Raised Cinnamon Crumb
First located off Maryland Parkway near UNLV and subsequently attempting to launch a Burger concept up in Centennial that flamed out quick, Al’s Donuts has now relocated to East Twain and Swenson Street, not exactly a place many would go looking for good food, particularly after dark, though it seems the locally owned shop is making a go at it with a menu that includes not only their eponymous item but some Sandwiches and fried Foods as well.
One of Las Vegas’ first stores to sell a Cronut, or Kroissant, previous visits to both the Southeast location and Northwestern expansion showing average quality in spaces that were short on ambiance, a stop at the new location just after noon on a Saturday showed the owner himself to be in and talking to two customers as another man was seen removing fresh rounds from a fryer in the back, the available selection even more paired down than before though a ‘menu’ of sorts indicated that Cronuts are available to order.
Looking over a rather dull case of Black, White and Brown, the eventual choice of a half-dozen made largely on Al’s advice past the requisite Fritter and Old Fashioned, it was a few miles away at a more comfortable space that items were divided and tasted, first bites of the yeasted and raised rings showing a soft texture without a lot of flavor to the Dough itself, that left to the unfortunately cloying Caramel and a Cinnamon Crumble that thankfully fared better.
A bit surprised at just how flat the Old Fashioned was, the same to be said of an Apple Fritter that did not look much like that photographed near to work in 2013, it was fortunate that the former had a good amount of Sourcream to help offset the sugary lacquer atop while the Fritter was unfortunately far too oily.
Rounding out the choices with a Cinnamon Roll and Bavarian, the former much like the other raised options with a bit more flavor down deep thanks to the spiraled Dough, those looking for the ‘best’ of what Al’s has to offer would be well advised to take a look at the shop’s filled options, the creamy Vanilla Custard off-set to one side doing a world of good to the pocket in terms of taste without compromising the texture.
ONE AND A HALF STARS: Closing the original East Harmon location just over a year ago, the storefront still empty with Crunch Donut Factory now taking their chances a few doors down, Al’s is unfortunately one of those historic places that has been unable to adapt to current trends in the Marketplace, a combination of a product that was never really great and the development of things that are better as the city continues to grow.
AVOID: Apple Fritter, Caramel Raised.
TIP: 7a-7p at 860 East Twain, Suite 102. Available via Grubhub and UberEats.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor