Grocery Stores Continue to Deliver the Goods: Donuts at Dominick’s

9 Jul

Right now, we’re on a real grocery store kick.  After all, it’s a pretty safe bet that any substantial supermarket will have its own baked goods area.  And when you hear the words “baked goods area,” you’re never too far from some donuts.

So this week, we headed to Dominick’s, a supermarket staple in the Chicagoland area.  We had no idea what to expect (although we had done an initial Donut Scouting expedition to verify the presence of donuts), but we were happy to explore.

Here’s what we found:

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Donut #1: Glazed

Coffee Girl: Nice initial hit from the glaze, then POOF!  I had to look at my hand to make sure that the donut was still there, because the interior of the donut had absolutely no taste at all.  Like it had been sucked into an alternate reality where it had never existed.  I was just glad it didn’t take me, too.

Donut Boy: I was immediately struck by how light and fluffy this donut was.  While the glaze ended up being nothing special — it could have been way sweeter — this donut was undeniably fresh and light.  If you’re looking for a sugar fix, you might not find what you need here.  But if you need a puffy something, go for this.

Donut #2: Sugar

Coffee Girl: Same uncanny presto-chango disappearing taste act, leaving only a faint beige aftertaste.

Donut Boy: Fantastic crunch from the granulated sugar.  Again, very puffy, light dough.  Here, too, there ended up being little actual flavor to the dough.  It’s interesting actually: Dominick’s donuts are the polar opposite of what we normally experience.  Usually, if a donut isn’t quite doing it, it’s because it’s stale, lacking freshness.  With the glazed donut (see above) and the sugar donut, the flavor just needed a little more oomph, but the fresh quality was there.

Donut #3: Choc. Frosted

Coffee Girl: Excellent donut.  Dominick’s chocolate frosting is milky and luscious, The donut itself has a wonderful oily crunch to the exterior and a tasty, fresh lightness to the dough.  Very nice indeed.

Donut Boy: Here comes the flavor!  Milky, gooey chocolate frosting on top of a fluffy raised donut.  A darn good, straightforward pastry.  Yes!

Donut #4: Vanilla Frosted Long John w/ Sprinkles

Coffee Girl: Another winner from Dominick’s.  Nothing unusual here — just your basic Donut Excellence.  The vanilla frosting is straight-ahead sweet whiteness (one of the main pillars of the Donut Way), absolutely smothered in colorful carnival sprinkles, atop a light, squishy long john.  One of my favorites today.

Donut Boy: I really liked Dominick’s vanilla frosting.  Sweet and creamy, it sat beautifully atop Dominick’s consistently fluffy dough.  Hints of oil from the frying process presented themselves, making just enough of a Flavor Statement to remind you what donuts are about without upsetting your stomach.  Rounding it all out: the sprinkles.  Delicious.

Donut #5: Glazed Twist

Coffee Girl: I’d give it a “C+.”  Wouldn’t say no if it were the only donut around.  Nice glaze, but the overall taste experience was forgettable.

Donut Boy: There was a nice outer crust-glaze combination going on, but ultimately this donut proved to be on the drier side and lacking any distinct flavor.  There were other more cinnamon-y entries that proved tastier.  Read on.

Donut #6: Jelly

Donut Boy: Okay, so initially I was bummed about the mediocre filling distribution (see above).  Then I was a little bummed about the gelatinous pineapple-flavored jelly filling.  I was all set to give up on this donut when I realized: I was still eating it after the jelly was gone:

Here’s a Donut First for me: A jelly donut in which this surrounding dough is the best part.  Sweetly glazed with a distinct exterior crunch and a fried-batter taste, the dough of this jelly donut tasted like how I wished the glazed donut had.  I was glad there wasn’t too much jelly, it let me enjoy the rest of the pastry.

Donut #7:  Boston Kreme

Donut Boy: Again, the Filling Distribution here was really bad.  As you can see from the above picture, there was a quarter-shaped pocket of filling.  In the end, though, it was a similar experience to the jelly donut (see previous).  I found myself enjoying the rest of the donut after the filling was gone.  Nice crunch, tasty chocolate frosting.  Next time, let’s just skip the custard entirely.

‘Donut’ #8: Cinnamon Roll

Coffee Girl: I like Dominick’s cinnamon roll.    I appreciate the light freshness and the friendly, pull-apart layers of spice and fluffy dough.

Donut Boy: Perhaps the lightest and fluffiest pastry of the morning, this cinnamon roll was nice.  I myself could have used more glaze, more sweetness.  That being said, this was way better than the glazed twist (see Donut #5), though not as good as the fritter…

Donut #9: Apple Fritter

Coffee Girl: Yes, Dominick’s apple fritter!  Yes!  Dominick’s follows the Right Path here.  Correct apple taste, righteous oily crunchiness to the exterior — this pastry’s aim is true as it travels toward the Platonic Ideal of Fritterdom.  Well done, Sir Dominick.  We bow down to you.

Donut Boy: As a Fritter Purist, this pastry made me happy.  Not too thick, nice crunchy-hard exterior.  The inside could have been a little moister, but the apple-cinnamon flavor made everything okay.  A truly fine fritter, one I would be happy to get again.

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As we pulled out of the Dominick’s parking lot in the Donut Mobile, we both agreed: These donuts weren’t life-changing, but they were darn good.  Our Grocery Store Theory seems to hold up to repeated testings: Find a grocery store, make a bee-line for the bakery area and hope for the best.  Chances are good you’ll be happy with what you find.

Because you’re shopping at a grocery store, too, you’ll probably get a good deal.  Our donuts this morning cost us under $6.  That may be an all-time low.  When you take this into account, the reasons for visiting Dunkin’ Donuts become less and less.  Really, if you have an extra 60 seconds, stop at your neighborhood grocery store and stock up.

Until next week, Dear Readers!

-CG&DB

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One Response to “Grocery Stores Continue to Deliver the Goods: Donuts at Dominick’s”

  1. L. July 9, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Hey Guys! Love the blog – just found it this morning. Nice write up on so many places – I did not know about Wolf’s and cannot wait to try them!

    Grocery store donuts from major chains are disgusting and aren’t worth reviewing. They are made in a factory, flash frozen and heated in an oven at your local store before being put out.

    When are you guys going to review the Doughnut Vault?

    Also – are you aware that 90% of places out there use a mix? Mostly from a company called Bakemark.

    I’m a huge donut enthusiast. Was hoping there was a way to contact you on here, but I don’t see an address. I’m working on my own donuts actually. Email me at trieugram at gmail.com – would love to chat!

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