Lynn, Lynn, the City of…Donuts

Posted: July 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Bakery, Donut City, Lynn, Sweets and Treats | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Even unintentionally, Corey Jackson inspires me to eat in Lynn. This morning I was planning to take Route 1A through Lynn when Corey posted a picture of the awful  Lynnway traffic on Facebook. Having no desire to experience it for myself, I decided to take Route 107, conveniently passing directly by Donut City, which sits at the intersection of Western Ave. and Chestnut Street.

A small, independent, family-owned shop that’s been open about a year and a half, Donut City makes donuts fresh each morning. I had been meaning to check them out, and this was the perfect opportunity.

Everything looked so good, I ended up leaving with a variety of treats to share with my colleagues. Both the raised and cake donuts (.75 each) were terrific. My all-time favorite, the chocolate frosted old-fashioned cake donut was excellent. The crunchy fried outside encased moist cake and was topped with chocolate icing that didn’t overwhelm. The raised doughnuts were heavenly—even the glazed was feather light, and the raised cinnamon was a revelation. That’s the one I’ll go back for.

Donut City offers muffins in two sizes, (.79 for small and $1.65 for large) and produces a variety of unusual flavors along with the old standbys. Who could resist a Boston Cream Pie muffin? I certainly couldn’t, and I threw in a pineapple coconut one for good measure. My colleagues were quite happy with the decision. The muffins were moist, lightly sweet, and had a nice springy crumb—the Boston Cream Pie drew raves.

I was interested to discover that aside from a myriad of sweet treats, croissants and breakfast sandwiches, the shop also offers fresh, hot, savory meat pies. The chicken and beef pastelitos (.80 each) looked so good, I opted to try the chicken then and there. A crisp pastry filled with chopped meat, onions, and sweet peppers, it was delicious. A couple of those and a coffee and you’ve got yourself a bargain lunch.

Speaking of coffee, I was excited to see that Donut City carries locally roasted fair trade coffee from Beverly’s Atomic Café.

The quality and freshness of this unassuming corner bakery blows chain store donuts out of the water, so don’t wait until the next traffic jam to stop by.

Donut City
515 Chestnut Street, Lynn
(781) 477-0766

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Pączki Day at Coffee Time Bake Shop

Posted: March 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Bakery, Coffee Time Bake Shop, Salem, Sweets and Treats | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Whether you are of Polish heritage or just want to indulge in deep fried taste treats, Fat Tuesday offers a great excuse to ditch your diet, as it’s the traditional day for Polish Americans to partake of pączki.

For the uninitiated, pączki (pronounced pooch-key or poonch-key) are balls of fried dough, similar to jelly doughnuts but denser and more eggy. They can be served plain with sugar, glazed, or filled with fruit or cream. Traditionally, making pączki just before Lent was a way to use up items like eggs and lard, which would be abstained from during the pre-Easter season.

Salem’s Coffee Time Bake Shop has a reputation for making the rich pastries, and this morning while suffering the hell that is the Bridge Street construction, we spotted their sign reminding us that today is pączki day. Seizing the chance to duck the traffic, we popped in and purchased a few.

The coffee shop produces plain and several stuffed varieties, priced from $1.89 to $3.50 each. The decadent cream- and strawberry-filled option was tasty, and the whipped cream was fresh, but it was overwhelming. A bite and a half was plenty. The raspberry fruit-filled was very good, but our favorite was the unfilled glazed. The glaze provided just enough sweetness, and the flavor of the dough was still discernible.

Coffee Time makes fresh, hand-rolled pączki daily at this time of year and will have them available now through Easter Sunday. The pastries are more of a bread dough than a doughnut, so we advise purchasing them early in the morning. The ones we tried were terrific, but I can imagine they dry out pretty quickly.

They offer a huge array of baked goods, doughnuts, and cookies and has other seasonal baked goods, including king cake for Mardi Gras and Irish soda bread. So if you find yourself waiting to be waved on by one of the endless police details lining the street, a pastry break might just be in order.

