Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Donuts are the New Black

by Erin

Some of you long-time readers might remember when our good friend Lauren (who we visited in NYC in August) did a field report on Kumquat Cupcakery about six months ago. Well, she just got back from her Miss Independence Tour where she traveled through both northern and southern California, visiting friends and having a blast. A few days before she was set to leave on her trip, I was reading David Lebovitz's food blog (so fabulous, with beautiful pictures) where he was in San Francisco eating lots of wonderful treats. I saw this post about Dynamo Donuts, located in the Mission, and immediately wrote to Lauren asking her to do another field report for us! I told her that donuts are going to be the new cupcake - the hip, adorable, millions of possible flavors treat - and she could be on the cutting edge! So here it is folks, Field Report #2 by our #1 field reporter:

Dearest BCD sistas,

As you know, last week I embarked on the historic Miss Independent Tour 2008, a journey of sunshine, soul-searching, and of course, sinning (to prepare for the upcoming Halloween party!). My favorite sin is, obviously, vanity, but gluttony runs a very close second, so when I received an email from EP pleading for a field report on baked goods, I couldn't possibly refuse.

I spent the entirety of my short time in San Francisco indulging, from Day 1 at the Burning Man Decompression Party to Day 2 at the Jelly Belly Factory, so stopping at Dynamo Donut on the way out of town seemed like a good way to round off my time in this gorgeous city. I knew very little about the place besides a glowing BCD endorsement, so I had no idea what to expect when I pulled up to the joint (parking spot right in front, for a New Yorker, is a tremendously positive sign). Dynamo isn't an actual shop, it's just a walk-up window with just a few seats scattered out front for whomever is lucky enough to nab 'em. Today, it looked like a little coffee klatch of young professional women (I assume this because I overheard the phrase "I NEVER eat donuts" multiple times) had gotten all the seats.

As I approached the large, welcoming window, I noticed the menu on the right side listing the many types of donuts that may be featured, though they only make 3-4 flavors daily. They sit in glass cakestands right on the counter so right away I could see that today's flavors were Chocolate Anise, Ginger Orange, and Vanilla.

Obviously Chocolate anything is a no-brainer. I asked the guy working for a recommendation for a second treat, as is my policy when in doubt, and he was all in favor of the Vanilla, so I went for it. He and the girl working were super sweet about letting me take pictures, as apparently I was not the first blog representative to ever stop by. I think the donut thing is catching on, eh? Anyway, I got two donuts and an enormous iced coffee (and he let me add my own soy milk, another big plus in my book) for $6, which I thought was a deal for such a specialized, trendy business.

So, since the gals had all the outdoor seating occupied, I had a donut picnic in the Mustang, which was fine by me because I was completely in love with her. The coffee, I must say, was really strong and rich, just the way I like it, so that was a nice start. But oh man... the donuts. Seriously, when I say I don't even really like donuts, I mean it. Dunkin Donuts... could live without em, for sure. I really hate the sugar rush followed by nausea and then immediate hunger that most donuts result in for me. But these... they are NOT Dunkin Donuts. They are rich and complex and interesting and OMG.

First I tried the Chocolate Anise, which as promised, had a deep dark chocolate flavor with a subtle licorice-y kick at the end that really made it memorable. The whole thing is perfectly crunchy and glazed on the outside and cakey and moist on the inside.
Honestly, I couldn't decide if I liked the Chocolate or the Vanilla (which had a great citrus-y ending) better. Both had this light and flaky texture with enough bite and crunch to make them really satisfying. I definitely couldn't finish them, and they still held me over until I stopped on the side of the road for a freshly prepared tostada several hours later. Another $2 very well spent, but that's a different story.

And that, my friends, is the Dynamo Donut story. The BCD sisters have taught me that donuts are the way forward, and I'm much more inclined to believe them now. Thanks, EP, for the suggestion! Can't wait to see you both for some serious sinning this weekend!!

Thanks, Lauren! We LOOOVE you! Maybe someday we can go back to SF and have Dynamo Donuts together, just like we did with the Kumquat Cupcakery. Keep up the good work!

EP & X


  1. "Donuts are the new cupcake"

    I think you're right! But let's hope cupcakes don't go totally out of style :)

    Now you need to have a poll on yeast donuts vs. cake donuts. Discuss...

  2. go here! go here! sooo yummers. (and i dont even really like donuts!) i got the tres leches and the valrhona chocolate.

  3. WE had the tres leches and valrhona chocolate...WE. even tho really, they were so good i wish it had just been ME. :p seriously tho, i've never had such deliciousness in donut form. and, like peter, i don't particularly like donuts. i also heard the coconut cream and blackout ones are must-haves. you MUST go!!!

  4. Pater & Tash - the Doughnut Plant is in Chicago, right? Xani is headed out there next month for work and she could totally go!


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