According to a recent article in Time Magazine (Sep. 29, 2010), doughnuts are again back in style. Time reports that doughnut sales were up 6% last spring as compared to the same quarter the previous year. The doughnut chains (Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme) are still expanding despite the recession, possibly because doughnuts are cheap and comforting.
In Atlanta they are starting to pop up on restaurant menus, as well. Relish Restaurant in Roswell serves a diet-busting Krispy Kreme bread pudding with espresso kreme. And of course, there’s the liquid nitrogen Krispy Kreme milkshake at FLIP Burger Boutique.
At a recent cooking class at Rathbun’s restaurant, guess what was for dessert? Potato donuts, dubbed “Spud-nuts.” And who has been bold enough to try the Vandross Burger at The Gravity Pub? That’s the cheddar-bacon burger served on the grilled-glazed doughnut, a dish with enough calories to last you through the winter.
For the sake of this blog – and that’s the only reason – I dashed to try a new-to-me doughnut shop. I drove 45 minutes (one way) to Dough in a Box in Marietta (3184 Austell Rd SW)… I didn’t regret it. I found an unassuming little storefront, with some of the freshest, lightest doughnuts around. Despite having 28 varieties, there are no gimmicks here. If you want pork belly doughnuts with agave glaze, go elsewhere.
This little shop run by a husband-and-wife team, turns out their daily doughnuts “the old-fashioned way.” Starting at 10 p.m. each night, “It’s time to make the doughnuts” for Jesus Balestena, who makes them all from scratch. His wife Dannia relieves him every morning to run the shop during the day. In the evenings, they pause to have dinner together before beginning again.
Their labor of love has paid off. At Dough in a Box, the yeast dough contains no sugar and is fried in soybean oil, resulting in a doughnut with a big yeasty flavor that isn’t cloyingly sweet. The sweetness comes only from the frosting. Their best sellers are the fritters (blueberry and apple) and the old-fashioned sour cream doughnut, which was my favorite.
Have they noticed an increase in sales with the dip in the economy? No increase, but business has been steady. What Jesus and Dannia Balestena have noticed is that more families are choosing it as a breakfast destination. Families are eating in the shop on weekends instead of going to more expensive sit-down breakfast eateries. And since $1.70 gets you a doughnut and a cup of coffee, it’s not hard to see why!
I ate a doughnut or three at Dough in a Box. Just doing my part for the economy…
Where do you go for your doughnuts?
–Jenny Turknett writes about Southern and Neighborhood Fare for the AJC Dining Team. She also publishes her own blog, Going Low Carb.