Downfall from Do(ugh)nut Domination

I’ve been getting emails from Krispy Kreme reminding me to come buy & eat some doughnuts.  The only problem is that there aren’t any Krispy Kremes around where I can go buy said doughnuts.  Much like Quiznos, they seem to have parted ways with our area.  I decided to write to them and see what happened.

From: Waldo Lunar <>
Date: Fri, Feb 10, 2012
Subject: So, what happened?

Greetings Doughnut Despots,

I’m writing to ask you what happened.  Occasionally I get an email reminding me to visit a Krispy Kreme, and I think to myself “yeah, that’s a good idea.”  Sadly, there are no Krispy Kremes around any more.  I remember the stir of excitement when you first came to the area many years ago.  I believe it was even a news story… “Pittsburgh is getting Krispy Kreme!”  The fervor for hot fresh donuts was palpable.  The neon sign beckoning me in for a visit worked on several occasions when I wasn’t even craving donuts.  I’d generally come in to buy a Boston cream donut & an iced tea or chocolate milk… all because of that glowing invitation.  I always loved the retro decor, the smell, and the ability to see the magical doughnut making process.  You quickly dispatched with local competition.  Dunkin Donuts most decidedly took a hit, and you wiped out some of the local weird places like Donut Connetcion and Mister Donut.

Then, you pulled out like an occupying force ordered home.  There’s hardly a trace of Krispy Kreme left in Southwestern Pennsylvania.  I’ve noticed a lot of area locations like Greensburg, Pleasant Hills, and Monroeville are now Chick-fil-A restaurants, and a still-empty Krispy Kreme building sits as a shell of sadness in Robinson Township.  I remember the “remodeling / be back soon” sign hung for years before someone just gave up.  I mean, I absolutely love all the full service Chick-fil-A locations, but I also like hot fresh donuts every once in a while.  You used to be in several Sheetz locations, but now I think they mostly receive their donuts from somewhere else.  Plus, they’re not exactly hot n’ fresh there.

Remaining on your email list has become simply receiving an occasional taunt for something I can’t have.  Perhaps I should unsubscribe?

Dunkin Donuts seems to be making a rebound, and I must confess that I find their Boston cream (Boston creme?) offering to be a much fuller, larger, and more satisfying confectionery treat.  But, they don’t lure me in with a hot fresh free delicious donut, and I can’t watch them being made.  (Is it doughnut, or donut?)  There’s also a killer “mom n’ pop” donut shop that’s a bit of a hike for me, but worth the trip… Big Daddy’s Donuts.

The truth is… I miss you, Krispy Kreme.  Do you have plans to come back to the area with hot fresh goodness?  Are you going to make me drive all the way to Washington county to get a doughnut & take a chance on the hot light being on?  Why did all of the area locations shut down?  Were you muscled out by local donut barons?  Did too many yinzers line up for free doughnuts and not actually buy anything?  Did Sheetz want too much too soon?  Did people go on diets or realize that too many donuts are a bad thing?  Was you plan all along to wipe out local donut shops and leave the area starved of donuts because of the high geographical rate of diabetes, thus ensuring better health for the population of the Pittsburgh area?  I need (and feel that I deserve) some answers, my friends.  What happened?  Please don’t brush me off with the standard, “it’s not you, it’s us.”  I need some concrete reasons.

Thank you for your time, I hope you’re doing well.  I’m sure you’re as hot n’ fresh as always… just not for me.

Hungrily Yours,
-Waldo Lunar

I also had a Twitter exchange of sorts, but it was all DM’s on their end…!/W_a_L_D/status/169099779022921729!/W_a_L_D/status/169100223275208704

They said:

@krispykreme | Please send us your email address and we’ll contact you.!/W_a_L_D/status/169127252334878722

They said:

@krispykreme | Thanks again for passing along your email address. You can also email us

Then I DM’ed

@W_a_L_D | Thank you! Rock n’ roll! Looking forward to a reply.

And tweeted…!/W_a_L_D/status/169135815472070656


Eventually, I received an emailed reply…

From: <>
Date: Mon, Feb 13, 2012
Subject: Case #1099627

Dear Mr. Lunar,

Thank you for your email regarding wanting a Krispy Kreme in the southwestern Pennsylvania area. We appreciate the opportunity to assist you. We, here at Krispy Kreme, always love to hear from our customers and it is great to hear that you enjoy our products!  We would like to take this time to thank you for taking the time to share your comments.

There are many reasons why stores close. Generally speaking, the franchisee decides to pursue other business ventures. We have shared your concerns and requests with our operations department for review.

Please be assured that we are working hard to open new stores and continue expanding throughout the United States and Canada. For your convenience, new store locations and details are also available on our website at  The site is regularly updated with information as soon as it becomes available.

