Doughnut options rise in downtown
June 15, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- They wait patiently every morning, in a store the size of a shoe box, for the city's best doughnuts, period. The Doughnut Vault is really just an amendment to the Gilt Bar space - across from the Merchandise Mart - but its limited run each day has sent waves of sweet, fried pleasure throughout the Loop.
Options are limited, just one or two glazed each day - like chocolate or chestnut - plus a small, sugary "gingerbread stack" and a cakey, buttermilk old fashioned. There might even be a filled version as well. You can bet they'll be sold out by 10 or 10:30 each morning.
Deeper into the Loop, the Beavers Donuts Truck whips up the namesakes to order, albeit in a mini version, produced on a frying conveyor belt, like you'd see at a State Fairground.
"Yeah, that's our niche. We wanted something to kinda differentiate us. And apart from that, our donuts are cake donuts, so we use a cake recipe base," said Gabriel Wiesen, co-owner of Beavers Donuts.
A dozen regular minis will set you back six bucks; the "gourmet" flavors cost an extra two dollars.
"If you can dream it, we can top it for ya. It's everything from your standard ice cream toppings to things you would see on pies, and you know everything like that," Wiesen said.
Think peanut butter and jelly, strawberry with crushed graham crackers.. even s'mores. Even though the city hasn't approved live cooking on mobile trucks yet, they get around that by having a catering license, and setting up shop on private property.
The latest player in the doughnut wars is Glazed & Infused, from the team behind Mia Francesca. They've got a stand-alone store in the West Loop, as well as a satellite in Bucktown.
"People are, they have a cult for donuts. It's like they're already comparing us to the other doughnut shops in town. And it's very interesting to me, being in the restaurant business, this is like a culty weird underground trend," said Scott Harris, owner of Glazed & Infused.
Luscious lemons and red velvets just might be stuffed.. as the chocolate malted is. Maple bacon long johns are also popular. Harris says even though the business is just a month old, business is through the roof.
"People are going crazy for this. I like to see people's faces when they eat them. You know, for me it's a, you know I love food and it's a joy to see people love food," said Harris.
Another new player is do-rite donuts, located next to Petterino's in the Loop.
Glazed & Infused
813 W. Fulton Market
1553 N. Damen Ave.
500 N. Michigan Ave.
& coming soon to 929 W. Armitage Ave
The Doughnut Vault
400 N. Franklin St.
Thursdays at Franklin & Calhoun
50 W. Randolph St.
Old Fashioned Donuts
11248 S. Michigan Ave.
restaurants, steve dolinsky
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