The Donut Whole is circular breakfast in Wichita

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The Donut Whole rooster beckons you into the 24-hour drive through.
  • The Donut Whole rooster beckons you into the 24-hour drive through.

Bacon is not without a sense of humor. Just as I declared myself ready to swear it off, the fatty links pull me back in. On the way out of Wichita yesterday morning, I stopped in at the Donut Whole (1720 East Douglas), where the best-selling of the 25 available varieties is "Maple Bacon."

"It's like a pancake breakfast with bacon," said the woman behind the counter. It was the first doughnut to go into my bag.

The Maple Bacon is The Donut Whole's top seller.
  • The Maple Bacon is The Donut Whole's top seller.

It was joined by the "Cinnamon Whole," the Donut Whole's take on a cinnamon roll, and a chocolate glazed. The cake doughnuts run between $1 and $1.50, and the size is akin to Fluffy Fresh, meaning that two doughnuts will leave you slightly too full but still glad you ate them.

I wasn't quite brave enough to order the "Bumblebee" (citrus glaze on chocolate), the "S'mores" or the "Homer J" (mixed berries and sprinkles). The flavors may be exotic, but the doughnuts are something a traditionalist could appreciate. The cake is moist and not greasy. My favorite was easily the maple bacon. The icing tastes a bit like caramelized syrup, while the bacon is a salty counterweight to the sugary frosting. I was not misled. It's a hand pancake.   

The Cinnamon Whole has a pinwheel of icing.
  • The Cinnamon Whole has a pinwheel of icing.
The coffee was the real pleasant surprise -- a bright and mellow complement to the strong doughnut flavors. The beans are roasted at the nearby Spice Merchant and available in light, medium or dark roast. The Donut Whole also offers Cafe du Monde, coffee with chicory, which you've likely had only in New Orleans. 

While I'm not certain the outlandish flavors of The Donut Whole would fly in Kansas City, the artful decor -- which includes massive tin signs and a classic jukebox -- would make it a natural fit in the Crossroads.

But maybe I'm not giving local doughnut eaters enough credit. There's always a buzz when Donut King introduced a new seasonal flavor like Red Velvet or Key Lime. Think Kansas City could handle the Fluffernutter (peanut butter and marshmallow) or the Root Beer Float?

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