Donuts fit for a king

On the outskirts of town, near Old Tucson, lies a cleverly hidden little donut shop. A donut you may say is fit for a king, Queen Donuts. It’s basically your local ma-and-pa-owned donut shop.  There’re no bells and whistles, no crazy outside decoration to flag you down. Just a yellow sign with their name that sits atop the coffee shop. You walk inside the bell rings and notice it’s appearance is nothing special. The décor is plain, but that in itself gives it a homely feel. The walls are plain white, aside from a couple paintings of Angkor Wat, a John Deere clock and a wall by the register covered with plaques. On the counter lie some American flags and a Cambodian riel (money). Then you’re greeted by Queen Donuts owner Sal Oum, a quiet, humble man who the community adores. Oum is a Cambodian immigrant who came to America after Pol Pot’s genocide in the late ’70s of his native land.  “Ya, I left Cambodia in ’79 and never went back,” Oum said. Queens Donuts has an everyday American feel. The boards are simple, and the menu is easy to read. It’s close to impossible for you to order something you’ll regret. The menu consists of a variety of over a dozen different donuts that include a delightful apple fritter that tastes of cinnamon with relatively big chunks of apple inside. There’s also a tasty coconut cake donut with coconut shavings on top. Queens even offers a Homer Simpson-like donut, a pink old-fashioned donut with sprinkles on top. They’re regular old-fashioned donuts: Long Johns (filled or not), bowties, twists and the list goes on. Prices range from $1.65 to $2.35. The donuts are accompanied by baked goods such as muffins, croissants and even a ham-and-cheese croissant for $1.65. Oum said that everything is baked fresh daily. “Been here about 18 years,” he said. “In 2000, I started making donuts in ’93.” What really turns this small quiet donut shop from just your average spot to something worth going out of your way to enjoy is their fried chicken. Yes, fried chicken at a donut shop They serve broasted-style roasted chicken for a fair price. The chicken manages to have that perfect amount of crispness while maintaining a very juicy center, and it’s not overly greasy as one would expect from typical fried chicken place for $2.69 for two pieces to $12.50 for eight pieces. You can add macaroni salad, coleslaw or potato salad for $2.18 each or a half-dozen potato wedges for $2.12. It’s well worth the drive and then some. The only catch is they don’t start cooking it until after noon. They also have chicken tenders ranging from a 2.55 for two and $18.55 a dozen.  “Most people around here are regulars,” Oum said. “Everybody knows everybody. It’s a small world right here.”                                              


What: Queens Donut

Where: 5975 W. Western Way

Hours:  6 a.m.-6 p.m.Mondays-Saturdays

Contact: 908-3280