Drop in to find all kinds of unique, made-from-scratch pastries and more at the recently-opened Erie shop.
If you love a good doughnut, you’re bound to find it at Erie’s Doughdrop Inn.
The shop, which opened back in July, features more than 60 unusual varieties. One example is the Almond Joy doughnut, which just happens to be owner Lisa Farbo’s favorite. It has a smooth candy coating over real almonds that crunch when you bite into them, and the coconut is just right.
“I like to try something different,” said Farbo, who comes up with unique flavors — such as caramel apple, maple bacon and chocolate orange — for her pastries.
And these doughnuts are far different in taste and texture from a standard franchise.
“We make them the old-fashioned way,” she said, meaning everything is homemade and the dough is dense, not airy. A sign inside the shop also states: “Our donuts are made from scratch. We use real food ingredients — real cream, real butter, pure flour, real fruit, high-quality Belgium chocolate and many other exceptional items. We do not use mixes full of artificial sludge.”
The shop has breakfast sandwiches, too, and coffee for anyone looking for a quick morning bite. The doughnuts, however, remain the undeniable draw.
But one person alone can’t do Doughdrop Inn’s variety justice for a review. So about a dozen of us at the Erie Times-News volunteered to taste and share their thoughts about several of these sweet treats.
S’Mores and Cookie Monster
The s’mores doughnut — a chocolate cake doughnut topped in graham crackers and gooey, toasted marshmallows — got reporter Dana Massing’s approval. “That was enough to make me think of summer evenings around a campfire.”
Meanwhile, the doughnut made to look like Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster was a hit with the 2-year-old daughter of one of our taste testers. The blue sprinkles, dark eyes and half cookie in the middle is a visual treat for anyone who loves the PBS icon.
One of the most popular doughnuts offered at the shop is Oreo cheesecake, but there are plenty of cheesecake varieties with fruit, as well. One of our taste testers said “the inside had that tart bite of cheesecake.” The toppings are the sweet part — just like a slice of cheesecake.
Buns, fritters and pull-aparts
These are some of the largest cinnamon buns and fritters I have ever seen. Crispy exteriors and tasty interiors got great reviews from our team, and the fritter varieties include some berry variations depending on the day. They also have some mini versions of the fritters. The pull-aparts are light and airy, and the apple flavor features a combination of tart and sweet.
Just add bacon
Maple frosting with bacon topping and cream inside is a combination that surprises some people, but it hits the spot if you like sweet and savory.
The flavors were described as fresh by everyone who tasted them. Graphic designer Linda Skrypzak said the banana cream pie was a nice way to “indulge without having a whole pie around the house.” The Swiss chocolate cream was perfect for some of us and a little too gooey for others. Notable about the chocolate, it’s Belgian chocolate and it’s more cocoa-ish than sugary — that’s a treat.
Definitely go nuts
There are many more varieties to love, but I have to agree with Farbo and go with the Almond Joy as my favorite — so far. But peanut butter fans raved about the numerous peanut butter doughnuts, including one called the Peanut Butter Bomb. Homer Simpson would no doubt drool over those and everything else on the Doughdrop Inn menu. “Mmm, doughnuts.”
QUICK BITES: Doughdrop Inn
What to know: 1529 W. 38th St.; 969-7094; www.doughdropinn.com. Also find it on Facebook.
Price range: Doughnuts, fritters and cinnamon rolls, 99 cents-$1.75; breakfast sandwiches with sausage, bacon, and/or cheese on a roll, $3.79-$4.50; coffee, $1.79; cold-brewed coffee or latte, $2.79; white or chocolate milk, $1.69; Coca-Cola beverages and juices, $1.65.
Hours: Wednesdays through Sundays, midnight to 6 p.m.
Reservations: Not needed
Credit cards: Yes
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Dietary options: Not yet, but owner Lisa Farbo said she’s thinking about trying some small batch gluten-free doughnuts.
Also notable: In addition to breakfast sandwiches, the Doughdrop Inn offers the Donut Monte Christo, with ham, turkey and Swiss cheese layered on a doughnut and covered with homemade raspberry preserves for $2.99.
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL?
Everything is made from scratch, and be prepared for creative fillings and toppings. But owner Lisa Farbo isn’t done yet. “I just like to be creative, and I’m thinking about a sweet and savory doughnut next. If we can have so many flavored bagels, I’m thinking we can have a lot more flavors of doughnuts, too,” she said.
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