Unexpected Donut Encounters in the Windy City

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Donuts, Donuts, Everywhere

There’s been a bit of chatter about donuts lately on my Facebook page, in part due to Mayor Bloomberg’s declaration of “NYC Donut Day” on Friday, June 1. Coincidentally, during the past week I had several unexpected donut encounters. Quite unusual for me, as I’m not a big donut fan. Unless they’re really good. And I mean REALLY REALLY good. As in, still-warm cider donuts coated in cinnamon sugar from a New England apple orchard on a brisk autumn afternoon.

So here’s a quick post with some donut food porn for you because, let’s face it, I’m sick of whining about my back injury in Rome and subsequent re-injury in Chicago. It’s rather irritating at this point, and you deserve something sweet for listening to me. Virtually is the best I can do, alas. Which is too bad, because I would have loved to share these donuts with you or make something else divine – chocolate cake with mocha buttercream, perhaps? – as a way of saying thanks for all of the kind words of support and for continuing to read during this unexpectedly long hiatus from food writing and video blogging.

Both donut encounters were in Chicago. I’ll have a more to say about that trip soon, but this is just a quick foodie post for those of you with a sweet tooth. (And remember that more of my food porn is on pinterest, which links to the related blog posts by clicking on the pictures.)

Donut 1: The Purple Pig

Following the sumptuous wedding of our friends, I politely as possible hounded them for foodie advice for our quick visit to the city. The Purple Pig, voted one of the top 10 new restaurants by Bon Appétit magazine in 2010, was one of their recommendations. Our meal concluded with the Siberian Iris, a deep fried brioche filled with ricotta cheese and chocolate chips. To be honest, normally this would not be my dessert of choice, but the waiter said that it was the restaurant’s specialty, and I generally trust a server’s recommendation. My husband and I split this dessert while leisurely enjoying espressos on the patio.

  • Donut, Mediterranean style: hot fried brioche with oozing, creamy ricotta dotted with melted dark chocolate. Need I say more?

Donut(s) 2: Flight 1551 Wine Bar + Restaurant

We stumbled across Flight 1551 while roaming through Old Town. It seemed the perfect place for a late lunch al fresco before heading to the airport. They, too, had (mini) donuts on the menu. Again, not my first choice, but they were out of the cheesecake trio so donuts it was. The platter that my husband and I split included three types: salted caramel and bacon, classic rolled in cinnamon sugar, and Homer Simpson-style with strawberry glaze and sprinkles. My accompanying beverage was the final glass of rosé from a wine fight.

  • I don’t eat bacon, but I live for caramel. I thusly carved off a few bacon-less bites, savored them slowly, and said “Ohhhhhh…,” thinking I’d gone to donut heaven. Coming back to reality, I then decided these donuts were good enough to photograph, and did so despite the gently-used nature of this sublime bacon/caramel concoction. (Note: Generally speaking, it’s best to tweet before you eat. Oh well.)
  • Strawberry-glazed donut with sprinkles? Ew. Unless it’s fresh strawberry glaze when these tender red berries are in season, in which case – bring it on. Surprisingly delicious.
  • The least interesting donut, as I’ve had a great many in my time, but this particular specimen did not disappoint. And how cute are the little donut holes that accompany the dish on a bed of yet more caramel? Please look away while I lick the plate.

So, Happy Belated Donut Day, New Yorkers! And to everyone, my sincerest thanks for reading. I really do hope to get back to some more serious food and nutrition writing and cooking vlogging soon.

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Dr. P.K. Newby is a nutrition scientist, speaker, and author with expertise in all things food, farm to fork, whether preventing obesity and other chronic diseases through diet or teaching planet-conscious eating. As a health expert and food personality, she brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability to educate and inspire, helping people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Healthy Hedonism (TM) is her philosophy: Because healthy food shouldn’t suck.

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