Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Vegan Donuts - Yes You Can!

Some of the choices at Dottie's Donuts
I have a confession to make. I used to hate donuts. Or doughnuts.  I never know what to call them, so I'm going to go back and forth here.

When I was a kid, I attended a secular humanist Yiddish school on Sunday mornings and at break time, we had donuts and coffee.  I was about 8 when I started this. Maybe the donuts were bad, maybe the coffee upset my stomach, but I learned to love coffee and hate the donuts, which sat like lead in the pit of my stomach.

The maple cinnamon donut made it as far as the car
Then Dunkin Donuts came to Long Island when I was in high school. I used to go there with my boyfriend and we'd eat munchkins and complain about the weak coffee and gross donuts.

Even when I was pregnant, I resisted the lure of the donut. I worked at a parenting magazine when I was pregnant with my youngest, and every Friday, we got a delivery of several dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. These turned my stomach - could have been the pregnancy - but I avoided donuts for the next 19 years.

The cookie monster lurking in the back - amazing
Then came Dough. These doughnuts were nothing like the ones of ore; they used seasonal ingredients, organic produce and were healthy and low calorie.

OK, obviously the last part of that was not true. But I came to appreciate artisan donuts, with their unique flavor combinations and absurdly high prices.

I've since sampled the local doughnut scene in Portland, OR: Voodoo and Blue Star; Brooklyn: Doughnut Plant and now Dottie's Donuts, in Philadelphia.

Dottie's is vegan, which means no bacon on the doughnuts (I appreciate this - I've had doughnuts that have inadvertently picked up a stray bit of pork from a neighboring doughnut) and no lard used to fry the donuts. But they taste great - for anyone leery of this, rest assured that they have all that donutty goodness - rich icing, flavorful filling, cake-y, large donuts. And they are only $2.50 or so apiece.  At some cafes in New York, Dough's are $5 each.

The chocolate made it home, minus some of its glaze
We inhaled the Cookie Monster, a chocolate glazed donut filled with a peanut butter cookie and topped with chocolate sprinkles. It was divine. We also shared the maple cinnamon, with perfect glaze, the lemon poppy and simple chocolate glazed.  Then we ran the 90 miles back to New York. [note: we didn't eat all of each doughnut. We shared].

Dottie's is a little out of the way, a tiny unassuming spot in West Philly. I was test driving a 2017 Nissan Rogue, and going to check out the Eastern State Penitentiary, so this was a great place to fuel up before touring the prison museum.

There are only about a dozen or so flavors each day, so if you have your mind set on a certain flavor, you might be disappointed.  Or you just might have to return.

Note: Nissan loaned me the Rogue.

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