Blueberry Old Fashioned
Originally visited in the waning days of 2014 and again just under a week later it is largely a matter of committing to sleeping in on weekends that more frequent visits have not been made to Ace Donuts on the corner or Tropicana and Fort Apache, the small shop opening at 5am having caught on thanks to favorable word of mouth now selling out of most of their product by noon on weekdays and as early as nine or ten o’clock in the morning on Saturday as well as Sunday.
Still owned and operated by the same pleasant women, only one present on this particular Saturday just after 9am with store shelves still full as opposed to during an attempted visit at 10:15 just one month prior, it was with a big smile that guests were greeted from behind a counter which she can barely see over, the old-school collection plus Croissant Donuts slightly higher priced in the past but still every bit worth it with discounts now offered on boxes bought by the dozen or half.
Told by an elderly couple seated at one of the tables that Ace sells “the best Donuts in town,” a smile and agreement offered before choosing a half-dozen including several “gourmet” and “fancy” selections for $10.49, it was with a complimentary Cronut Hole thrown in that the Pink Box was taken elsewhere for indulgence, the two-bite Hole oilless and airy with shards of Glaze flaking and falling to the table.
Not purporting to be ‘small-batch,’ ‘handmade,’ ‘artisanal’ or any such catch-phrase, the approach very much a straightforward classic Doughnuttery, it was once again with previous favorites that much of the box was filled, the Buttermilk Bar with a great tang and exterior crisped by oil overlying the soft center while a Sourcream Old Fashioned was this time coated with Glaze featuring bits of pureed Blueberries.
Passing on filled or yeasted selections save for one Cinnamon Roll, the only novel item on this visit proving every bit as good as memories of a light and fluffy Crumb Donut in the past recall, it was once again that the sampling was rounded out by a moist Red Velvet Round followed by two Fritters, the smaller or two available sizes each retaining their title as best in the city with the Blueberry this time slightly better than Apple thanks to the higher concentration of Fruit amidst the sugar-shellacked Dough.
FIVE STARS: In an era when more and more food is tilted towards being photogenic as opposed to delicious it seems the classic Donut shop is becoming rarer and rarer across the States and as much as I like what places like Pink Box, Sidecar and others are doing there is simply not a place I’ve found thus far in the world who outperforms Ace Donuts for simple classics like Buttermilk Bars, Old Fashions and Fritters.
RECOMMENDED: Apple Fritter, Blueberry Fritter, Buttermilk Bar, Old Fashioned, Red Velvet.
AVOID: Arriving too late.
TIP: Open at 5am daily at 9435 W Tropicana Avenue, call in advance for special orders at (702) 222-3370.