In the interest of full disclosure, I must inform you right away that Winona is my hometown. But, before I am accused of an inflated review based on misty-eyed nostalgia, I must also inform you that my long association with this quirky river town is more likely to make my review LESS glowing than it is to inflate it.
Disclaimers aside, y'all, this humble bakeshop in the middle of nowhere offers the best doughnuts I have ever eaten. The recipes, like the wallpaper, have not changed since the place opened, and that is what makes it awesome.
The line of salivating patrons goes out the door and down the block, and it's worth getting there as soon after they open as you can manage it. The pastries, which are delicious midday, are mindblowing at 7:30am. Plus, if you come midday, all the regulars will have snapped up the day's featured pastries, leaving you waiting until tomorrow to repent of your procrastination.
Bloedow's most famous offerings are their maple "long johns" as well as their filled pastries, called Bismarcks, which are produced on a schedule of various iterations on various days. They are succulent! Soft and tasty without any fake overtones or lingering weird aftertaste. The bread, cookies, and buns are fine, but the doughnuts are AMAZING. I was sad on my recent visit that coconut macaroons were not on the schedule for the day I was there. Probably a good thing, as I ate 2 doughnuts myself.
This place has raving fans, for good reason. In a recent statewide vote-for-your-favorite-bakery contest, it obliterated all other entries. (I think I read that it got over twice the votes of the runner up bakery from a major metropolitan area.)
Take it from me - there's a very, very short list of places I'd recommend in Winona, but Bloedow's tops it. I haven't eaten at every bakery in America, but in all the places I have tried, no one even comes close to this little backwater gem.
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