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« The Cheese Knees Recipe Review: Jacques Pepin's Pot Bread »

Foodporn Wed Mar 04 2009

The Southside Donut Considered

Finally, I party I can really enjoy: on a Saturday morning, I was among a group of people conducting a blind taste test (and informal award ceremony) of donuts from four South side bakeries.

Donut Day But is there such a thing as a crappy donut? Well, if you've ever hungrily eyed a pink and orange-colored box soaked with grease stains in the office breakroom, you know it's possible to eat an unsatisfying donut. Really possible. But this event was different, as we sampled a range of locally made test subjects. Overall, the donuts that we sampled were delicious--but when you get all of them together in a room, you can tell which ones are winners and which ones get a participation pin.

Perfect donuts are the product of perfect timing, which explained our early meeting time. The sampling conditions needed to be controlled and neutral (like any scientific feat), so all of the test subjects were freshly made. Four bakeries, as we later learned, were used in this test:

Bridgeport Bakery
, 2907 South Archer

Huck Finn's, 3414 South Archer

Old Fashioned Donuts
, 11248 South Michigan

Dat Donut, 8249 South Cottage Grove

Bridgeport Bakery Donuts

While it's overwhelming to eat so many donuts in one sitting (even though each donut was quartered for our sampling pleasure), one bakery had to be the winner, and even though they won by one vote, I felt they were the clear master of the donut. Bridgeport Bakery, with its array of incredibly light and flavorful donuts covered in excellent frosting (and generous sprinkles, which is a major plus), took the trophy. Dat Donut came in second, and in a shocking outcome, Old-Fashioned Donuts came in third, perhaps due to the absence of (revered) apple fritters. Huck Finn donuts finished last, which personally was not a surprise: a mild controversy arose from determining the true flavor of their pink-frosted raised donut (is bubble gum the new strawberry?), and furthermore, several years ago I ate one of their donut sundaes under the impression that it was quintessential Chicago eating, and am still sickened by the sight of an ancient donut covered in foodservice-grade vanilla ice cream. Eeekers.

The award ceremony was brief and unfortunately anticlimactic: two hours of eating donuts and drinking coffee had taken its toll on my sugar levels, and by the time I got home, all I could do was lay down to wait for the caffeinated wave to pass. But I'm going to Bridgeport Bakery this weekend to give them another award: my hard-earned money for more of their delicious donuts.

(Thanks for Rachel Swenie for pics.)

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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