Best regards,
Lyndon Palmer
Krispy Kreme Customer Experience

Krispy Kreme glazed donuts.

Doughnuts or Donuts?

I’m still left wondering if “Donut” is a bastardization, like “Late Nite” instead of “Late Night” or “Drive-Thru” instead of “Drive-Through.  If so, why spell doughnut correctly while blatantly (and borderline offensively) misspelling Crispy and Cream with K’s?  (I mean, add one more K in there…)  While we’re at it, is it Creme or Cream?  Are they the same, or different things?  And, isn’t the filling just pudding or is it custard? 

They declined to comment on the wiping out & eventual rebound of their spelling-handicapped competition.  Perhaps a classy move.  Dunkin’ Donuts never replied to that tweet, either.


You know you want some doughnuts. Come get them. Eat the free one, then buy some more. It's hot, well... warm, and fresh... and you can see some being made. Man, you're hungry for doughnuts.

I don’t believe that Franchisees simply chose to “pursue other business ventures.”  You don’t quit if you’re making money.  You don’t all dry up if there is demand for your product and you’re selling it at a reasonable price.  I find it funny (odd funny not “ha ha” funny) that a lot of the old Krispy Kreme buildings became Chick-fil-A’s.

In fact, I’m not sure if they answered any of my questions directly.  Should I perhaps write back?

Also, tell me in the comments where you get your donuts!  Am I missing some great local shops?  Who has the best donuts?  What’s your favorite donut?  Is it “donut” or “doughnut”?  Let’s talk all things do(ugh)nuts in the comments!

Twist and Shout [Maze]

I call this one “Twist and Shout” for no apparent reason.  I’m hoping I don’t run out of creative names, as I don’t feel that I’m running out of mazes any time soon.  Are you one of the brave & the bold that have tried a solution?  If not, I suggest you try.  I hear it’s fun & relaxing.

Once you’ve solved it, send me a photo or scan, or post a link to one in the comments.  How do you send me a solution, you ask?  It’s simple.  You send it via email at

Twist and Shout [Maze]

Twist and Shout

Furcate Estate [Maze]

Have you seen the other mazes?  I’ve drawn a few before.  No one has sent a solution to any of them yet, although I have some claims that some have been solved.  If you dare, print it, solve it, and send me the solution.  You can leave it (or a link to it) in the comments section.  If you’re lost on how to accomplish that… simply email a photo, cell phone photo, or a scan of it to me at and I’ll take care of posting it for you.  I may have to issue some sort of challenge or think of some kind of prize(s).  What kind of reward would you suggest?

Furcate Estate [Maze]

Furcate Estate

Shift Spiral Spin [Maze]

Here’s another maze.  Just like with the others, if you’re adventurous enough to print & solve this maze, I’d like to see the solution.  Just snap a photo with your cell phone or scan & email it to  If you’re tech savvy just post it (or a link to it) in the comments below.

I’d even be interested to see if you find a valid cheat too.

Shift Spiral Spin

Shift Spiral Spin

♩♫ Where have all the Quiznos gone? ♬♪

Some people are no fun.  Quiznos pretty much refuses to write back to this:

Salutations Sandwich Sultans!

♩♫ Where have all the Quiznos gone? ♬♪  (I imagined that in my head as sung like that “Where Have all the Cowboys Gone” song from the 90’s. – Hopefully you did too!)

I live in & around Pittsburgh PA, and all the Quiznos locations seem to have dried up.  At one point we were over-saturated, then poof!  They were all gone.

What happened?  Was it too easy to open a Quiznos?  Are they deceptively hard to run for a profit?  Is it hard to find good workers?  Certainly you have a better product than Subway and there aren’t many Jimmy John’s, Jersey Mike’s, or Firehouse Subs in the area (yet).

I ask only because I keep receiving emails asking me to come eat at Quiznos… yet there aren’t any near where I live or work, thus eliminating weekday lunch or dinner visits.  This doesn’t discount weekends, but I also don’t find myself near any Quiznos locations when I’m out & about.

This brings me back to by original query; ♩♫ Where have all the Quiznos gone? ♬♪  (Did you hear it this time?)



♩♫ Where have all the Quiznos gone? ♬♪

Really, what happened?  That’s all I want to know.  They are actual legitimate (if slightly embarrassing) questions.

I’ve submitted this to their contact form, and haven’t received a reply.  I sent it to some email addresses I had for Quiznos employees, and it bounced back.

