401 1/2 N Franklin St, Chicago
Friday! TGIF, so much this week, I can’t even tell you. Before I changed jobs last month, I’d often stop by Walker’s Doughnuts on Flinders Street on my way to the station to catch the train home for a little something to share with husband when I got home. I just figured we deserved a reward for making it through another week. I no longer catch the train home from Flinders St Station with the new job, but I am quite close to Shortstop now! Unfortunately, by the time I finish work, they’re either closed, or sold out if I finish early. So that doesn’t help. Anyway, I was thinking this week that I’m overdue for a good donut; then I got thinking about how good the donuts were in Chicago. The donut game in Chicago is VERY strong – exhibits A: Do-Rite Donuts, and B: Stan’s Donuts.
Doughnut Vault came highly recommended by a ton of food blogs I’d read in the lead up to USAdventure, and being the donut enthusiasts we are, husband and I quite happily layered up against the Chicago winter cold and trekked out. Fair warning; this place is tiny. It’s not even a café. It’s a hallway with a counter at the end. When it’s freakin cold out there in Chicago, don’t think you’re getting a respite from the cold, sitting in with a donut and hot coffee. No. You take the donuts and hot coffee and you sit outside and be cold with them.
I guess normal people would have been like “no chance, I’m out, looking for a café I can sit in, too damn cold out there!” We’re not normal. Clearly. Donuts were purchased, we found a spot under a fire escape stair thingy, sat on the close to frozen concrete, and had the most delightfully impromptu winter picnic those streets have probably ever seen! Stupid Aussies… whatever.
We went with the vanilla glazed raised donut, on the left, and an original buttermilk, on the right. The raised donut was everything you wanted; perfect balance between cake and donut, thick and light and fluffy all at the same time, and the glaze was sugary delicious. One of my favourite donuts over there!
The buttermilk old fashioned style was actually amazing! It was a thick, solid ring of dough; I know the texture of it isn’t for everyone, and we don’t really see donuts like this in Melbourne, but we both loved it. Yeah, it was super sweet, and you probably couldn’t stomach too many, but on that cold morning, it was perfect and more than worth facing the cold to get to! Believe the hype, the donuts coming out of this place are phenomenal!