Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Turning Doughnuts Into Other Breakfast Foods

It's been forever since I last posted. But a recent doughnut breakfast has me motivated again.

Last month, Mrs. B and I were in Florida visiting the in-laws. Besides the doughnuts, highlights included my bi-yearly golfing outing with Mr. P - I lost eleven balls which is two less than last time - making daiquiris in a Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville frozen drink machine, and seeing my fist live armadillo on the side of the highway.

Our first doughnut came from Abbe's in Northport, an endearingly divey little place in a strip mall. It happened to be the shop's birthday - doughnuts were only $.35 cents in celebration - and we sat outside in between a father/son kettle corn team and line of chain smokers waiting for doughnuts. The setting made for an interesting background odor.

We went with an orange. It wasn't so much speckled with fresh, local Florida citrus, as it was flecked with neon, Martian bits, which may or may not have had any taste behind the big, bold fried flavor of the cake dough. Aside from the lack of dicernable orange, not a bad doughnut.

Buddha Belly Donuts

But the better of the two doughnut encounters took place at Buddha Belly Donuts. Buddha Belly is modern and more urban than most doughnut shops. Mrs. P said it was more Ikea than Henredon, who must sell unmodern furtniture. The doughnuts are trendy and somewhat artisan to match; somewhere in between Voodoo and The Doughnut Plant.


Buddha Belly Stools

First there was the peanut butter. A light, pillowy raised dough gave way to a super rich, creamy center. Together with the smooth chocolate frosting there was a definite Reese's Cup aspect to the whole thing.

The plain glazed was equally good. Simple, yeasty, sweet and light: the essential glazed descriptors.

So far so good. But the real shocker was Buddha Belly's incorporation of doughnuts into other traditional breakfast foods. I know the "everything with bacon" trend is getting stale, but still, a breakfast sandwich built on a doughnut is inherently WAY more appetizing than a caffeinated bacon sucker pop. We also ordered one with sausage and in both cases sweet glaze and savory pork were natural companions; throw in soft eggy eggs and gooey cheese and the result had Mr. P claiming, "That was one of the finest breakfast sandwiches I've ever had."

Better yet was the doughnut French toast. I'm not sure how this concept has eluded me all these years. But the airy, squishy, pliable dough of most yeast doughnuts is the perfect foundation for French toast. Similar to Hallah bread with the extra essence of fried. Buddha serves their awesomely addictive morning meal with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

Next up: A backlog of pics from Top Pot in Seattle.

Abbe's Donut Shop
13625 South Tamiami Trail
North Port, FL 34287-2018
(941) 426-5758

Buddha Belly Donuts
1990 Main Street, Sarasota, FL