Maple-bacon doughnut at Glazed and Infused
Gourmet doughnuts haven’t reached the same saturation as cupcake shops in Chicago, but they could be on the way. Joining Doughnut Vault, Dirty Betty’s and Do-Rite is Glazed and Infused, a creation of Francesca’s restaurateur Scott Harris with the help of chefs Christine McCabe (Charlie Trotter’s) and Tom Culleeney (Lettuce Entertain You and Krispy Kreme).
News traveled fast to a few of Chicago’s finest, who were taking a break from NATO duty on Monday morning to check out the West Loop location (813 W. Fulton Market. 312-226-5556) as we made our way out with a box of assorted doughnuts ($1.75- $3.25 apiece). A walk-up window at Francesca’s Forno in Wicker Park (1553 N. Damen Ave. 773-770-0184) is also open, and a third location at 929 W. Armitage Avenue near the Armitage Brown Line station is set to open in July.
Unlike closet-sized Doughnut Vault and Do-Rite, the West Loop location of Glazed and Infused has plenty of seating and a long glass case filled with a dozen or so varieties of doughnuts. The shop’s retro look—think vintage-inspired wall posters and counter girls donning orange polka-dotted bandanas tied up Rosie-the-Riveter-style—evokes a time when family-owned doughnut shops were easier to come by.
Classic glazed yeast doughnuts are flavored with natural ingredients—such as Madagascar vanilla beans and chocolate shipped in from South America—but the only one that tastes much different than the usual artificially flavored chain counterparts is the raspberry glaze, which tastes like the ripe, real fruit.
Specialty flavors such as lemon pleased with a subtly citrusy cake base and a zingy lemon glaze—almost like a lemon square in doughnut form. A maple-bacon long john tastes just like that part of your breakfast plate where the pancake syrup runs onto your bacon. Can we argue that the added protein of a full slice of bacon on top makes it a balanced breakfast?
The ultimate dessert-for-breakfast choice is the red velvet doughnut, topped with a hefty helping of cream-cheese icing. For whatever reason, the red velvet experience has always seemed best in cupcake form—it’s the perfect state for keeping the cake moist and supporting the heavy frosting. Still, the red velvet doughnut does have the crunchy snap of doughnut crust that only a ringed confection can provide.
Lisa Arnett, Leonor Vivanco and Jim Walsh contributed to this story. Reviewers visit restaurants unannounced and food is paid for by RedEye. firstname.lastname@example.org | @redeyeats