Nothing beats the sugary fragrance of tender, fried dough. The doughnut is a pastry made to be eaten fresh—best with morning coffee or tea. I decided to seek out Albuquerque shops dedicated to the glazed, sprinkled, filled and frosted treats, and found only four independent shops competing with four Dunkin' Donuts and two Krispy Kreme locations.
Doughnuts fall into two basic categories—yeast-raised (airy yet oily) and cake (denser and, well, more cake-like in texture). All of the doughnuts we sampled were fried, not baked. Across the board, shop owners said raised glazed doughnuts are the most popular, with Boston cream (custard filled) and raised chocolate glazed running second and third. Two office staffs and several independent individuals munched samples and let me know which flavors topped their lists.
Casa Vieja doughnut plate
The Krispy Kreme franchise has two locations in Albuquerque—one on the Westside (3709 Ellison NW, 792-0494) where you can watch the doughnuts glide through a waterfall of icing, and a new pickup location (sans icing show) that opened July 13 in the Heights (2270 Wyoming NE, 298-0374). No one argued with the fact that you really have to like sugar to eat a Krispy Kreme—but anyone addicted to them knows that.
Donut Mart (1605 Juan Tabo NE, 292-9908) is the home of my new favorite, the “golden coconut” cake doughnut. This circle of goodness melts in your mouth, and its toasty coconut coating adds a delightful crunch. The custard-filled Boston cream won points with my tasters. Owner Tahir Gauba tells me that PB&J and buttermilk cake are also popular. Gauba's brother Amin sells the doughnuts at a second Donut Mart out of the Chevron station at University and Lomas (1723 Lomas NE, 243-4104).
This circle of goodness melts in your mouth, and its toasty coconut coating adds a delightful crunch.
Enchantment Chocolates (3107 Eubank NE, 294-2470) in Scottsdale Village Shopping Center has done so well with doughnuts that owner John “JD” Dame will change the shop's name to Duke City Donuts beginning next year. He’ll also add items such as cinnamon rolls and breakfast pastries to the menu. An assortment including cinnamon, jelly filled, chocolate-cherry cake and glazed got mixed reviews. One taster thought they were overcooked while another found that to be a plus, praising the doughnuts’ “moist and crispy texture.”
Donut Mart on Juan Tabo
CIA graduate and certified pastry chef David Kaufman makes doughnuts like no other. When I arrived at his Zombie Doughnut Café (318 Isleta SW, 217-2460) there were only four chocolate discs left. Two women from the far Northeast Heights were there to indulge. One of them raved about the Nutella frosted and was enthusiastic about a special order for an upcoming occasion. The café is located in the South Valley Economic Development Center where Kaufman shares SVEDC's commercial kitchen. This gives him time to make only six-dozen doughnuts each morning—including flavors like chai tea and Margarita. They go fast. If you want to try the “maple espresso bacon” (yes, it comes with bacon on top), better get there early.
Enchantment Chocolates on Eubank
Aficionados can satisfy their gourmet cravings at Casa Vieja (4541 Corrales Road, 508-3244), where a doughnut dessert costs $12 a plate and consists of four made-to-order doughnuts encircling a cup of chocolate mousse piled high with whipped cream. We placed a double order. Each dish included two lighter-than-air churros, raised apricot filled, raised chocolate glazed and apple fritters. The apricot filling was chunky with fresh fruit, and the fritters vanished in a flash—a doughnut extravaganza—and what a way to go.
Unusual architecture for unusual doughnuts at Zombie Doughnut Café
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