This week my growling stomach took me on a donut quest of epic proportions. Whether you prefer to spell it donut or doughnut, in the end it is still a delicious ball of fried doughy goodness stuffed or topped with more sugary bits, and no one can argue with that.
I decided to make the most of a mandatory wedding related task taking place in the far away land of Orange County. As the OC (as the kids call it) is not on my usual hit list, I decided to hit my top 3 food destinations while there. Prior to our meeting, I demanded we stop at Fountain Valley’s Donut Bar. While the San Diego Donut Bar location often touts their line that wraps around the block, the Fountain Valley location had just 1 person standing in the way of my donut conquest. After waiting the painful 30 seconds, it was our turn to order. I had intended to only order their famous Big Poppa but when we got to the front of the line I realized my companion had already started making a dozen box…so who am I to argue?! Donut Bar is known for their Big Poppa donut which is a 1lb donut with a full strawberry or chocolate pop-tart stuffed inside. The other options at Donut Bar are seemingly endless. They are known for over the top donuts like the aforementioned Big Poppa and the Homer Simpson, a cartoon like vanilla donut with bright pink frosting and rainbow sprinkles, a replica of the Lard Lad donut featured on the show The Simpsons. The list of crazy donut flavors is seemingly endless, and while we definitely enjoyed trying a smorgasbord of donuts, I wouldn’t say any of the flavors other than the Big Poppa would necessarily be worth making a pilgrimage to the OC. I would, however, highly encourage you to stop by if you are in the immediate area.
After letting my donuts settle during our wedding meeting, we decided to try the more famous donut establishment in Orange County, Sidecar Doughnuts. After all, what kind of food lover would I be if I didn’t do a proper comparison between the two donut powerhouses in the area? Our 2nd doughnuts stop (I’m changing up the spelling out of respect,) Sidecar Doughnuts, proved to be a much more sophisticated take on the wacky doughnuts flavor trend. Sidecar has a much more streamlined selection, and offers an artisanal take on the doughnuts. We, yet again, decided to order far too many doughnuts. I clearly did not learn my lesson the 1st time. Favorites from Sidecar included; the Rosemary; a rosemary infused doughnut with rosemary glaze and a fresh rosemary blossom, the Samoa; a pineapple coconut cake doughnut, topped with chocolate, caramel, and toasted coconut, and the Passion Fruit Meringue; topped with passion fruit glaze, passion fruit curd, and toasted meringue. My doughnut eating companion said his favorite was the Green Eggs & Ham filled with a poached egg, Benton’s Ham, and basil hollandaise sauce, though my aversion to ham stopped me from trying it. While Sidecar Doughnuts is definitely more expensive than other doughnut options I would say it is well worth the price. I already know I am going to be in a lot of trouble when Sidecar opens their Santa Monica location later this year.
Back in LA, my final stop was the much anticipated Churro Borough, which opened on Vermont this week. Churro Borough was going through a soft opening, kind of like a dress rehearsal or sorts, so we thought we would swing by and check out the inevitable scene. For those of you that don’t know, Churro Borough was a mobile food vendor that specialized in churro ice cream sandwiches, and was famous for generating record breaking lines wherever they opened up shop. This first brick and mortar location for Churro Borough was no different. We waited 45 minutes for our churro goodness, which was confusing as once inside, the line moved rather quickly. I opted for Churro Fries (small, skinny, crispy and flaky little churro sticks) and a scoop of Brown Butter cookie sorbet, as I have had their ice cream sandwiches many times. I definitely should have stuck to the ice cream sandwich formula, but I enjoyed having a slightly different experience of Churro Borough. This experience was just as positive as all of the others, though I don’t think I’ll be waiting in line another time. I would highly suggest stopping by, but maybe wait until the hype dies down.