Bavarian, Blueberry Cake, Blueberry Fritter, Sourcream, Buttermilk Bar, Raised Glazed, Reverse Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate Cake, Crumb Cake, Apple Fritter
Having arranged various “foodcrawls” in the past it was with admitted enthusiasm that I entered Real Donuts to gather provisions for Las Vegas’ first (known) donut crawl and with several glistening varieties fresh from the fryer only two challenges arose, the first limiting my order to a dozen and the second delivering the fried dough to the party without sneaking a bite. A small, clean shop with excellent service and a dozen donuts only $10 after tax and a tip it was up against three other doughnutteries that Real would find itself matched and although the occasional contender from Sunrise Too, Master Donuts, or Donut Hut shined it was Real Donuts that proved most consistent across the board. Featuring crispy fritters rife with fruit and low in oil, a textbook old-fashioned sour cream that literally melts on the tongue, and both yeasted and cake options on par with the city’s best it would truly be hard to name a bad one in the bunch – a task I’ll simply discard and suggest futile as I think back on the Blueberry Fritter, a 95 cent daily special I’d suggest worthy of ‘destination’ status.
Sunrise Too Donuts
Raised Twist, Bavarian, Buttermilk Bar, Apple Fritter, Raised Crumb, Maple Long John, Chocolate Sour Cream
Not personally visited but part of the first official Las Vegas Donut Crawl, Sunrise Too would prove to be the mixed bag of the group, a series of valleys and peaks mirroring the local landscape and defined by my two favorite fried treats, the Apple Fritter and the Buttermilk Bar. Beginning first with the fritter it can only be said that this was perhaps the worst I’ve ever found – the texture not only far too oily but nearly inedible with grease I’d classify near-rancid…the sort of thing that could turn a stomach on the pastry forever and such a far cry from the rest of the selections that I wonder if we were peddled a leftover, particularly as the yeasted options were actually quite light; the rise excellent and the texture soft but not ‘chewy’ – a fact highlighted by the juxtaposition of the crumbled cinnamon on the crumb option. Amongst other disappointments I personally found Sunrise’s Bavarian cloyingly sweet and decidedly artificial tasting compared to both Real and Donut Hut, but again finding redemption it was Sunrise’s Buttermilk Bar that proved my favorite item of the tasting, the archetype version loaded with tangy notes beneath sweet glaze and an ethereal texture with obvious visual separation of the cake layer and buttermilk layer on hemisection, a sort of fried coffee cake that makes me want to go back for more of their cake selections…no matter how bad the fritter.
Blueberry Cake, Strawberry Cake, Chocolate Cake, Bavarian, Coconut Cake, Glazed Twist, Raised Glazed, Cruller, Apple Fritter, Maple Cake, Crumb Cake, Chocolate Raised
The last of the novel contenders on the first Las Vegas Donut Crawl, Donut Hut would prove to be a middle-of-the-pack sort of experience with a few definite “go to” options starring amongst an otherwise mundane cast of dry cake donuts and chewy yeasted selections bolstered by quality glazes. Focusing on what worked as nothing was particularly ‘bad’ the only two things one truly needs to know here are the words Blueberry Cake and (on the weekend only) Cruller, the former on par with the warm version for which folks wait hours at Orange County’s “M +M” and the later a truly remarkable rendition of something infrequently seen and even less frequently well-made, in this case a perfect fried ring of pate a choux with a custard soft center beneath gentle crunch more than worth getting out of bed early for.