I’ve got a bad habit. Whenever I visit a new city or country, I like to overdose on one particular item. Many times it’s chocolate bars, sometimes it’s tea biscuits (thank you Dublin!), sometimes it’s macaroons (thank you Nice!), and sometimes it’s donuts.
I visited the Donut Vault the last time I was in Chicago so I searched for donut shops again. I got about 300 Dunkin Donuts as well as a bunch of speciality donut shops. And how nice to see that four of those shops were pretty much on my doorstep. In other words, behold a completely biased view of four shops.
Stan’s: Stan’s is an unassuming regular shop in a regular office building and I didn’t have to wait in line. Some of the donuts seemed quite large and kids will be sure to like the fun colours. I got a blueberry fritter and a lemon pistachio. The fritter was giant, dripping in icing, and quite possibly weighed a pound. It did have a nice blueberry flavour but I can’t imagine how anyone can finish such a huge donut. The lemon donut was normal sized and the kiddy coloured icing tasted very sugary. Stan’s works as a specialty a donut shop but with all the other choices, it’s not my first choice. I’ll just give it a C – average for a specialty donut shop.
Glazed and Infused: Turns out that this shop has a ginormous eating area and is closer to a restaurant than a donut shop. As for character, despite its size it has lots. I waited about ten minutes to place my order. You can buy a $20 cake sized donut, the world’s hottest donut with a jalapeno on it, or you can buy an apple cider donut and a pumpkin spice donut like I did. The apple cider donut was a yeast donut, really sweet and covered in sugar. It tasted more like apple than apple cider although I don’t know how you’d make it taste like cider. The pumpkin donut was enormous and covered with icing and pumpkin seeds. This donut tasted more like pumpkin than pumpkin spice – a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg would have helped. Glazed gets a B from me.
Firecakes: This shop was teeny tiny and thus had a bit of character. I had to wait about five minutes to order. I got an old fashioned donut and a pineapple bacon donut. The old fashioned was big and heavy, just how I like them. Yum. The pineapple bacon was a big disappoinment because I dropped the pineapple on the ground. WHY MEEEEEE! Anyways, both of these donuts were big wins. I also got a teeny tiny boston cream donut which was fairly ordinary but very cute. This shop gets an A from me although they need to find a way to glue the pineapple on more tightly!
Donut Vault: Lastly, this shop is indeed a bank vault and so fits the character requirment perfectly. I had to wait 30 minutes to place my order here and when I left, the line was even longer. I got a pumpkin cream cheese donut and a gingerbread stack. The pumpkin donut was delish, lightly sweet, crispy outside. The gingerbread stack seemed to be the runt of the stacks as they were quite thin. But, they were tastey and crispy. I’ll give the vault a B+.