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Go nuts for doughnuts

Chicago's boutique doughnut trend continues with Do-Rite Donuts & Coffee in the Loop

  • Old-fashioned buttermilk doughnuts get glazed at Do-Rite in the Loop
Old-fashioned buttermilk doughnuts get glazed at Do-Rite in the Loop
March 07, 2012|By Erin Sarris, For RedEye

If you think you can't get a specialty doughnut downtown without enduring a line that wraps around the block, get over to Do-Rite Donuts & Coffee (50 W. Randolph St. 312-488-2483), the Loop's newest walk-up doughnut shop in a space carved out of Petterino's.

Disclaimer: We're not promising there won't be lines eventually. (Co-owners Francis Brennan, formerly of L20, and Jeff Mahin, as well as the financial backers at Lettuce Entertain You certainly hope there will be.) But the shop has only been open since late February, so the word's still getting out about the piping-hot small batches of fried dough, served in 10 to 12 flavors daily. They're turning out a growing number of doughnuts every day, anywhere from 400 to 750 depending on demand.

There are traditional versions such as old-fashioned glazed, chocolate and jelly-filled doughnuts along with more adventurous twists such as the airy, eclair-like French cruller with a maple glaze and candied bacon. Others include a carrot cake doughnut with cream cheese frosting, a pistachio cake doughnut topped with toasted crushed pistachios, and a peanut butter-and-jelly "bullseye" doughnut.

But don't think of it as Doughnut Vault 2.0. While there are similarities (tiny space, coffee to-go, standing room only), Do-Rite also offers curbside pick-up, accepts credit cards, and opens early at 6:30 a.m. for those on their way to the office.

"We're not about to reinvent the wheel, we're just looking to do doughnuts right," Brennan said. Prices range from $1.75 to $2.95 apiece, or $14.95 for a half dozen and $29.95 for a dozen. The shop's custom blend of coffee from Dark Matter costs $1 with purchase of a doughnut.

Do-Rite is open from Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. until whenever they're sold out—usually between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Keep tabs on the shop by following @DoRiteDonuts on Twitter.

Tasting notes

Maple & bacon: Candied bacon on top is nice, but the airy cruller-style doughnut sort of collapsed under the weight of the icing.

Old-fashioned buttermilk: Very sweet and perfectly craggy. Crispy and soft in all the right places.

Pistachio: Golden outside with a nicely cakey inside. Not overly sweet with crushed pistachios on top.

Chocolate glazed: In addition to the standard ring of choco glaze, there's an extra smear of rich Valrhona chocolate frosting in the middle. Yum.

Lemon poppyseed: Rectangular in shape with a tart cream filling tasting of actual, not artificial, lemon.

Peanut butter & jelly bullseye: Classic glazed doughnut, but with a big dollop of jam and not-too-sweet, super-creamy peanut butter in the middle.

A brief history: Chicago's boutique doughnut shops

APRIL 2011

Doughnut Vault opens adjacent to River North restaurant Gilt Bar.

MAY 2011

The owners of Cookie Bar open alter-ego doughnut shop Dirty Betty's inside their Lakeview space.

FEBRUARY 2012

Do-Rite Coffee & Doughnuts opens adjacent to Petterino's in the Loop.

LATER THIS YEAR

Mia Francesca's Scott Harris plans to open doughnut shop Glazed and Infused, which will include walk-up window attached to Francesca's Forno in Wicker Park plus stand-alone shops in the West Loop and Lincoln Park.

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