In a big city like Chicago, food trends come and go. One that’s stuck around, though, is the cupcake. In a major food market, this delectable treat reigns supreme. But one sweet treat that is making a huge imprint on the city, and nation for that matter, is the doughnut. The once forgotten go-to breakfast snack is making a comeback in a Dunkin’ Donut world.
I had the opportunity to visit two doughnut shops…on the same day…within thirty minutes of each other. It was one of those “I’m feeling like a fatty and I don’t care who knows.”
The first stop on the trip was Food & Wine‘s recently-minted America’s Best Doughnut shop, The Doughnut Vault. Located around the Merchandise Mart el stop, this ridiculously small shop draws an equally ridiculous crowd (Mark Pallman’s video depicts just the type of regular crowd the DV draws). But really, doughnuts? I’m not going to lie: I was a skeptic. However, it’s hard to argue with the product that they’re dishing out. Doughnuts the size of both of your hands put together, some as big as your head; it’s absurd. On this joyous occasion, I got three of the staples (two of each, because, ya know, I’m a fatty): buttermilk old fashioned, vanilla glazed, and chocolate glazed. Just look at them for a second.
Imagine how stupid these taste. I mean really now. These things blow what I considered doughnuts out of the water. Sorry America, I’m no longer running on Dunkin’. Out of the three that I tried, the one that truly shined bright, and not taking anything away from the other two, was the buttermilk old fashioned. But that’s just one opinion out of thousands.
Could this journey get any better? Yes. With bacon.
You know that saying, “everything is better with bacon?” Someone at Do-Rite Donuts must be living by this mantra, because what Do-Rite is doing right is making bacon doughnuts. But let me rewind for a moment. Located in the Loop just off of State and Randolph is an inconspicuous little shop that recently got a sign (I walked by it a half-dozen times…no pun intended). Welcomed by the sight of doughnuts, I was slightly overwhelmed. I honestly didn’t know what to get…until I saw bacon. There comes a point in a person’s life when they realize that they can’t live without something. It could be a person, animal, or in my case (sorry hun), food. This maple-glazed doughnut rocks the doughnut world, and very few can compare. But let’s not take anything away from the others. The buttermilk old fashioned and PBJ were legit contenders, too.
So in a major metropolis where food trends come and go, where do these two shops stand in the doughnut world? At the top. But with the ebb and flow of today’s food culture, you never know. If you’re wondering which shop was better, I suggest you do what I did and buy a half dozen of each. You’ll love it, but your waistline might not.
To end, can someone tell me why people spell it “doughnut” and “donut?” Some food for thought.