Better Breakfast Series- Review: Sublime Doughnuts

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Oh, Sublime Doughnuts….simply saying the name floods my brain with memories of the buttery pastries that have revolutionized everything I thought I knew about Homer Simpson’s favorite snack.

I knew as soon as I started the Better Breakfast series that Sublime Doughnuts would be on the list. If sweets are your thing in the morning, I would struggle to come up with a better destination with which to start your day than this West Midtown bakery.

When people used to ask me about doughnuts in Atlanta, my go-to answer had always been Krispy Kreme (specifically, when the “hot now” light is on). I would scoff at anyone that suggested that Dunkin Donuts could even come close. Thanks to Chef/Owner Kamal Grant my days of recommending KK are long gone.

There has been no lack of coverage on Sublime Doughnuts, and I realize that I am probably the 20th blogger in town to sing their praises. So, in order to stand out a little, I have been eating there as frequently as possible in the attempt to provide the most comprehensive look at their offerings on the web. I still have a few more doughnuts to try, but I think I have enough to start this thing. I will update this post in the future as I get more pictures and get through their entire menu.

For the both of you that have not heard about this place, the doughnuts at Sublime far exceed what you probably think of as a standard doughnut. Grant uses yeast-risen dough and subsequently turns out the lightest, fluffiest, and most buttery doughnuts you have ever had.

In the words of my friend Katie after her first bite: “Oh my god. This isn’t a doughnut, it’s a pastry!”

I will make no bones about it: I am in love with Sublime Doughnuts. If you are looking for a critical review, you came to the wrong place, because I have yet to try a doughnut here that I didn’t love. I’m not being a fan boy…they are just that damn good. At the time of writing this post, Sublime carries a 96% rating on Urbanspoon, based on over 70 votes. Very few restaurants can boast that kind of a success rate, so they have to be doing something right.

Brace yourself for some food porn…here come the doughnuts:

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Orange Dream Star (on right):

This was one of the first I tried, and is still one of my favorites. The buttery pastry is filled with a vanilla cream and topped with orange icing. It tastes like a creamsicle.

Reese’s Cup (on left):

For both this and the S’mores doughnut, Grant bakes a little pouch into where the hole would normally go. For the Reese’s, he fills that with creamy peanut butter (homemade? Not sure) and sprinkles the chocolate icing on top with chunks of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. If you like Reese’s, you will love this doughnut.

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Caramel Apple Fritter:

Both of the fritters on the menu are slightly denser than the light dough of their doughnut brethren, as is to be expected with a fritter. But they are definitely not “dense” by normal standards. The Caramel Apple Fritter is another favorite of mine. The thick icing and fresh apple taste make this feel especially decadent in your mouth. This one was particularly good when microwaved the next day.

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Wild Berry Fritter:

Not only is this one of the prettiest treats offered by Sublime, it is one of the best. I believe the chocolate fritter is topped with blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry icing, but I am not 100% sure. Either way, the various berry flavors combine beautifully.

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A-Town Crème (Top) and A-Town Mocha (Bottom):

One of their signature doughnuts, the A-Town Crème is Grant’s version of a Boston Crème. The formula is the same, but shaped into the “A” as tribute to our hometown. The A-Town Crème is just like all of their other doughnuts: light, buttery, and delicious. The crème filling is fresh and not too thick. The A-Town Mocha is similar, but with white chocolate icing, chocolate cake dough, and a creamy mocha filling. Both are great.

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Maple Bacon Cheddar (Only available on Sat.):

That’s right: Bacon. This bad boy is only available on Saturdays, and I would absolutely recommend calling ahead to see if they have them or when the next batch comes out, because it can get crowded on the weekends and these don’t last long on the shelf. I have made trips there on a Saturday specifically just to get this doughnut. For those of you that are unsure of this savory and sweet combination in a doughnut, fret not: the bacon/cheddar flavor does not overwhelm the sweetness of the maple. It is still a sweet doughnut, but the sweetness is wonderfully complimented by a hint of savory from the bacon bits and cheddar melted underneath the maple icing. If they have them when you go, don’t leave without one.

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Frosted Croissant:

WOW. I wasn’t sure what to make of this one when I first ordered it, but I know I love a good croissant, so I can’t imagine how frosting it would be a bad thing. Hot damn…this is great. This is as buttery as a good homemade croissant should be, but with sugar on top. I have only had it once, but it is now in my Sublime Doughnuts Top 5.

