Frank (ljtourist) wrote,

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Seattle donut revue

My previous writings on Portland donuts, plus a bad bout of insomnia, left me both in the mode to try out all the Seattle donut places on my radar and suddenly awake at an hour when they would still have stock left. It was a great success, although left me a not very productive remainder of the day, unsurprisingly.

The initial plan was to do what I did for Portland (1 old fashioned, 1 jelly, coffee), but I wanted to add Boston Cream, in honour of theferrett's book reading tomorrow. This fell apart pretty quickly, as some places just didn't have things which fit neatly into those categories.

Oddly, each place's coffee was about the same: a pretty unobjectional and unexciting blend just slightly on the darker side. The variations mostly weren't worth noting.

First up was Family Donut, which had a quite decent old fashioned: moist, but with some crunch, decent flavor, but not sweet enough along with a weak glaze. The jelly was good; soft texture but with a little less body than I like, and a little short on both glaze and jelly, but the taste was excellent. The Boston Cream was just meh; totally unremarkable.

Next was Original Bakery, which I'm calling the 2nd worst donut place in Seattle (Mighty O claiming the basement). The "medium roast" coffee was pretty burnt, the "old fashioned" was simply a dry cake donut, though the glaze was decent, and the "Boston Cream"-equivalent looked interesting (a donut split and rejoined with something vanilla instead of being custard-filled) but tasted absolutely dreadful, and there wasn't nearly enough filling. Even the glazed ring couldn't be saved, with a bad oil taste spoiling the good glaze and texture.

Fuji Bakery had quite a limited selection, but I got to try their famous "crunchy cream" donut, which is a good if thin yeast donut, filled with custard, and then coated in granulated sugar and cornflakes. It was pretty darn good! I think the custard could be improved upon, but it wasn't bad, and the concept as a whole is wonderful. Sweet, flavorful, crunchy, very well cooked donut.

Rodeo in Ballard is like a slightly better, more pragmatic version of Blue Star in Portland, OR. They use a brioche dough, which is very much its own thing. I liked what I tried, but didn't love it. I might come again for a plain strawberry filled, just to see how it is. I can't really compare it to the other places.

I also award "3rd worst donut shop in Seattle" to General Porpoise. The donuts themselves looked fantastic, but man did they disappoint. They were quite chewy to the point of being gummy (wrong flour? overworked dough? IDK) and had a bad, oily aftertaste. The custard filling was quite good, but the other 4 fillings I tried ranged from mediocre (lemon curd) to terrible (the chocolate). Add in the extremely high cost (over $4 per donut!) and mandatory 10% tip and you get another place to actively avoid. The coffee was quite good, though.

It seemed nothing could hold a candle to Top Pot, but then came the last contender: Dona Queen. A very strange little SoDo donut shop with attached Korean luncheonette/deli (what a combo!) served up some excellent donuts. The old fashioned was very good, slightly drier than ideal, but very good glaze, and great flavor, although quite sweet. The jelly was possibly the best traditional-style one I've had in this city (rivaling even Top Pot's Bullseye). The donut itself was excellent: tasty and soft but with some body. The glaze was nicely sweet, and the jam was very good, bringing plenty of both sweet and tart, but sans seeds, and just shy of the perfect amount. The Boston Cream was at least good. The donut again was great, and there was plenty of filling, but somehow as a whole it was just overwhelmingly sweet. I think I like more distinct flavor in my Boston Cream, with a balanced sweetness, so Top Pot's is quite a bit better to me. Still, this was a clear winner of a shop! I will be back! Someday! Maybe!

While all the sugar and caffiene did nothing to help me avoid the natural afternoon crash which comes with too little sleep, I did do quite a lot of walking and mostly ate vegetables all day in an attempt to balance out (or at least mitigate) this indulgence, so I don't feel *too* bad about it. And perhaps most importantly I both didn't let me annoying brain ruin the day for me, AND crossed several things off my todo list, so I'm calling it a success.

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