Separated by two levels, the lower tier of the restaurant is filled with metal chairs and grey wooden tables. The upper tier consists of a doughnut display case, and a bar. Light bulbs attached to long black cords hang from the ceiling above the tables. Outfitted with a black ceiling, a brick wall and neon yellow couches, the lounge is contemporary, yet cozy. It has achieved the perfect atmosphere for a doughnut lounge.
The menu hanging on the wall in front of me was overwhelmingly filled with all sorts of coffee, drinks, doughnuts and the lounge’s signature “noduts” – part entree, part doughnut. Noduts are a sweet and savory combination: a doughnut paired with an unexpected savory food, like fried chicken or braised beef.
From behind the counter, an employee wearing a maroon flannel and a beanie told me a few of their flavors: Red Velvet, Maple Bacon, Tres Leches, the Dolly (which has a goat cheese filling) and the classics like Glazed and Iced Chocolate. The nodut of the day was called Glazed n’ Gravy. All of the doughnuts were homemade and had their own toppings. I knew Doughnut Lounge’s pastries would give my regular Krispy Kreme favorites a run for their money.
I examined each doughnut through the glass before deciding which ones I wanted most. I couldn’t help but order more than one and eventually decided on the Red Velvet, Double Chocolate and the nodut. The two signature doughnuts I bought were each $3 and the nodut was $6. The prices were reasonable considering how darling they looked. Between my friends and I, we had six different doughnuts and one nodut to try – I was ready to dig in.
The first one I tried was called Strawberry Mascarpone. Decorated with a sliced strawberry and powdered sugar on top, this one looked the most appealing. I bit into the soft doughnut and tasted the berry-flavored filling immediately. The pink filling oozing from the sides almost made the doughnut hard to eat, but it didn’t matter because it tasted so delicious. Satisfied, I moved onto doughnut number two.
The next doughnut I had was the one I was most excited to taste: Maple Bacon. It seemed like an odd combination, bacon with doughnuts, but I was definitely willing to give it a try. Before taking a bite, I smelled the crispy strip bacon laid on top of the long doughnut. I was expecting a bacon flavor to be in the doughnut itself, but only tasted a little saltiness among the sweet glazed flavor.
I decided to move onto the next doughnut hoping it would be better than the last; little did I know I would try my favorite doughnut of the day. I took a bite of the Double Chocolate pastry and was not disappointed. The chocolate icing and colorful sprinkles enhanced the rich chocolatey flavor. I kept eating until I realized I needed to save room for my other doughnuts.
I moved onto what I saw as an overlooked doughnut – the Old Fashioned. It looked like a glazed funnel cake, twisting in different directions, but came together in a perfect ring. This doughnut had a crispier edge, but the inside was soft and fluffy. It had a different texture and taste than a regular doughnut, but I liked it. Excited, I moved onto the next doughnut, convinced I would love it.
I realized I may have spoke too soon after tasting the Red Velvet. I was looking forward to this doughnut since it’s my favorite kind of cupcake, but this didn’t live up to my expectations. It was appealing on the outside, decorated with icing and crushed pecans, but the doughnut itself didn’t have any flavor. It tasted just like bread. Still I had one doughnut left to try – Tres Leches.
Not knowing what to expect, I bit into the golden brown doughnut with white icing. The sweet icing had a cinnamon flavor that tasted delicious with the doughnut. It had the perfect combination of cinnamon and sugar in every bite. But I still had one last thing to try– the nodut.
An entree with a doughnut. I had never heard of anything like it, yet I found myself practically drooling over the Glazed n’ Gravy nodut. A few minutes after I sat down, a worker came out calling my name and handed me my plate full of food with silverware. My plate included a glazed doughnut with a fried egg on top and crispy sausage bits on the side. I dug in. All three components together tasted amazing. The sweetness of the doughnut with the savory egg and sausage paired perfectly. The nodut is a delicious way to bring the aspect of a meal to the lounge, giving it individuality. I felt like I had a balanced breakfast, not just a sugary doughnut.
I enjoyed most of the doughnuts I tried, especially the nodut. I really enjoyed the Old Fashioned, but the Double Chocolate was what won me over. My favorite doughnuts were all classics, and I was somewhat disappointed with the signature doughnuts, especially the Red Velvet. To my own surprise, I enjoyed the nodut. It has features of a regular breakfast while incorporating what the Doughnut Lounge is known for, doughnuts. The unique flavor combinations of the doughnuts drew me to this lounge – and they didn’t disappoint. Overall, the lounge lived up to my expectations, and I would recommend it for anyone looking for a sweet (or savory) breakfast. The charming ambience and delightful doughnuts had me planning another trip back to the Doughnut Lounge.