Getting dizzy on Boulder’s newest donuts

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Clay Fong

I fed Mara donuts until she wept. Well, not really, although we certainly did a fine job of indulging ourselves at Dizzy’s Donuts, Boulder’s newest venue serving fresh takes on old-school baked goods. Donuts are big nowadays, akin to where cupcakes were a few years ago. Trendy spots like Oregon’s Voodoo Doughnuts, which offer pastries anchored by everything from Captain Crunch cereal to bacon, are in the vanguard of this culinary trend.

Dizzy’s, located near 55th and Arapahoe, is fairly spartan, featuring utilitarian tables and chairs, with a smattering of plastic Adirondack seating thrown in for good measure. A backgammon set and other amusements for customers provide a welcoming accent. What Dizzy’s lacks in decor is offset by the cheerful service, which included attentive topping off of coffee and an eagerness to answer our many questions.

The shop posts its rotating menu of donuts on Facebook early every morning. Popular items run out fast and, alas, friend Mara and I arrived too late for the maple bacon donut. Other unique offerings include key lime, pumpkin cheesecake and frosted blackberry. Prices for each donut start at around two dollars, making the cost more than competitive against typical coffee shop pastries.

Speaking of coffee, Dizzy’s serves local Ozo brew and has an espresso machine to whip up various lattes and cappuccinos. We were happy to see that high-quality coffee is available here, and I say that as someone who still doesn’t understand all the hubbub surrounding Dunkin’ Donuts java.

Flashy might best describe the $2.50 S’more donut. While the base donut had mild chocolate tones, I wondered if things might be slightly improved if the bakers had fully committed to full-bore cocoa flavor. Mara described the top as “incredible,” with its freight of crumbled graham cracker, marshmallow creme and distinct taste of Hershey’s milk chocolate.

For $2, the PBJ was an interesting update of the classic jelly donut. Lacking the dusting of powdered sugar of its ancestor, this number made up for it with the addition of smooth and creamy peanut butter. Just the right amount of grape jelly prevented things from sticking to the roof of one’s mouth, and I’d be shocked if the blend of flavors doesn’t trigger fits of nostalgia. The $2.50 double chocolate was a simpler selection, made intriguing by a texture somewhere between a Danish and an old-fashioned donut, sprinkled with cinnamon.

Mara’s favorite was the $2.50 apple fritter, and it’ll likely be a popular item among the donut traditionalists. Most fritters have a sugary glaze thick enough to fossilize a trilobite in, but happily, Dizzy’s version was much more restrained. The fresh apple flavor shone through, in no small part due to the hefty chunks of fruit, the largest either of us had ever tasted in a fritter.

Dizzy’s provides a far better product than the chain donut shops of old. Most of the offerings from mass market outlets have an overprocessed if not chemical-laden taste. Dizzy differs in that each creation seems to be more of an artisanal baked good made with quality ingredients. With its early morning opening, I suspect Dizzy’s will become a popular spot to grab a sweet on the way to skiing or other sporting activity.

Dizzy’s Donuts is located at 1606 Conestoga St., Boulder. Call 303-494-5331.

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