Deep Fried Chicago: Glazed & Infused
We're going to be giving special attention around these parts to breakfast for the month of March, and for a deep fried correspondent, that largely means doughnuts. We stopped in to relative newcomer Glazed & Infused last June to eat ALL THE DOUGHNUTS, and while doing so again may be a tad excessive for one man, their ever-changing seasonal menu necessitates another look. Which is why I sat down with a six pack of Doughnuts and a cup of House Blend Intelligencia Coffee ($1.75 for a small) to see what's what. The things I do for you.
Though a permanent feature on the menu, no trip to Glazed & Infused would be complete without a Maple Bacon Long John ($3.00). I've never really had much luck with the maple/bacon combo: salty, sweet, and decadent is a good idea in theory, but fatty, chewy, and saccharine more closely describes my past experiences. Not so today: meet your once and future doughnut. Long johns are an old school favorite of mine, and the chewy, rich maple glazed topped specimen here does not disappoint. The peppered bacon is properly cooked, with a crisp exterior and just enough give to keep it from shattering. I ate about half of this before I realized I had five more to try. My loss.
Another menu mainstay, the Old Fashioned ($2.50) is as classic as the style comes. Dense without being heavy and sweet without being cloying, this is the doughnut to choose if you're a coffee dunker.
I can never resist a blueberry cake doughnut, but the Blueberry-Lemon ($2.50) might make me start being a bit more selective. The intensely blueberry glaze is straight from NYC's Doughnut Plant's playbook, while the tart lemon finish prevents the affair from slipping into the sugarcoated red zone.
My first thought when I picked up the Apple Fritter ($3.00) was how light it was. That could go either way—will it leave me feeling light and refreshed unlike most rock-in-the-stomach versions or did they just cut corners by skimping on the apple chunks? A thousand times the former. The doughnut shop cinnamon roll flavor comes first, followed by still-tart-and-toothsome hunks of apple. I could eat this all day, no regrets.
The Bismark Special ($3.00) changes daily, and with today's filling being Nutella, how could I say no? Perfectly light and airy with the thinnest layer of vanilla bean flecked glaze, all cylinders were firing except said Nutella. Thinner than what you scoop from the jar (likely on purpose for filling logistics), it wasn't nearly hazelnutty enough. I'm all for doughnut restraint, but I would've liked a little more oomph here.
I'm more of a cake chocolate sprinkle man myself, but the Seasonal Glazed Chocolate Yeast Sprinkle ($2.00) was too striking to pass up. Homer-sized with the flavor to match, the fudgy chocolate and crunchy sprinkles perfectly enveloped the just-sweet-enough yeast doughnut. This is the chocolate glazed doughnut for the fussy among us that require actual chocolate flavor.
I'm still getting used to doughnuts that are over three times as expensive as what everymen are eating in the rest of the country. Twenty bucks for six doughnuts and a coffee is grounds for an intervention where I come from. But with Glazed & Infused making a case this strong, that's one meeting I'll gladly attend- as long as I can bring the doughnuts.