Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Federal Donuts

honey doughnut (comes with any order of fried chicken) in front of the chicken cart
 Before arriving in Brooklyn, we spent a few days in Wilmington, Delaware and in Philly. We returned to one of our favorite doughnut spots--Federal Donuts. Similar to Rise--though it predates it--Federal sells coffee, fried chicken, and doughnuts exclusively. Federal, however, has streamlined the menu to several tempting subcategories: specialty donuts (the cake, in 6 varieties each day), yeast (fried fresh, topped with 3 different spiced-sugar blends), and the dry-rubbed and wet-rubbed chicken in a few flavor choices. The yeast are incredible, but the lure of the new is always the determining force, so we ended up trying all the cake donuts, one yeast (we'd had 2/3 the last visit), and split an order of the Thai-chili chicken (one must be abstemious somewhere, after all).
can't remember all the flavors but I believe this box includes chocolate sea salt, watermelon and basil, cookies and cream, and lots of other deliciousness.
 Each new cake donut is a surprise at Federal. The accuracy and brightness of flavor and moistness of texture are just absurd. I will never stop loving these donuts.
Thai-chili glazed fried chicken
The fried chicken at Federal tends toward the dry-side, due to frying them before fried-chicken service starts (at 11am) and then reheating with spice/sauce. The flavors, however, remain interesting and it's always a treat.

Rise Biscuits and Donuts, Durham NC

creme brulee donut
We were in Raleigh, NC for most of August and, lucky for us, the RTP area is host to a couple new doughnut spots. We tried Monuts Donuts from Durham which were tasty, but in our bleary-eyed and hungry morning state we scarfed them before we remembered to take pictures. 

Another new gem in the area is Rise Biscuits & Donuts (be still, my heart), also located in Durham.

pea-patty biscuit
 We ordered the fried chicken biscuit and a pea-patty vegetarian. Surprisingly, the pea came together better than the chicken, which was on the tough and dry side. The biscuits, however, were quite good, boasting the satisfyingly crisp top and tender crumb of a Bojangles biscuit, minus the excess salt.
Fried chicken biscuit

Doughnuts, L-R: kids donut, chocolate chocolate, and creme brulee
 I lose all sense when presented with a be-sprinkled donut, so we ended up with the confetti-colored "kid's donut" as well as chocolate chocolate (of the cake variety) and the creme brulee, which was the day's winner.

The kid's donut was nothing to shout about, too small to be moist, but the cake was very nice. The creme brulee, however, was a cream-filled yeast with a bruleed sugar crust that was both an interesting variation on the old cream-filled and a satisfying array of textures.

Next up: another donut post.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Road Trip posts on BurnAway///DC

We've had a busy year so far, full of road trips and a move. We're based in Brooklyn now so give us a shout out when you're in town!

BurnAway asked us to write about our travels for them. Our visits to Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, and Toronto can all be found on the site. Look out for one more post featuring Frank Lloyd Wright houses in three different states!

Minneapolis/Twin Cities

Chicago Part 1

Chicago Part 2



Post-the aforementioned cities and before arriving in Brooklyn, we spent some time in DC.

We happened to be there for the 55th anniversary of Ben's Chili Bowl, a D.C. establishment where only Bill Cosby and Barack Obama eat for free. There was a celebration, but we unfortunately missed a Bill Cosby-sighting by a few minutes. We did, however, catch a speech by the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

Reverend Jesse Jackson at the mike
 We went to several fantastic museums while in D.C., including the National Gallery of Art (which had a great exhibition of works by Kerry James Marshall, the Freer and Sackler galleries of art, and the Corcoran. We didn't take any pictures, however, either because we weren't allowed to or we didn't feel like it. But no matter, because you came here for the doughnut pictures!

After wearing ourselves out at museums, we stopped at Astro Doughnuts for a pick-me-up.
Above, we have the Brooklyn Blackout, which is essentially devil food's cake in a portable ring format. It was extremely moist and tasty, but not really a doughnut.
Below is the crème brûlée doughnut, which was filled with a vanilla custard.

Not too shabby D.C., not too shabby.