Coffee Time Bake Shop
96 Bridge Street, Salem
(978) 744-0995
www.coffeetimebakeshop.net

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The Unsung Tastes of Summer

Posted: August 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: American, Bakery, Boston Hot Dog Co., Cafe, Cider Hill Farm, Coven, Green Land Cafe, Jack Tar, Sweets and Treats | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

While it may seem we write about every single thing we eat, that’s obviously not the case. And trust us, you really don’t want to know about all the cold leftovers or bowls of cereal in our lives. However, there have been some unsung tid-bits we’ve enjoyed this summer that deserve mention.

Jack Tar is an unassuming restaurant and pub tucked in behind the storefronts on Washington Street in Marblehead, and on a couple of occasions this summer we have found ourselves enjoying their little patio in the early evening. Our drink of choice? The refreshing Lemon Jack, which is similar to a lemon drop, made with citrus vodka and limoncello. Icy and tart, it’s just the thing to cool you off after a sultry day. Their house-made warm potato chips with bleu cheese, smoked bacon, and scallions are extremely tasty and just the right accompaniment to cocktails.

When a friend requested a stop at Boston Hot Dog in Salem recently, we heartily agreed, fully expecting to order one of their stellar dogs. Upon entering, we noticed the hot pastrami special and decided it warranted further investigation. Man, was that one excellent sandwich. If tender, savory pastrami slow-cooked all day, loaded into a French bread bun with Dijon mustard and a bit of swiss cheese sounds like heaven to you, check this baby out.

Autumn may be when thoughts typically turn to cider doughnuts, but we’ve been obsessing about them this summer, and those from Cider Hill Farm are the objects of our affection. Fresh, light, and cake-y, these old-fashioned doughnuts are coated in cinnamon sugar and simply melt in your mouth. Cider Hill sells them at several farmers markets across the North Shore, but we love them still warm from the bakery at the farm itself.

Another dessert worth seeking out is the dark chocolate bread pudding from Coven. It is dense, not too sweet, and the deep chocolate reminiscent of my grandmother’s homemade hot fudge sauce. This insanely lush treat is so rich we couldn’t finish it all, but it’s the sort of left over that won’t languish long in the fridge.

We have yet to get to the newly opened Green Land Café in Salem for dinner, but we did stop in for lunch last week and were quite impressed by the grilled avocado and crab salad with ginger-lime gastrique. Both the avocado and the crab were super fresh tasting, and the dressing was bright and tangy. This lovely entrée was light yet filling, just right for a summer afternoon.

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Time to Eat the Doughnuts

Posted: March 20th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Bakery, Salem, Ziggy & Sons Donuts | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

We had some business to attend to in Salem this morning, so decided on a whim to pop into Ziggy’s Donuts on the corner of Essex and Webb Streets for a mid-morning treat.

Ziggy’s, which has been owned and operated by the same family since 1964, is a tiny storefront that’s almost lost on the residential street, giving you the feeling you are walking into someone’s home. A cramped space with regulars chatting at the counter, along with bunches of photos and articles stuck to the fridge, compound that feeling—but don’t let it scare you off.

We visited later in the morning, (they open at 6:30) so selection wasn’t huge, but inviting nonetheless. One of our choices was an all-time favorite, the traditional jelly stick. Wow. This is what a doughnut should be: that almost-crisp crunch on the outside and light moist cake on the inside. It was incredibly fresh tasting and delightful. Not at all like those leaden things served up by chain bakeries that you can feel sitting in your stomach all day.

We also tried the coconut, which was excellent, and the coffee roll, which was surprisingly light and not overwhelmed by the glaze. Everything we tasted had a great balance of flavor—none of that fryer-oil aftertaste and just the right amount of sweetness.

So next time you’re up early looking for sinkers to accompany your joe and morning paper, stop in to Ziggy’s and try their hand-made wonders. We’ll be right behind you in line.

Ziggy’s Donuts
2 Essex Street, Salem
(978) 744-9605

Ziggy & SonsDonuts on Urbanspoon

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