Parts Unknown – Rome

Anthony Bourdain with cappuccino and bomba

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PureWow’s “The Best Doughnut Shop in Every Single State”

As if I didn’t need another reason to love everything coming from PureWow, now there is this:

  1. Alabama – Heavenly Donut Company in Birmingham
  2. Alaska – The Kobuk in Anchorage
  3. Arizona – Bosa Donuts (various locations)
  4. Arkansas – Mark’s Do-nut Shop in North Little Rock
  5. California – Donut Bar in San Diego
  6. Colorado – Glazed & Confused in Denver
  7. Connecticut – Dottie’s Diner in Woodbury
  8. Delaware – Duck Donuts in Newark
  9. Florida – Mojo Donuts in Hollywood
  10. Georgia – Revolution Doughnuts in Decatur
  11. Hawaii – Leonard’s Bakery in Honolulu
  12. Idaho – Guru Donuts in Boise
  13. Illinois – The Doughnut Vault in Chicago
  14. Indiana – Long’s Bakery in Indianapolis
  15. Iowa – Topped Doughnuts in Ankeny
  16. Kansas – Hana’s Donuts in Kansas City
  17. Kentucky – Nord’s Bakery in Louisville
  18. Louisiana – District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew. in New Orleans
  19. Maine – The Holy Donut in Portland
  20. Maryland – Fractured Prune in Ocean City
  21. Massachusetts – Back Door Donuts in Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard
  22. Michigan – Propaganda Doughnuts in Grand Rapids
  23. Minnesota – Glam Doll Donuts in Minneapolis
  24. Mississippi – Monroe’s in Jackson
  25. Missouri – Donut Stop in St. Louis
  26. Montana – Granny’s Gourmet Donuts in Bozeman
  27. Nebraska – Olsen Bake Shop in Omaha
  28. Nevada – Pink Box Doughnuts in Las Vegas
  29. New Hampshire – Muriel’s in Lebanon
  30. New Jersey – Uncle Dood’s Donuts in Toms River
  31. New Mexico – Whoo’s Donuts in Santa Fe
  32. New York – Dough in Brooklyn
  33. North Carolina – Britt’s Donuts in Carolina Beach
  34. North Dakota – Sandy’s Donuts (various locations)
  35. Ohio – Bill’s Donut Shop in Centerville
  36. Oklahoma – Polar Donuts in Oklahoma City
  37. Oregon – Voodoo Doughnut in Portland
  38. Pennsylvania – Federal Donuts in Philadelphia
  39. Rhode Island – Allie’s Donuts in North Kingstown
  40. South Carolina – Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts in Charleston
  41. South Dakota – Jerry’s Cakes and Donuts in Rapid City
  42. Tennessee – Fox’s Donut Den in Nashville
  43. Texas – Gourdough’s in Austin
  44. Utah – Banbury Cross Donuts in Salt Lake City
  45. Vermont – The Doughnut Dilemma in Burlington
  46. Virginia – Sugar Shack (various locations)
  47. Washington – Top Pot Doughnuts in Seattle
  48. Washington DC – Astro
  49. West Virginia – JR’s Donut Castle in Parkersburg
  50. Wisconsin – Manderfield’s Home Bakery in Fox Valley
  51. Wyoming – Cowboy Donuts in Rock Springs

Anyone up for a summer road trip??

Buzzfeed’s “33 Doughnuts You Have To Try Before You Die”

Thank you Buzzfeed for this:

  1. Apple Cider Fritter from Blue Star Donuts in Portland, OR.
    • Why: They are made from leftover holes throughout the day so it pulls apart like magic.
  2. Nutella Doughnut from Hurts Donuts in Springfield, MO
    • Why: Nutella filled. End of story.
  3. Cafe au Lait from Dough in Brooklyn, NY
    • Why: Made with roasted coffee beans and topped with pecan brown sugar.
  4. Evil Elvis from Hypnotic Donuts in Dallas, TX
    • Why: Peanut butter, bacon, bananas, and a honey drizzle.
  5. Chocolate Old Fashioned from Stan’s in Los Angeles, CA (original) and Chicago, IL
    • Why: Zesty orange with semisweet chocolate.
  6. Bacon Maple Apple from Dynamo Donut & Coffee in San Francisco, CA
    • Why: All of the ingredients are incorporated into the dough preparation.
  7. Salted Caramel & Reduced Balsamic Vinegar from Sublime Doughnuts in Atlanta, GA
    • Why: Sweet and tangy. And as their tagline says “Eat one that’s worth it.”
  8. Malasada from Leonard’s Bakery in Honolulu, HI
    • Why: Crispy on the outside and soft in the inside.
    • Personal side note: Get one filled with guava and topped with li hing. I dream about the day I get to have another one of these little guys again.
  9. Oreo from Mojo Donuts in Hollywood, FL
    • Why: Homemade cookies and cream filling.
  10. Traditional cake from A Baker’s Wife in Minneapolis, MN
    • Why: No-frills perfection with the right amount of crunchy.
  11. Hulk Hogan Fudgie Wudgie from The Cinnamon Snail Food Truck in New York, NY
    • Why: Vegan and gluten-free options (if you’re into that sort of thing).
  12. Driftwood from Cops & Doughnuts in Clare, MI
    • Why: Coconut cream topped with chocolate ganache and toasted coconut. Owned 100% by police officers!
  13. Fresh Strawberry from The Donut Man in Glendora, CA
    • Why: Fresh, in-season produce handpicked that morning with homemade glaze.
    • Personal side note: strawberry season is early summer, peach in late summer.
  14. Purple Goat from Glazed in Charleston, SC
    • Why: Berry goat cheese filling topped with lavender icing.
  15. Brown Butter Hazelnut Crunch from Union Square Donuts in Somerville, MA
    • Why: Crispy crunchy hazelnut crumble.
    • Personal side note: You can also get these donuts at the SOWA market in Boston’s South End late spring to early fall, but go early because they will sell out.
  16. Maple Bacon Bar from Varsity Donuts in Manhattan, KS
    • Why: Maple icing, crispy bacon then coming right back for more icing.
  17. Glazed from Amish Baking Company in Manchester, TN
    • Why: Available at Bonnaroo!
  18. Apple Fritter from Randy’s Donuts in Los Angeles, CA
    • Why: Perfect balance of soft and crunchy… and you can get one through the drive-thru.
    • Personal side note: “Hole in the Sky”
  19. Anything from Round Rock Donuts in Round Rock, TX
    • Why: Everything is bigger in Texas.
  20. Coconut Glazed from The Downyflake in Nantucket, MA
    • Why: In the breakfast battle of donut vs toast for your breakfast side, donut always wins.
  21. Cinnamon Caramel from Rise’n Roll Bakery in Fort Wayne, IN
    • Why: Caramel icing perfectly coated with cinnamon sugar.
  22. Blueberry Crumble from Art City Donuts in Utah Valley, UT
    • Why: Mini donuts traveling around in a food truck.
  23. Frosted Angel Cream from Paula’s Donuts in Buffalo, NY
    • Why: They boast a secret ingredient that can’t be found in chain shops and they can be ordered in the size of a cake.
  24. Doughnut of the month from Krumpe’s Do-nuts in Hagerstown, MD
    • Why: Seasonal surprises including caramel apple and s’mores.
  25. Maple Bar from The Original House of Donuts in Lakewood, WA
    • Why: Local and handmade since the 1950s.
  26. Honey Doughnuts and Fried Chicken from Federal Donuts in Philadelphia, PA
    • Why: Fried chicken with a side choice of naked, seasoned, or glazed.
  27. Spa from Little Bigs in Portland, ME
    • Why: House-made nut and berry granola, greek yogurt, drizzled with honey.
  28. Chestnut Glazed from Doughnut Vault in Chicago, IL
    • Why: Nutty notes to counterbalance this sweet classic icing.
    • Personal side note: FAVORITE. MUST HAVE.
  29. Heavenly Hash from Gourdough’s in Austin, TX
    • Why: Marshmallow, chocolate fudge icing topped with fudge candy.
  30. Daddy Dearest from Glam Doll Donuts in Minneapolis, MN
    • Why: BEER cake donut topped with bacon and a buttery crumble.
  31. Ice Cream Sandwich from Peter Pan Donuts in Brooklyn, NY
    • Why: You can finally get away with having ice cream for breakfast.
  32. Chipotle Caramel from Pink Box Doughnuts in Las Vegas, NV
    • Why: Sugar and spice and everything nice in Sin City.
  33. Hot fresh glazed from Krispy Kreme in AMERICA
    • Why: Did you not see that “Fresh Donuts Now” sign?? Hello nostalgia.