They didn’t really answer well via Twitter, as they couldn’t get my whole letter:!/W_a_L_D/status/162938645433688064!/Quiznos/status/162940367585546240!/W_a_L_D/status/164450783432155136

…and no reply to that last one.  So, I tweeted at a Quiznos that responded with a valid corporate email address…!/W_a_L_D/status/164794357063487490!/QuiznosRSM/status/164936161679257600!/W_a_L_D/status/165059805118083072!/QuiznosRSM/status/165117413602496512!/W_a_L_D/status/165164293313150976

…and I got an error message that bounced back saying the following:

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 5.7.1 <>: Relay access denied. (state 14).

Weird.  That message (according to a quick Google search) sort of tells me I’ve been marked as spam.  I tired sending from a different email address, but got the same thing.  I may have to print & mail this one.  I wonder if even that will garner a response?

And, I liked Quiznos…


Zero8 | Resto-Bar

Restaurant sans allergène

I’m going to need to get my passport, a long weekend, and maybe even a French/English dictionary so I can drive to Montreal and have several meals at my new ideal vacation destination: Zero8

I just learned of the wonderful existence of Zero8 thanks to the ever informative Allergy Eats Blog.  Paul at Allergy Eats is always on top of current allergy issues with restaurants (like recent fast-food menu changes), and it’s great to see that a restaurant like this even exists in the first place.  What’s their deal?

Well, they are free of the top 8 allergens, plus a few other things… and seem to be extremely sensitive to the needs of those with food allergies, food intolerances, and celiac disease.  This quote alone from their “Learn More” page is really incredibly comforting:

As everyone suffering from food allergies knows, going to the restaurant with family, friends or colleagues is not always enjoyable: limited knowledge of the ingredients used in dishes, fear of cross-contamination, lack of confidence in the staff are some of the worries that can come with ordering a simple meal!

A food allergy cannot be taken lightly. Difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, inflammation and vomiting are some of the extreme reactions that the immune system can have when confronted with a food protein. The consequences can be dramatic. Serious allergies can cause an anaphylactic shock, a violent reaction that can cause loss of consciousness and sometimes death.

At Zero8 we offer a secure environment where you can eat with confidence. We guarantee a worry-free meal!

…And something more restaurants ought to understand, express, & practice.  Or at least this could translate to other restaurants:

Since most food allergies are caused by the 9 priority allergens, you may be allergic to other foods. That is why we identify all of the ingredients in our dishes on our menu and that the list of our kitchen’s authorized ingredients is available upon request at any time. Whenever possible, we try to accommodate our clients’ requests in adapting dishes to their particular needs.

Zero8 pays attention to your needs!

Is that too much to ask?

I have no idea why Canada seems to be light-years ahead of the United States where food allergies are concerned.  They have better legislation, tolerance for epi-pens, and awareness.

Chefs in the US need to get behind this!  If there was a place like this in Pittsburgh, you could bet I’d be there all the time and I’d tell all my friends & family about the place.  There were a ton of Pittsburghers at the Food Allergy Walk last year, you have your clientele ready!

Click the Allergy Eats Blog logo to read about Paul’s experience there!

Allergy Eats Blog

Tres Delinquentes [Mazes]

Not feeling well yesterday, so I ended up drawing a bunch of mazes.  Like with the others, post a link to the solution in the comments, or email a photo or scan to me at

Tres Delinquentes (1)

Tres Delinquentes (1)

Tres Delinquentes (2)

Tres Delinquentes (2)

Tres Delinquentes (3)

Tres Delinquentes (3)

Name taken from that song in the movie Bulletproof

Curvilinear Course [Maze]

Are you getting these?  I have had a few people interested, and  a bunch of people “liking” the posts, but no results so far.  If you take the time to print & solve this, I’d appreciate if you left the solution (or a link to the solution) here in the comments, or you can email it to  Take a photo with your phone, or scan & send it.

Curvilinear Course

Curvilinear Course

Sidewinder [Maze]

So I said I’d start naming the mazes.  I’ll call this one Sidewinder.  I have no real reason for the name, other than I simply drew it “sideways” instead of longways on the paper.  Like the other mazes, if you take the time to print & solve this, I’d appreciate if you left the solution (or a link to the solution) here in the comments, or you can email it to  I can work from a scan or a photo.  If you want to snail-mail the solution to me to scan, you can do that too.

Sidewinder [Maze]

Yet Another Maze ↷

I’ve just slowed down, I haven’t stopped.  Here’s yet another maze that I’ve been doodling for the past couple of days.  You’ve seen all the other mazes, right?  It seems like that’s all I was posting for a while.  I should maybe start naming them.  Any suggestions?

Yet Another Maze ↷

Yet Another Maze ↷

If you’re adventurous enough to print & complete this maze (or any of the others), I’d really appreciate a scan or a photo posted here in the comments (or a link to it), or emailed to me at