32. The Top 13 Gourmet Donuts of 2013 That You Must Eat Before You DIE.
1. The Kurt Cobacon. No one can say “Nevermind” to this loud-quiet-loud tribute to grunge music. This is a bigmuffed glazed bearclaw deep-fried in rendered Applewood-smoked bacon fat and topped off with certified organic evergreen frosting.
2. The Sir Chester Cheetah Chrome. A post-modernist deconstruction of the classic “jelly” donut. Powdered Flamin’ Hot Cheetos(TM) coat the outside, while the inside is a filling composed of locally harvested jalapeño peppers and ethically mongered nacho cheese shipped from the finest dairy farms of Fresno County, California, stirred by hand, melted in Peruvian earthenware saucepots, and simmered in our kitchen for twelve hours.
3. Please Kale Me. Honey-glazed traditional single-holed donut made from kale-infused whole wheat dough, topped off with baked organic kale handpicked from the East Hegewisch Farmers’ Market by chefs who have won some awards, and drizzled in honey developed by Zinnia-fed North American honey bees.
4. Heirloom to the Throne. This is both a reinterpretation of the “Long John,” and the most popular item at Quirk City Donut Factory in the vibrant Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. The basil-balsamic crème filling in the interior provides a delicate counterpoint to frosting derived from a medley of Brandywine Yellow, Black Krim, and Green Zebra heirlooms on the exterior. As a foodie, I’m dying to learn where Quirk City procured these heirlooms; as near as I can tell–let’s just say it’s from an exclusive West Loop Black Market where only gonzo pastry chefs and other subterranean rogues fear to tread.
5. Toucan Sam: From 5 to 7. Presented as a humble “Merci” to two Western Civilization’s most inspirational style icons–Toucan Sam and Corinne Marchand–this Froot Loop-encrusted beignet deep-fried in a fragrant rosemary olive oil will have you following your nose as your public persona confronts and contemplates the deeper joys and sorrows of the inner life.
6. Lemonescence. Lemon zest frosting topped with grilled shrimp on a saffron risotto-filled bomboloni donut, yeasted in cast-iron custom-made ovens designed in the manner specified in the work journals of Parisian pastry chef Frederic Perrenoud in April, 1758.
7. A Shroom of One’s Own. Artisanal potato fritter, resplendent in several hundred hand-carved nooks and crannies, dipped in Chef Dougie’s secret Marseille bouillabaisse and sprinkled with a healthy handful of mushrooms–a seasonal medley of Chanterelle, Agaricus, Enoki, and Morel.
8. The Canadian Experiment. Borne out of Chef Randy’s inspiration vacation last year to the achingly bucolic donut shoppes of the Great White North, this homage to bicycling the back roads of a delightfully foreign land comes frosted in Manitoba maple on a dutchie that serves double-duty as both an edible square yeast donut, and a pastry upon which a daring assortment of charcuterie is painstakingly studded: emulsified braunschweiger, spicy pork rillettes with a creamy garlic aioli, and German, dry-cooked smoked ham.
9. The Red Line Passenger. Our nine-grain cruller, lustily troweled with scallion cream cheese, as strips of lox flown fresh daily from the Bering Strait flutter across the top.
10. The Big Belush. Ketchup free, and proud to be. An incredible reinterpretation of the venerable Chicago Red Hot. A Vienna Beef hot dog and dill pickle spear-stuffed poppy seed eclair, garnished on the top with artisanal yellow mustard, hand-chopped white onions, delicately sliced Mesoamerican hothouse tomatoes, locally sourced bright green pickle relish, cage-free pickled sport peppers, and non-GMO harvested celery salt.
11. The Little Leaguer. A playfully irreverent tribute of sorts to the burgers and fries of our childhoods, this is a sesame seed “beaver tail” donut, with a savory mixture of ketchup and mustard at its foundation, with healthy (read: unhealthy, but in a decadently sublime way) doses of 1000% Angus beef and crispy pommes frittes indelicately pressed inward.
12. Sit Be Cider. Farm-fresh Granny Smith apples lovingly converted into a “spirited” apple cider dough-infused with Appalachian bourbon from what they tell me is a licensed distillery contracted to make bourbon exclusively for these donuts, in collaboration with a rich cinnamon and nutmeg counterpoint. Fair-trade Surinamese cinnamon-sugar gleefully adheres to the luxuriant crisp of the mesmerizing cake donut.
13. Chocolate. Yeasted and glazed donut, topped with chocolate frosting. Is this irony? Your mouth will say “No!” but your mind will make devil horns with its hands!
Thanks to Chefs Dougie and Randy at Quirk City Donut Factory in Lakeview for giving this foodie so many incredible donuts to choose from. When in Lakeview, be sure and visit Quirk City Donut Factory, and tell them I sent you.
Oh, and PS: This Top 13 list is in random order, so don’t write to complain that you think “The Little Leaguer” is wayyyy better than “Toucan Sam: From 5 to 7,” please and thank you. The last thing a foodie like me needs is a “flame war!” ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!