Japan

[This is a guest post by Jessie, who recently returned from a trip to Japan where she coached a youth girls’ basketball team (USA) in a tournament as part of a friendship/goodwill tour between the Japanese-American community in Los Angeles, CA and the the city of Nagoya, Japan.]

Jessie and Lindsey
Lindsey and Jessie

[Jessie on the right; another coach on the trip Lindsey on the left]

 

Over the years I have watched Ashley’s donut obsession grow (and I may have stoked that fire a few times…Donut Man? Anyone?). I now hunt for donuts anytime I travel to a new place, which sounds awesome and fun and lighthearted – BUT BEWARE. Donut hunts can be treacherous. I mean, what happens when you stumble across a donut shop that looks promising – only to discover you want to try THREE (or 4, or 10) flavors? Is it socially acceptable to just get a dozen, knowing full well you’ll either a) take one bite of each and toss the rest or b) eat the full dozen…by yourself…? In this guest post I’ll lay down some ground rules for conducting a solid donut hunt, set against the backdrop of a country known for weird looking and tasting food – Japan.

1. Do your homework. In the weeks leading up to this Japan trip, I visited various blogs and travel sites to research what kind of interesting/unusual/delicious/rare/famous/weird foods I should make sure to try. I sent links to people I’d be traveling with (as fair warning that I’m willing to waste both my and their yen on dubious-looking or -sounding treats). There is one site that I found both hilarious and extremely informative, http://en.rocketnews24.com/. I searched their archives and found a post on KRISPY KREME in Japan. Krispy Kreme! Japan apparently scoffed at the idea of a dozen hot glazed donuts, and took to creating gourmet flavors such as bergamot and lemon, earl grey, matcha green tea…etc…with presentation to match. Oh, and in true Japanese parfait-loving style, added ice cream, jelly, red beans, mochi, etc.

KKD 1 Top Combo
KKD 1 Top Combo

2. Keep your eyes open. Once in Japan (we stayed in the city of Nagoya for a few days before going to Hiroshima and Kyoto), it was important early on to memorize the specific train station entrance and exit on our daily commute – by we, I mean myself and three other basketball coaches. Being that we don’t speak/read/understand Japanese or the intricate subway system, the best way to not get lost was to know exactly which of many (MANY) vendors line the hallway to the correct subway exit. I carefully scrutinized each oddly named (one apparel storefront read “Nice Claup”…what is a claup?) store and lo and behold – I found a Krispy Kreme!

3. Survey and if possible, group up. I’d seen the donuts online, but it IS different to view the goods in person. I didn’t impulsively buy the donuts on the first day – not that I didn’t want to, but I knew I had to try at least 3 different flavors, and a decision like that could take time. This is where strategy comes in and it helps to recruit others to form a donut-hunting-wolfpack. Travel in groups of 3 or 4, and you’ll be covered – luckily I had a default donut-hunting-wolfpack of 4. I also took a cautious approach – day 1 I pointed the store out, day 2 I pointed out the menu, day 3 I casually mentioned the store and how we need to try the weird flavors, and finally day 4 I closed the deal. This would only work if you know you’ll pass the store daily – if the location is hard to find, you best buy that hot dough upon discovery. Really the key to success was playing up the novelty of these donut creations, and utilizing peer pressure from the group to get them on board to try different flavors.

