I know that most people are all about the cupcake. It's compact, it's portable, it's topped with frosting... I can see the appeal. Cupcakes are downright sexy... but you know what? They give it away up front. I mean, frosting on top? Too easy. Now that the fad has died down (not really), apparently people are moving onto pies? I mean, I like pies. Buttery pastry crust, filled with fruit and syrup, that's something I could totally get behind (cue that's what she said jokes). But you know what? My heart can't be swayed by sultry things like gianduja frosting or peach cobbler filling. Like Homer Simpson... I'm a doughnut man through and through.
I know that I'll never find a fancy pants doughnut place like Doughnut Plant in Philadelphia, but surely there exists something better than the second-rate doughnuts that DD and Wawa serve up, right? Enter Donuts Plus.
Donuts Plus (or maybe it's called Donuts Plus Plus as their neon sign seems to indicate) is an old fashioned doughnut shop. They don't try to fuck around and make weird flavor combinations. They just do all the traditional ones as best they can (which is pretty damn well). Located on 43rd and Chestnut... it isn't in an area I would use the word 'quaint' to describe. It's not hardcore scary, but let's just say this... more than a few of the apartments have steel bars on their windows. I occasionally get public safety notices about shootings and robberies near 40th, but let's be honest... to a fat kid, not having doughnuts is probably worth than getting shot. Truth.
Another thing they kick DD's ass on? Pricing. Individual doughnuts are $.60, a half-dozen is $3.25, and a dozen'll run you less than $6. If I were completely broke and trying to maximize my caloric value per dollar, outside of eating sticks of butter, this place is pretty much your best bet. Oh and their doughnuts are fantastically good if I haven't made it abundantly clear yet.
Their jelly filled doughnut is... conventional. It's no more than a fried pocket of dough, dipped in sugar glaze, then pumped full of jelly. The dough is neither too porous, nor too doughy, the glaze is neither too sweet, nor too subtle (it's like Goldilocks... except with doughnuts), and the jelly is... well it doesn't taste like artificial sweetener like DD's does. Like I said, it doesn't try to be more than it should be, and the end result is exactly what you'd hope for.
And they're not too stingy on the jelly. For some reason, some places are entirely incapable of pumping filling. It either ends up all on one side, or it comes spilling out the inlet. Luckily, Donuts Plus isn't plagued with idiocy. The result is a doughnut that has filling from end to end.
Of course my bag included a Boston cream doughnut. I can't really resist chocolate covered pastries, let alone ones filled with cream. Basically I like Boston cream doughnuts and eclairs. Anyway, all the descriptors of the jelly doughnut are applicable here too. The dough was appropriately dense, the chocolate glaze wasn't overwhelming, and the cream was rich and... uh, creamy.
Clean your pants people. You just got creamed. The dough tiptoes the fine line between porosity and cake-like, with just enough pockets of air to keep it soft, but still chewy. The glaze was deep in chocolate flavor, enough to penetrate the smoothness of the Boston cream. Basically... a decent take on a classic. Nothing mind boggling, but good enough for me to sing its praises.
But this is the real reason why you should go to Donuts Plus. It's the star of the show, enough to make you wonder why the hell you didn't just get a dozen of these bad boys. Their French cruller is a cruller that puts other crullers to shame. It's like the Kevin Durant of crullers, it's just not even fair. I would describe it as light, but that would be selling it short, as it's far more dense than you'd expect. The body is comprised of a perfect matrix of fibers... with each bite, you play a game of tug-of-war, sheering away a single mouthful of dough that has an ever so subtle sweetness. The outer glaze is just a thin layer of sugar coating. Even at room temperature, it has both crispy and soft characteristics. It makes no scientific sense, and it blows my mind. If I could marry a fucking doughnut, I would, and I would be faithful.
I know what you're thinking... "holy Batman that's disgusting! You ate a half-dozen donuts by yourself for breakfast?" Sadly no... I do care about my health a little. I gave one away to a friend, so really I only had five. Do yourself a favor though... go and try them. Save the cruller for last. You'll be hooked. I promise.