June 22, 2016

Doughnut Shop Round-Up

Doughnut or donut? For some reason, the latter really bothers me, even though I do believe that both spellings of the word for that glorious, circular, fried or baked, and often glazed, frosted, or sprinkled, ring of dough are correct. Anyway, fair warning that this post is a long one. Here's a round-up of all the doughnut shops I've been to, and I promise I tried to keep this as brief as possible.

Federal Donuts {Philadelphia}— Apparently there is going to be another of these opening up in Miami, and I most certainly approve. At the Philly location, they rotate their flavors, and on the daily, you can order a "special" doughnut or the hot, fresh option made-to-order that day. I went with the cherry pie, which was quite good (pictured above— such a photogenic doughnut, right?!), and my friend ordered a warm cinnamon sugar, which was like an improved, ring-shaped churro. The doughnuts were pretty good, and they sell fried chicken, too, though I can't vouch for how good it is haha.

Dough {Brooklyn, Flatiron}— Easily my favorite of the lot. Dough's 'nuts are light, airy, and delicious. I've had the Dulce de Leche, Mocha-Almond Crunch, and the Cafe au Lait. All were excellent. Even without trying the other flavors, I'd recommend any of them, including the bright pink Hibiscus, I'm that confident they'd be great.  

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop {Williamsburg}— One of my professors had raved about this Brooklyn icon and brought in a dozen on the last day of class. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I found my red velvet cake doughnut to be fairly underwhelming. I wasn't about to give up on Peter Pan just yet, though, so I made my way to Brooklyn to try another 'nut. I ended up with a Tahitian cream (or something like that... it had Tahitian in the name), a doughnut filled with fresh whipped cream and topped with a light chocolate glaze and toasted coconut. Definitely not underwhelming the second time around. And priced at $1.00-$1.50 each, they are dangerously wallet-friendly.

Rhino Doughnuts & Coffee {several locations in South FL}— I've had the s'mores (pictured above), red velvet cake, Nutella, salted caramel, and vanilla-frosted Fruity Pebbles. Of them all, the red velvet cake was the best— a classic cake doughnut with a sweet, slightly crisp glaze. The rest, while good, were nothing particularly special, but it's still worth a visit. 

Donut Friend {Highland Park, LA}— I mentioned this place in my travel guide to LA, but the 'nuts at this Highland Park spot are all named after bands or reference something musical (try the S'morrissey or the Bacon 182). I ordered the Coconut of Conformity, with coconut cream filling, a vanilla glaze, and toasted coconut, and my friend loved her cinnamon crumb doughnut. They have some really bizarre creations (peanut butter, strawberry jam, coconut bacon, and sriracha, anyone?), and you can also customize your own doughnut. 

Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts {Charleston, SC}— I stopped here after brunch on a Sunday, so by that time, there were only four or five flavors left. I went with the black and white, a powdered sugar doughnut with dark chocolate ganache filling. I typically avoid powdered sugar, especially on doughnuts, but this one was quite good. The actual doughnut reminded me of a funnel cake, but better, but the filling was the best part. The chocolate interior was really rich and yummy. Their list of flavors is pretty expansive, and there are some unique options, so I will most definitely go again when I'm back in Charleston.

Mojo Donuts {Pembroke Pines, FL}— I made the drive out to Pembroke Pines a couple of summers ago in search of the elusive and illustrious cronut copycat. We failed in our endeavor, and I ended up ordering a cannoli doughnut (above, alongside a "dirt cup" doughnut). I was somewhat disappointed because I expected it to have some kind of ricotta filling and instead found more plain yeast doughnut. I haven't been back since, though I expect to try Mojo Donuts & Fried Chicken once they open in Miami in August, but that one doughnut was pretty average and looked a lot more impressive than it tasted. 

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