4. Divide and conquer. Three of us were down to try the donuts, and we got three donuts – so we each got to try three flavors, splitting the cost and the calories. In full disclosure, we took a picture of the donut display and sent it to Ashley, asking for her donut expertise on which flavors to try. Then we spent a day (or two) telling one of the coaches we were going to make him try the daunting Spicy Tomato flavor. So in the end we got 3 donuts, and I assessed their success based on flavor and texture – not presentation because who cares what it looks like if it doesn’t taste good (am I right?):

-Earl Grey Milk Tea Cake: I was let down by the lack of flavor in the cake and waxy texture of the icing. I am not sure that I tasted Earl Grey, though you could see flecks of the tea leaves in the cake itself. It was a cake donut, which I typically love, but didn’t have either the crispiness of the outer shell indicative of frying or the sweet moisture of a glaze. It was not overly sweet and did not have that cloying artificial flavor…but just didn’t have a lot of flavor in general. My least favorite.

Earl Gray
Earl Grey Milk Tea Cake

-Matcha Cookie Crunch: Using the base of the original glazed (but without the glaze), a matcha-based icing coated the top, sprinkled with what tasted like oreo crumbles and more decorative icing. The texture of the donut was good, typical of a Krispy Kreme (light, chewy, slightly flaky) – but like the Earl Grey Milk Tea Cake, there was a waxy feeling and the flavor seemed muted somehow. Maybe because it wasn’t warm? But I don’t think the cookie crumbles would work with a hot donut. While better than the earl grey one, this donut also fell short – I’d prefer a warm glazed classic Krispy Kreme.

Matcha Cookie Crunch
Matcha Cookie Crunch

-Spicy Tomato: Oddly this was my favorite. I suppose because it was purposely NOT sweet, but this “donut” used the Krispy Kreme dough, and had some savory seasoning sprinkled on the outer shell. It was filled with a spicy tomato sauce and cheese, and basically tasted like spicy pizza. The filling-to-dough ratio was perfect, and the taste definitely came through in the sauce. I would actually probably get this again.

Spicy Tomato
Spicy Tomato

So my key takeaways from this experience are:
-In Japan, get ice cream – the earl grey and green tea donuts would probably have been perfect with ice cream since they weren’t very sweet. Or just stick to the ice cream you get from the 7-11s or other convenience stores, which are way more satisfying (especially in the heat of July when we were there).
-The best pastries in Japan are at the bakeries located on the basement level of department stores (seriously). They are usually European-style and range from buttery chocolate croissants to egg custard tarts and cinnamon rolls.
-Maybe Japan doesn’t understand donuts…and should stick to their strange gelatinous desserts (that I love) or sweet red bean and mochi creations.

 

Thank you Jessie!!

Yahoo’s American Doughnut Shops with Street Cred

Yahoo pits old school against new school in “American Doughnut Shops with Street Cred”

Old School:

1. Leonard’s Bakery – Honolulu, Hawaii

What to order: The classic malasada

2. Polar Donuts – Oklahoma City, Oklamoma

What to order: Strong Pimp Hands, obviously.

3. Atkins Farms – Amherst, Massachusetts

What to order: The classic cider doughnut.

4. Helen Bernhard Bakery – Portland, Oregon

What to order: An old-fashioned glazed doughnut.

5. New Place Bakery – Detroit, Michigan

What to order: Paçkzi, as many as you can eat (plus a box for the road).

 

New School

1. Federal Donuts – Philadelphia, Pennslyvannia

What to order: The cookies & cream Fancy, or the Indian cinnamon Hot Fresh

2. FROST Doughnuts – Mill Creek, Washington

What to order: The salted-caramel doughnut: a traditional vanilla old-fashioned doughnut with handmade caramel and Fleur de Sel

3. Donut Friend – Los Angeles, CA

What to order: The Jets to Basil, a glazed doughnut with goat cheese, strawberry jam, fresh basil, and balsamic reduction.

4. YoYo Donuts – Minnetonka, Minnesota

What to order: A maple-bacon Long John.

5. Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts – Charleston, South Carolina

What to order: The Purple Goat, with a berry-goat-cheese filling and lavender glaze.

Peter Pan Bakery

If I lived in Brooklyn this would definitely be my local donut spot.

Peter Pan Bakery has the small town shop feel going on, and I love the old school bar and stools they have for seating inside.

The donuts are great, soft and fluffy just like they should be. I got my chocolate glazed with some very festive red, white, and blue sprinkles and had a grand ol’ time with it. The sprinkles were only on half of the donut which I thought was a wonderful concept, some fun little embellishments with the balance of a good solid classic.

All American
All American

The only down side is unless you live out there it’s quite a trek to get to. I took about a 50 min trip in on the train from Manhattan, and while I would do anything for a good donut I’m not sure that’s the norm for most people. That being said, all the hipsters in Greenpoint should be rejoicing over having this place in the neighborhood.

I recently came across this short film by Keif Roberts & Peter J. Haas, and it just makes me so happy. It’s hard to really capture the charm and atmosphere of a small locally run donut shop, but this documentary definitely does Peter Pan justice.

Enjoy!

There’s an app for that

I recently got a message from a friend about a new app she had come across called Doughbot. Doughbot basically uses your smartphone’s locational services to tell you where you can find the nearest doughnut. The interface is very easy to use with fun graphics. It includes information like a phone number, map, and also draws information from yelp to give a snapshot with a few reviews of each of the places.

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I have noticed that the app not only includes your local doughnut shops but also includes any other bakeries that have doughnuts mentioned as a part of the menu. It’s a cool way to potentially discover some hidden doughnut gems in the neighborhood, but it does require a little bit of extra work to sort though reviews or menu options to find out exactly what your choices are.

The app costs $0.99 cents and requires iOS 6.0 or later. So far I’ve only used it in while here Boston (as evident by the plenty dunkin donuts showing up on my all lists), but I would love to try it in other neighborhoods, especially while traveling. A great way to help your quest in Chasing Doughnuts…

More information on app database details and how waiting in line at Chicago’s Doughnut Vault inspired the app’s creation:

Find forbidden doughnuts nearby with Doughbot app

Food & Wine: America’s Best Doughnuts

1. The Doughnut Vault – Chicago, IL
What to get: chocolate glazed, pistachio, old fashioned, $1 coffee

2. Betty Ann Food Shop – Boston, MA
What to get: classic sugar rolled doughnuts, cake and jelly filled

3. Clear Flour Bread Bakery – Brookline, MA
What to get: baked currant doughnuts

4. Primo’s Donuts – Los Angeles, CA
What to get: glazed rings, cake and yeast doughtnuts for less than $1

5. Doughnut Plant – New York, NY
What to get: glazed oatmeal cake doughnut

6. Dynamo Donuts – San Francisco, CA
What to get: lemon-pistachio, banana de leche, bacon maple

7. Top Pot Doughnuts – Seattle, WA
What to get: chocolate peanut, Valley Girl lemon, feather boas

8. Voodoo Doughnut – Portland, OR
What to get: voodoo doll, Fruit Loop and bubble gum dust toppings

9. Cafe du Monde – New Orleans, LA
What to get: beignets, dark roast chicory coffee

10. Sublime Doughnuts – Atlanta, GA
What to get: fresh strawberry n cream, A-town cream

11. Congdon’s Doughtnuts – Wells, ME
What to get: blueberry jelly, honey dipped

12. Gourdough’s – Austin, TX
What to get: Funky Monkey (brown sugar glazed bananas), Mother Clucker (fried chicken strips with honey butter)

13. The Donut Stop – St. Louis, MO
What to get: cinnamon globs

14. Britt’s Donuts – Carolina Beach, NC (Open around Memorial Day)
What to get: glazed

15. Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop – Brooklyn, NY
What to get: sour cream, coconut cream, ice cream sandwich with red velvet doughnut and strawberry ice cream

16. Do-Rite Donuts – Chicago, IL
What to get: everything and anything