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Red Velvet Cake:

Now that I think about it, this is probably the only doughnut I have had here that I didn’t LOVE…just liked. This is essentially a red velvet cake in doughnut form. I don’t like cake doughnuts as much as risen doughnuts, but that is really just a personal preference. This is topped with a cream-cheese icing and walnut pieces. If you are a fan of red velvet cake, I’d still recommend this, but there are too many other 5-star options for me to regularly order what is a 4-star doughnut (to me).

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Fresh Strawberry:

Big ups to First Bite for recommending that I try this one. Today was actually the first time it had been available when I visited. This is a fluffy doughnut sandwich filled with sliced fresh strawberries in a light syrup, crème fraiche (or a VERY light cream cheese, not sure which), and topped with powdered sugar. The only complaint I had is that powdered sugar went everywhere when I bit into this, but I still had a child-like shit-eating grin on my face when it did. This doughnut is amazing, and the freshness of the strawberries really elevates the whole thing. Kudos.

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Chocolate Caramel:

I believe I have the name wrong on this one. I discovered this morning that Noon Midtown actually carries fresh Sublime Doughnuts, so I just picked this one off a of plate. Either way, it was a tasty way to tide myself over until my Noon meal came out. This is a fluffy chocolate doughnut topped with their Dulce de Leche icing.

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Oreo:

This one has a lot going on here, and you better bring your sweet tooth to the table with you. This is a chocolate doughnut, filled with Oreo cream, iced with an Oreo cream frosting, and topped with chunks of Oreo cookies. This is a tasty one, but it can be a bit much for one person to handle, as every component is loaded with sugar. The Oreo cream filling is remarkable…it tastes exactly like the “white stuff” in an Oreo cookie.

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Choco Raspberry Filled:

My god…the difference that a good quality jelly filling can make is staggering. The filling (technically a jam, not a jelly) is great. There are noticeable chunks of fruit and the flavor is very fresh. Again, this is all wrapped up in their standardly-awesome dough and topped with chocolate icing with raspberry swirls.

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Butterfinger:

Not much to say without starting to repeat myself…a Sublime doughnut topped with silky chocolate icing and Butterfinger crumbles. If you like Butterfingers, this one is for you.

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Chocolate Banana Fritter:

I am really loving the fritters here. This is the same idea as the Caramel Apple and Wildberry fritters, but with chunks of super ripe bananas and a chocolate swirls on top.

 

There are a few more doughnuts for me to get through before I have tried everything, and there a few that I tasted but failed to photograph. I will update this post until I finally have all of them. It’s a dirty ass job, but someone has to do it, and I guess that someone will have to be me.

As you can tell, I am a huge fan of this place, which places me firmly in the majority. If you have never been, I hope this post convinces you to go. I regularly make the drive from Buckhead just to come here and I can confidently say that these are the best doughnuts in the city that I have ever had.

Sublime Doughnuts on Urbanspoon

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7 Comments

  1. Posted December 16, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    OH MY GOD I think I want one (or five), and doughnuts are my least favorite baked good in the world, especially because I looked at the menu and THERE IS A NUTELLA ONE?! Motivation to wake up before noon: found.

    • Posted December 16, 2009 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      Although now I see it is not on their actual website, just on the menu on Urbanspoon. Not that I care, I want that Oreo one right now.

      • LTF
        Posted December 16, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        The definitely have a Nutella doughnut…I’ve had it but didn’t get a pic of it. But I don’t think it is part of their regular menu…they must circulate it in occasionally. If you give them a 24 hrs heads up, you can put together a custom order, and I’d be willing to bet that they could make the Nutella one for you if you call.

  2. Posted December 16, 2009 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s about time I drove down to Sublime for some doughnuts. Been putting it off on my list for too long I think.

    • Posted December 16, 2009 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Me too Sean. I’ve also been putting it off (it’s a bit of a drive from Duluth), but the Maple Bacon Cheddar doughnut has my name on it. I didn’t know they were only available on Saturday (which works out for me since it’s about the only day that I’d be able to make it down there with my schedule)-thanks for the heads up, LTF!

  3. Posted December 18, 2009 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    woo… ah… so *that* is what SD’s maple bacon cheddar doughnut looks like. one of these days i will experience the glory and splendor that is the maple bacon cheddar. nice work on giving each doughnut its own close up. they’re all such beauties and worthy of them, of course. : ) have you tried their coffee? it’s outstanding as well. can’t go wrong with french pressed coffee.

    • Posted December 18, 2009 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      I do love their coffee…get it everytime I go.

      I love taking pictures of the food at Sublime Doughnuts because I don’t actually own a camera…all of those pictures were taken with my iPhone. The lighting in the morning in there is great, so it makes the pictures actually look good!

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