Dreaming of Donuts in Sacramento? (by Lisa Frank)
Raised, glazed or crazed, donuts in their many forms are once again glamorous. The lowly fried hunk of dough has recently been elevated to the ranks of the highfalutin croissant with a bastardization called the cronut (trademarked name FYI) or the dosant or doughssant. The buttery goodness of a flakey croissant with the deep fried crunch of a donut, it might be what has been missing in your life. It could be another fad like the donut hole craze (there are cronut holes too) or the ill-fated expansion of the South’s beloved Krispy Kreme franchise (there are still a few around), but then again, donuts have been around in one form or another since at least the 1800’s so they clearly have staying power.
Sacramento’s donut scene is clearly keeping up with players in the big cities. So here is where to fill the need for all that yummy, fried goodness, whatever country it originated in.
Donut meet Happy Hour: Ella’s has a Fried Brioche, with Bourbon Butterscotch Glaze and Candied Almond Dust. How can that not be good? And for only $5 during their award-winning happy hour menu – order me up 2 batches, please! Okay while not technically a donut, it is fried dough so counts in my book. Ella Dining Room, 1131 K Street (Corner of 12th & K Street, Valet parking available), Sacramento. Happy Hour Monday thru Friday 3pm to 6pm.
Estelle’s Patisserie supports TGIF. Check out their Doughnut Fridays with a filled brioche donut, or Croixnut Tuesdays AND Sundays. With flavors like Vanilla Earl Grey, Salted Caramel or Cinnamon Sugar, your taste buds will thank you. If you want to dream donuts all day, visit their mouth-watering Facebook page where they post their amazing croixnut and donut “fresh out of the oven” photos. This is where you can keep up to date what their flavors of the week are! Estelle’s Patisserie, 901 K Street (9th and K Streets), Sacramento.
It’s all the rage still. Warm, dripping with sweetness….cronut dreams can come true at two local “donut dive joints” in Sacramento: Sweet Dozen Donuteri who introduced their Doissant (donut + croissant) last year, Sweet Dozen, 5207 Madison Ave, and at Bakers Donuts who have a wide selection (Red Velvet or maple espresso anyone?) AND a 24 hour drive-thru window, Bakers Donuts, 5880 Florin Rd, Sacramento.
If you prefer your fried dough with a New Orleans twist, say bonjour to beignets! There are several brunch options available — I suggest you try them all. And if you don’t get powdered sugar up your nose, you are not eating them with enough gusto! My little secret just might get out after I tell you that you don’t have to travel to New Orleans just to get your beignet fix! Right here in Sacramento, people….there is a wonderful aroma of fresh beignets being fried up at three local hot spots in downtown Sacramento!
The Porch has you covered (pun intended). Warm and fresh all while being slathered with powdered sugar, jam on the side and a bit of fresh fruit to make it look legit. Genius! The Porch, 1815 K Street, Sacramento.
The Shady Lady makes no apologies about their beignets, liberally tossing them with powered sugar. You can find these on their delectable brunch menu. $3.00 out of your pocket is worth every single dime! You can almost hear the riverboats working on the ole Mississippi. Chicory coffee optional. Shady Lady Saloon, 1409 R Street, Sacramento.
Beignets are always available at IRON Steaks. While you can order a half dozen at brunch or lunch, they are also an option instead of toast when ordering breakfast. Smaller ones are complimentary appetizers at dinner. Not bad for a steak joint. IRON Steaks, 2422 13th Street, Sacramento.
If you’re not sure if you need a burger or beignets head to Willie’s Burgers downtown location. They do NOT taste like French fries I promise (do I still have powered sugar on the face?) And Willie’s Burgers has a charm all its own, including paper towel dispensers on the walls instead of napkins. Willie’s Burgers, 2415 16th Street, Sacramento.
If you’re feeling island-ish, say Madeira or the Azores, head for Taylor’s Kitchen Brunch and try their Malasadas aka Portuguese Donuts. These are served with honeyed whipped cream that should be used, generously. All of it. Taylor’s Kitchen, 2924 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento.
Churros anyone? This tubular fried dough covered in cinnamon sugar treat is muy bueno. And Zocalo wants you to have some. Theirs are served with a vanilla cream filling and a side of vanilla ice cream. Más por favor? Zocalo, 1801 Capitol Ave, Sacramento.
Ink, a popular late, late night eatery (open until 4 AM) also has Churros on its Late Nite menu. Like in Spain, eat churros and hot chocolate before going to bed before the sun comes up. . . Ink, 2730 N Street, Sacramento.
Trying to cut back on your donut intake, Roxy is the place to go. Their brunch serves a bag of house made Doughnut Holes with three dipping sauces. Just the holes, so automatic portion control (unless you order several bags). Now what do they do with all those donuts??? Roxy, 2381 Fair Oaks Blvd, Sacramento.
And if you absolutely must have a hamburger served on a doughnut “bun”, you’ll have to go to San Francisco. There The Straw has the ringmaster: a burger on a home-made glazed doughnut bun (two donuts, not one cut in half) with cheddar & jack cheeses. Bacon, avocado and a fried egg are add-ons. And yes, you can make it a double. But it will be a happy food coma. The Straw, 203 Octavia Boulevard at Page, San Francisco
And don’t forget National Donut Day is June 4. Get out there and make Homer Simpson proud! Have a donut you’ve been DREAMing about? We want to know! Share it in the comments section below, or send us a Tweet at @LocalRootsFood