique hotels on the Pacific Northwest's Columbia and Snake rivers (19th century)
American Queen, a floating boutique hotel on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers (19th century)
Benbow Inn, Garberville, Calif.  (1926)
Hotel Lana’i, Lana’i City, Hawaii (1923)
Inn at Price Tower, Bartlesville, Okla. (1956)
Inn at Saratoga, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (1843)
Lake McDonald Lodge, Glacier National Park  (1913)
Ledges Hotel, Hawley, Pa. (1890)
Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park (1915)
Mizpah Hotel, Tonopah, Nev. (1907)
 Moana Surfrider Westin Resort & Spa, Honolulu (1901)
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, Calif. (1963)
The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn Resort & Spa, Sonoma, Calif. (1928)
The Jefferson, Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C. (1923)
The Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville (1913)
The Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs, Va. (1766)
The Sayre Mansion, Bethlehem, Pa. (1858)
The Talbott Hotel, Chicago, Ill. (1927)
The Westin Poinsett, Greenville, S.C., (1925)
Timberline Lodge, Timberline, Ore. (1937)
Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, Tubac, Ariz. (1789)

Places located in the Carolinas already on the full list::

The Dunhill Hotel, Charlotte
Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst
The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill
Green Park Inn, Blowing Rock
Mast Farm Inn, Banner Elk
Haywood Park, Asheville
Old Edwards Inn & Spa, Highlands
Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston
Wentworth Mansion, Charleston
Kings Courtyard Inn, Charleston
John Rutledge House, Charleston

If you're familiar with any of these places, you'll get the drift: time-honored elegance.

While the aim of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is to save important buildings, having your property designated by Historic Hotels of America is also good for business: You can find links to all the hotels/inns/resorts 
at and use the "Destinations" link to open up a map showing where these places are located. Zoom in and you'll be able to find links to the individual properties, which are located from Honolulu (The Royal Hawaiian) to the New England coast  (Newagen Seaside Inn, in Southport, Maine); from on Michigan's Mackinac Island (Grand Hotel) to U.S.V.I. (The Buccaneer).

The list includes are more than 240 hotels in all.

If where you stay is an important aspect of where you go, you'll want to check the full lineup.