First came cupcakes, next up it was macarons, now I feel the trend is for donuts. Or maybe I’m just becoming a little obsessed? I can’t say that donuts were a major food group for me when I lived in London. But Houston made all that change. While Shipley’s is the chief player in this market, there are several small independents that more than rival Shipley’s for taste and variety.
After reading an assortment of reviews, both good and not so encouraging, I thought I would stop by Hugs and Donuts and try the goods for myself.
Chef Matt Opaleski and his partner Jason Hill began their culinary adventure as the owners of the food truck H-Town Streats. In 2015, they decided they liked the idea of a more permanent existence and so opened Hugs and Donuts. But this is not your everyday donut experience. The duo say they make ‘heartisan’ donuts with exotic flavors that you don’t find in other establishments. With constantly changing flavors the pair seem to be continuing to push the envelope. Popular inventions include the lemon meringue pie donut and the maple bacon, yup bacon on a donut.
“Our multiple award-winning food geniuses have teamed up to bring you donuts so outrageous and filled with deliciousness that you’ll want to hug them. Fresh ingredients… house made fillings. From the website
Donuts, Kolaches, Katz Coffee, and draft Milk! The first thing I noticed was the large size of many of the donuts. That, and the variety of colors on display. Somewhat lost in thought as to where to begin I was happy that the super friendly server put me out of my misery and explained more about some of the most popular flavors.
I decided that a box of 6 was needed. My selection included a Milk and Cookies, Insomnia, Green Tea, Maple Bacon, Biscoff Cookie Butter, and a Chocolate Toffee Latte. Doesn’t your mouth just water when reading the names of these delicious donuts?
Texture wise, I would say that most of the donuts are a mix between the heavier yeasty donuts on offer at Shipley’s and the aerated lighter style of donut served up at Krispy Kreme. Hands down the maple bacon was my favorite. Bacon on a donut sounded a little strange to me. But somewhat like chocolate pretzels with the combination of sweet and salty, the pairing is so so good.
On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday’s you can find vegan donuts. But be warned they sell out quickly. Check out the app available to download from their website to discover what flavors they are making and to preorder. It’s not uncommon to see a line forming outside early in the mornings with patrons that have already discovered this little gem.
Vegetarians can also enjoy Kolaches with a variety of fillings that often change up. Spinach artichoke, buffalo cauliflower, fig and brie topped with arugula and almonds and veggie chili
I will certainly be a return customer as kolaches come a close second to donuts in my new-found love for all the great Houston eats.
Neighborhood: Houston Heights
Address: 1901 N Shepherd #4, Houston TX 77008
Phone: 713 485 6443
Opening Hours: Sunday through Thursday 7am-5pm, Friday & Saturday 7am-9pm (or until they run out of goodies)
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