Archive for Snacks

Donut Savant

donut savantIt seems like there’s something new in Oakland’s Uptown almost weekly now. First there was local clothing and house ware store Oakollectiv. Then Oaklandish opened their first retail store. And, of course, there are other nearby faves such as the revamped Fox Theater, the 2nd Can’t Fail Cafe, Xolo, Plum (Bar), Bakesale Betty’s #2, Flora, and too many other places to list at once. Now there’s another new place that has me pretty excited given my obsession with dontus the past few months: Donut Savant!

They’ve been open for about 3 weeks now on a block of Broadway that hasn’t looked better in more than 20 years. They have tons of different varieties of cake style donuts — formed in ball shapes without holes. Every variety I tried tasted great (not too much frosting) and I noticed that the cake dough is nicely flavored as well. I got to try about six flavors but they make more than 20 and you never know what you’re gonna get b/c the chef is making new ones in the back all the time. If you’re lucky you will order any flavor that just came out of the fryer — there’s nothing like a warm donut made with quality ingredients.

Donut Savant
1934 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

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Tim Horton’s

tim hortonsI am back in the Toronto suburb of Markham again today where I come every couple months to visit the satellite office of my employer. A former co-worker of mine asked me earlier this week whether I ever went to Tim Horton’s while I was here (in true Canadian spirit you can read their website in Francais). I had indeed noticed the signs on my way to and from the airport before but had no idea this was something like the Candian dunkin’ Donuts.

Tonight I decided the best way to try this place out was with some variety. I’ve always loved donut holes and have a special place in my heart for Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins. Here in Canada they call ‘em Timbits. It’s a play on tidbits, and the the ‘bit’ part can also stand for ‘big in taste.’

So I am enjoying my Timbits guilt free because I hardly ate anything today. Yum-a-doodle-doo! So if you ever do visit Canada, give Tim’s a try. And if you don’t make it all the way up to the great white north, you can find them all over the northeast where they compete head to head with DD.

Tim Horton’s
9005 Leslie Street, Richmond Hill, ON L4B1G7

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Pepples Vegan Donut Farm

pepples donut farmHoused in a former fish fry restaurant space on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, Pepples Donuts (aka the Donut Farm) has limited hours (Wed-Sun 9-3). It’s primarily an industrial kitchen where these wonderful vegan creations are baked and then sold all over the Bay Area at places like Philz Coffer and Subrosa.

When it is open, you will know, because they’ve got a bigger than life size pink donut out front. These donuts would be great even if they weren’t vegan. They’ve got regular/traditional flavors such as chocolate, coconut, various kinds of sprinkles and such. They also carry some specialty flavors as well. My favorites are Salted Caramel, Phil’z Coffee, and the Candy Cap (sweet mushroom).

On the weekends they also have a vegan brunch which does seem to attract a regular crowd. Haven’t tried that yet but am looking forward to my next batch of donuts here soon. (They also have a stand in the Ferry Building in SF for those of you who can’t make it to the East Bay). Everyone once and a while they also have raised donuts. Those are awesome — light and fluffy with just the right amount of glaze.

Pepples Donut Farm
6037 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland, CA 94608

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I wonder if the deluxe ice cream sandwich shop in Berkeley, C.R.E.A.M. (cookies rule everything around me) will ever get in trouble with the Wu-Tang Clan who had a song by the same name though the acronym stands for ‘cash rules everything around me.’

Before we get to our snack review….Here’s a live clip of the song performed by Raekwon with the awesome El Michels Affair. Enjoy!

C.R.E.A.M in Berkeley’s Southside makes you wonder why someone didn’t think of this concept sooner. You can choose from several different cookies and a variety of ice cream flavors and your sandwich is hand made for you on the spot. I tried a snickerdoodle cookie with cinammon caramel ice cream. I also tried a ‘turtle’ cookie with salted caramel ice cream (which was good but almost too decadent for my taste). This place always has a line but it moves fast. It’s worth the wait.

2399 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704

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Shamrock Shakes on March 17

Shamrock ShakesIt’s hard to believe that after 30 years McDonald’s still has Shamrock Shakes every March. Back in the seventies I thought they were a one time novelty and I loved them. Today, they are still green in color and flavored with mint. These days they are served in a clear cup so you can really see the color. In truth they taste just ok but the nostalgic memories just can’t be beat. I almost never go to Mickey D’s for food but the Shamrock Shake is too tempting to resist.

Check out Chronicle culture critic Peter Hartlaub’s post about Shamrock Shakes.

Also, for your enjoyment I found these two TV commercials here (the one with Uncle O’grimacey is the best):

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