So, recently made some trips to Strange Donuts. I’ll hand it to the guys. They certainly were able to whip up a frenzy around their donut endeavor. Sauce and Feast feature articles, craft brew collaborations, …pog tournaments… The Strange Donut fellas put on a social media blitz that has had every hipster within the Greater St. Louis area salivating for fried dough. Bedeviled by setbacks and delays–one can only assume–Strange Donuts did not meet its goal opening date of National Donut Day (the first Friday of June every year). Nearly five months later, the store front on Sutton started whirring with activity with both early morning and–admittedly inspired–late night hours on the weekends.
Alright, the donuts. I’ll cut right to it. They are no Worlds Fair Donuts. I certainly was not among the faithful waiting in line at 6am on opening day. As of right now, these are not wait-in-line-at-6am-donuts. I have hopes they’ll remedy this in the next couple months; getting up off the ground is always brutal. However, when you’re open, you’re open. On the very first visit, I opted for one of the more basic cake donuts topped with chocolate icing and sprinkles. And I sampled Bart’s Revenge (left, below) and some peanut butter-creation.
The chocolate icing on these things is actually spot on. It’s that low-brow ganache type substance that is absolutely essential for donuts. The yellow cake donut was not as dense as it looked–fairly light and not too sweet, which I like. However, there was no added punch. There was no soupçon of lemon, tang of buttermilk, whiff of cinnamon–nothing that made these things particularly distinctive. I expect more from something ‘strange.’ And the chocolate cake was quite dense, quite dry, and similarly blase. And regarding whether the two donuts below are strange…as far as I can tell, they are just donuts with candy crumbled on top.
Well done identifying a niche that was otherwise unoccupied in St. Louis. And well done with some of the late night, weekend creations–most of which involve a collaboration with a local meat purveyor (ex. a Salume Beddu/jelly-esque donut or a Sugar Fire Smokehouse/fold-over donut with brisket and gravy). That’s some good stuff. But up your A.M. game. Thx.
The first time I went to the Shaved Duck, I followed it up with two return visits more or less in the same week. I loved it. And it’s still a favorite spot. If only because I can get fries covered in cheese sauce and bbq pork.
But now, if I want said smothered fries, I may or may not have to gaze upon the following:
Why dude? Why? As if this wasn’t enough, there is a Grotto de Fieri in another corner of the establishment. (I mean, I know why. They’ve gotten beaucoup business out of their appearance on his show.)
Had to resist writing a much longer screed about this. But it would have been whiny and bitter and snobby. And I haven’t the heart.
Ah well. Will just stick my face in my fries and beer.
I fully intended to post about this a while ago. This is a straight-up fabulous event for a wonderful organization. Charity trivia nights are great, but UCP’s Annual Wing Ding is a fun alternative. Dozens of STL restaurants come out to serve their iteration of buffalo wings. There’s beer (Schlafly, AB, and Ferguson). There’s music (Willie and the Poor Boys). Done.
6-9pm at Queeny Park. General admission is $25. Come get your hands grubby. More info, if you need it.
So, finally tucked into my Craft Beer Week Kakao chocolate sampler. I’m down for adding beer to pretty much anything. However, I’m just not sure I detected much beer-y essence in these dudes. Superb chocolates though. Kakao, as always, particularly shines with its caramels. It’s just some fun schtick I suppose. And Kakao certainly isn’t alone in jumping on this bandwagon.
The cronut is currently a “thing.” Dominique Amsel is credited as the creator of the donut/croissant hybrid, and his bakery website has a rather excessive page explaining the hedonistic pastry and how one can go about acquiring one or two (but no more). Allegedly, things are downright bonkers in New York when it comes to cronuts. ”I think you have to get in line at 5am to get a cronut.” ”I heard rich people are waiting in limos and paying hundreds of dollars for line waiters to procure cronuts for them.” ”Supposedly someone bartered their first born’s spot at Horace Mann for two cronuts.” Let’s all just calm down now. There are plenty of tasty ways to get fat.
Lo’ for a brief moment this morning, STL had a taste of cronut hysteria. Simone Faure of La Patisserie Chouquette decided–on a one time basis–to offer cronuts. Not a simple undertaking as Chouquette is not equipped with fryers, so the little monsters had to be finished off across the street at Elaia. Upon seeing the notice about the Chouquette cronuts, I thought to myself, well that’s mighty silly. However, an irresistible urge to consume something decadent and fleeting took hold of me.
I was in line at 8:30am this morning in Tower Grove. Ms. Faure came out around 8:45 with a platter of canneles, stating proudly “Dominique Amsel isn’t giving out samples.” Damn straight madame (PS great canneles). A few minutes later, tickets were distributed–maximum of four per person–for the cronuts. The popular choice was to max out the limit in order to get one of each flavor, plus a spare. The cronut varieties offered: pistachio, salted caramel, and strawberries and cream.
I opted for the strawberries and cream and got a pistachio to give away to a friend. Verdict. Delightful, with a slight aftertaste of self-loathing. Would have been nice to have a glass of milk and about a dozen napkins. Won’t drone on describing because, well, it’s over–they’re gone. [Throw down to Strange Donuts to pick up the cronut mantle?]
Cronuts and fads aside, Chouquette is fabulous, from its jewel box of macarons to almond croissants.
We may be several weeks off before Eckerts starts producing peaches, but Georgia’s got’em! Dickey Farms, you can count on my 3 box purchase of your little gems in perpetuity (it is a Father’s Day necessity–two boxes for him, one for me).
Their arrival caught me somewhat off-guard–I lack certain essential accompaniments like vanilla ice cream and rice krispies. However, until I make it to the grocery store, I’m quite happy to tear into a peach over the sink, juice running to my elbows. I, and I alone, will consume these peaches morning and night until they are gone. I would bring a peach to work, but the rapacious vigor with which I consume these things is a little disturbing. I’ll confine the peach frenzy to my home.
If you are a peach fan and don’t mind a splurge, Dickey Farms will not disappoint.