You may have noticed something interesting about your Instagram feed lately: The donuts are taking over.
For a while, those of us in Western New York had to smash the Like button with envy on Instagram donuts topped with crushed candy bars, smeared with Nutella or drizzled with lemon-basil icing. But now, more and more local cafes are stepping up to the plate and crushing our donut FOMO.
Peace, Love and Little Donuts on Transit Road in Williamsville specializes in making bite-sized, gram-worthy donuts for the masses. PLLD tops their donuts with everything from pretzel sticks to cereal to candy bars. If you’re worried about how crazy these toppings get; don’t be. There’s no absinthe-infused, hickory-smoked Franken-donuts. It’s all pretty approachable: You can do this!
“Everything’s super fresh,” franchise owner Brad Terwilliger recently told Step Out Buffalo. “That’s the whole concept; as fresh as can be.”
The new donut shop is part of a chain with more than two dozen locations that has its roots in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. The WNY franchise is located in a strip mall on Transit Road, and TBH — you’re not going here for the decor. You’re going here for the donuts.
“They really refined a great donut,” said Terwilliger about the folks at PLLD HQ. “It’s moist but it’s got crispy edges, and it delivers the toppings perfectly.”
The donuts at PLLD are divided into three categories, each with their own price point. Far-Out are powdered dounts, Groovy are iced-to-order, and Funkadelic have all kinds off trippy toppings. On our recent visit we tried cinnamon sugar, ginger, honey, maple, chocolate, vanilla, mocha, lemon, salted caramel macchiato, Oreo, Magically Delicious, Fruity Pebbles and apple pie.
All of the donuts were as described: crispy on the outside and spongy on the inside. None of the donuts we had were filled, but all were topped.
It’s important to emphasize: These donuts are a little bigger than the size of a tea candle. They’re just big enough to get a taste of those toppings, but small enough for those don’t want to overindulge or get donut debris all over their clothes. You’re not walking away from these donuts looking like Al Pacino in Scarface – covered in white powder.
One standout was the Lucky Charm marshmallow-topped Magically Delicious. Berry-flavored icing on the donut provided a nice fruity flavor, while the marshmallows had that familiar soft crunch. Another highlight was the salted caramel macchiato, the dark candy curls on top had a soft, rugged texture that melted into a sweet and salty treat.
The sugared donuts weren’t overly sweet and the donut icing was quite gooey compared to your standard Tim Hortons or Dunkin donut.
Terwilliger said PLLD does give franchise owners the chance to come up with our own flavors, and Terwilliger said he plans to start donut R&D as soon as possible.
“We want to come up with our own Buffalo donuts,” he said. “We’re not quite sure what that means yet. We’ve thrown a couple ideas around like loganberry, sponge candy and Honey Nut Cheerios. You know, something that says Buffalo. We’ve all joked about the chicken wing, but no one knows how to pull that one off!
“Actually, some of the ones were added recently were from another location, and we’re hopefully adding a couple more in a few weeks or so. If we come up with our own signature donuts, we’re excited to see if they go throughout the rest of the locations.”
Peace, Love and Little Donuts
6733 Transit Road, Buffalo, New York 14221
Hours: Monday to Wednesday, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thursday to Saturday, 6 a.m. – 9:30 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.