Bristol Doughnut Company
Earlier this week I set to get a doughnut and coffee, and while I did eventually get both, the adventure did not exactly go according to plan.
I have a favorite coffee place that serves nothing but coffee, and anytime I feel the need for an octo-shot Americano, it’s the place I go.
I also have a favorite doughnut place that serves a limited but completely calorie-worthy array of doughnuts. The operation is run out of a double decker bus, and anytime I feel I need some deep fried dough to accompany an octo-shot Americano, it’s the place I go.
And up until recently, they were both located on Central Avenue in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Get your kicks on Route 66
Central Avenue was once part of the famed Route 66 and runs through the center of the city, traversing the University of New Mexico, an assortment of hospitals, and an array of restaurants and boutiques.
It is also home to a number of hotels that harken back to the hey day of Route 66 with names like Hiway House, Monterey Motel, El Vado, The Hotel Blue, and The Crossroads Motel.
And up until recently, the northwest corner of Central and Bryn Mawr was home to the Bristol Doughnut Company — a doughnut shop that is housed in a black double-decker former municipal transport vehicle that serves some of the best doughnuts east or west of the Rio Grande.
I remember my delight the first time I saw the bus as I drove drove west on Central Avenue. I was newer to Albuquerque then, and there were so many new sights to be seen, I found it hard to keep my full attention on the road. The doughnut bus was on of those worthy distractions.
But this day, the delight I felt the first time I saw the doughnut bus was replaced with a sense of despair similar to what I have felt when I have misplaced my keys while traveling and have been left to wonder how and if I will ever get home. On this day, when I arrived at the corner of Central and Bryn Mawr, the bus was gone, and there was nothing to indicate what had happened.
My youngest son, however, was with me, and through the combined magic of the internet and cellphones, he found that the Bristol Doughnut Company bus had moved to 10301 Comanche Road NE. He also informed me that we were at least fifteen minutes away.
The journey begins anew
At that point, I wouldn’t have cared if it were an extra two hours away. I was already fifteen minutes over my time budget and sufficiently invested that I had a “damn the torpedoes” attitude. I was prepared to spend as much time as it took.
The new location of the bus was in the northeast quadrant of Albuquerque. As my son patiently provided me with much needed navigation, I made my way north then headed east.
Comanche is a large thoroughfare, but it has a more residential than commercial flair, and as I got closer and closer to the Sandias which in turn loomed larger and larger on my personal horizon, I wondered if, tucked between the houses and schools, there really would be a doughnut bus at the end of my travels.
For most of the journey, I had not allowed myself to think that I would not be able to get a Bristol Doughnut Company doughnut, but as we went passed one neighborhood and then another, my certainty began to falter. I allowed myself to think of other, substitute doughnuts, and it was just at the moment that I had given up on ever finding the new location of the doughnut bus that it came into sight.
Comanche Shopping Center
Relief overcame me. I knew (and know) it was only a doughnut, but somehow in my travels across Albuquerque, the promise of sweet dough fried to perfection had come to mean something more.
After I got my doughnuts, I learned that the “new” location of the bus is going to be more permanent. Part of a commercial building has been purchased, and the traveling doughnut bus now has a dedicated parking space along the western edge of the shopping center, and if you should find yourself passing through Albuquerque, you might want to stop at Bristol Doughnut Company where you can get both a doughnut and a view of the Sandia Mountains.