Opening: First Orange County Dunkin' Donuts

Yawn, rise, and shine, and be there at 5 a.m. on opening day.

THE 5 WITH A SIDE OF FROSTING: If you've ever been heading up or down the 5 Freeway juuuust before the sun starts to rise, perhaps to surprise a friend in Carlsbad for breakfast, or because you stayed in Encinitas or San Clemente the night before but you have an early appointment, or work start, in LA, you know the breakfasty thoughts that run through your brain. You're going over, in your head, all of the diners and all-night restaurants that do the whole cereal/eggs/pancakes thing, and how far they are from the 5, and what the off-ramp situation is, and, and, and... doughnuts. You start pondering the hole-centered, soft 'n chewy discs of morningtime pleasure, and you begin to scratch your chin -- briefly, since you should keep both hands on the steering wheel -- if there isn't somewhere to get a powdery cake filled with jelly. Hold onto that steering wheel, doughnut devotees: There are many great doughnuteriums around the OC, but as of Wednesday, April 8, a new one is joining the ranks, and it is something of an icon in doughnut circles. It's Dunkin' Donuts, the chain that Westerners long envied Easterners over, an envy that began to dissipate when the first Dunkin' Donuts debuted in Santa Monica last September. There are a few doughnut purveyors now, and the first of the Orange County outlets is just ahead.

YEP, APRIL 8... is the big day, and the place? Laguna Hills. This means all of your desires to find something breakfast-like and snacky near the 5 -- it is very, very near the 5 -- are coming true, whether your driving north or south. Opening time on opening day? It's 5 a.m. on the 8th. Will there be a queue already? You bet. Will the classic Dunkin' flavors be there? For sure. How about the raved-over coffee? So much of that coffee shall be percolating away, so hang tight. As for the address? Make for 25242 McIntyre Street in Laguna Hills. But will you go Maple Frosted or Sugar Glazed? You can think about it as you toodle along, before sunrise, up the freeway that sets many a driver to thinking of that first morning bite.

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