National Doughnut Day 2015: The 10 Best Doughnuts Ever

Doughnut Vault - Chicago

In recognition of National Doughnut Day, the only food holiday worth a hoot, I’ve rounded up my all-time favorite deep-fried delights! From filled Bismarcks to glazed rings and craggly old fashioneds, I’m forever on the hunt for doughnut perfection. Here are the very best specimens from my never-ending quest:

Dough - Brooklyn

Passion Fruit Bismarck from Dough in Brooklyn, NY

Mr. Churro - Los Angeles

Dulce de Leche Churro from Mr. Churro in Los Angeles, CA

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Champion Malasadas – Honolulu (Mo’ili’ili)

Champion Malasadas - Mo'ili'ili - Honolulu

Leonard’s Bakery may have malasadas on lock, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t lesser-known but worthy competitors in Honolulu. On a recent trip back to the islands for work, I carved out some time to visit Champion Malasada, a purveyor of Portuguese doughnuts with a notable reputation among the local set.

Champion Malasadas - Mo'ili'ili - Honolulu

Owned and operated by Joc Miw and his wife Sandra, Champion opened its doors in 1983 serving breakfast, pastries, and of course, malasadas. Joc, who hails from Macao (a Portuguese enclave in China), grew up eating malasadas and spent time working at Leonard’s before opening his own bakery.

Champion Malasadas - Mo'ili'ili - Honolulu

Champion’s malasadas ($0.80) are made using a recipe that Joc developed over the years. Whereas traditional malasadas are deep-fried just as soon as the dough is combined, Joc allows his dough to “age” some to avoid deflated, air-filled wares.

The resulting malasadas, always fried to order, have wonderfully crisp exteriors and pleasantly rich and chewy innards. Their unmistakably yeasty flavor plays well with their sugary coating. “No air” malasadas for the win!

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Test Drive: Munchery Meal Delivery

Munchery - Los Angeles

Munchery, a meal delivery service operating in San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City, recently launched in Los Angeles, and I was delighted to take it for a test drive. With The Astronomer and me balancing working full-time with a new baby, mealtime solutions that are convenient, tasty, and healthful are very welcomed in our household. Dinner at our doorstep? Yes, please.

Munchery - Los Angeles

Whereas Seamless and UberFresh deliver restaurant-prepared meals, Munchery’s food is made “in-house” at a central kitchen. The menu, which changes weekly, is created by a team of chefs who have worked in some very impressive restaurants including Providence, Hatfield’s, and Craft.

To place our first order, I logged on to Munchery’s website, chose the dishes that we desired, and selected the time and date of the delivery. Munchery currently delivers from 4 to 9 PM, Monday through Friday. There’s no order minimum or subscription commitment. The cost of delivery is $4.50 for on-demand (arrives in about 30 minutes) or $2.95 for schedule ahead (up to seven days in advance). Orders can also be placed via Munchery’s mobile app.

Munchery - Los Angeles

The food arrived on time, fully cooked, chilled for freshness, and packaged in materials that were either recyclable or compostable.

Every dish included clear instructions for preparation and assembly.  Most items required a few minutes in either the microwave or oven and the application of sauces and garnishes. Easy stuff.   Continue reading ‘Test Drive: Munchery Meal Delivery’

Phở Ngoon – San Gabriel

Pho Ngoon - San Gabriel

In the mood for Northern Vietnamese fare, The Astronomer and I, along with our friend Courtney, headed to San Gabriel’s Phở Ngoon for lunch. The newish restaurant, which is located in the same plaza as Boston Lobster, offered a lovely change of pace from the Central and Southern Vietnamese cuisine that we tend to favor.

Pho Ngoon - San Gabriel

Upon arriving at the modernly appointed restaurant, we were seated promptly and presented with menus. The one-page bill of fare was awesomely concise, consisting of just three starters and ten mains. We shared five dishes between the three of us.

Pho Ngoon - San Gabriel

First up was an order of pho cuon ($3.50), a dish that was super-trendy in Hanoi circa 2008 when The Astronomer and I lived in Vietnam. Comprised of thin rice noodle sheets wrapped around lettuce leaves, grilled beef, and fresh mint, the pho cuon was served with nuoc cham for dipping.

While I didn’t care too much for this dish in Hanoi, I quite liked Pho Ngoon’s more robust rendition.

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