The elusively, fried round dough, often referred as the donut, is considered by many as the fuel of the police force (sorry, as a firefighter, I couldn’t resist). But as with all things foodie in this culinary age, the donut has found an opportunity to turn artisan. Cupcakes, pizza, and ice cream are just a few examples of other caloric filled creations that have followed the same path. So when I heard that Sublime Doughnuts, near Georgia Tech in Midtown, was the spot for artisan, raised donuts, I had to give it a go.
Having been born and raised in Southern California, the unofficial donut capital of the world, I‘ve experienced some great donuts in my time (almost every Sunday morning growing up when my Dad would come home with a brown box filled with breakfast goodies in all sorts of shapes and sizes). So, I know a good donut when I taste one. Rumors had built up my expectations and I was surprisingly excited to taste these creations.
Sublime Doughnuts is like most traditional shops in set up; open floor plan designed for easy egress, large glass display case showing off all the colorful wares and coffee aroma wafting in the air. But Sublime separates itself here with their LA inspired vibe; lazy coffee style couches, graffiti lined walls dotted with cartoonish robots and aliens and young, hip servers. I felt as though I had come home, it was a nice vibe.
The selection was varied and plentiful. With options ranging from Reese’s, Nutella, Mocha and Smore, there was no limit to creativity. As per the normal routine, my wife and I asked what their best one was and the hip dude behind the counter suggested the Strawberries and Cream to start. We also added a regular raised twist (to get a control for our taste test), Caramel Apple Fritter, Dulce de Leche and lastly, the Salted Caramel and Reduced Balsamic Vinegar (pictured below).
First and foremost, the dough for a raised donut was appropriately yeasty, not devoid of the ‘bite’ like most donuts in the ATL area (ALA- Kripsy Cream), a very nice start. The Strawberry and Cream was a revelation, the perfect balance of fresh berries, real cream and lightly powdered donut, a stand out! The Dulce de Leche and Salted Caramel were both great while the Fritter, though light and airy, was lacking weight like a good fritter should. Overall, I was impressed.
|My new favorite calorie buster, Strawberry and Cream.|
Service has always been the only red mark held against the gleaming reputation of the shop (and to some, their prices, but hey, it's 'artisan'). Typically, where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and that’s often the case but not with my visit today. Perhaps it was the time and day (Tuesday afternoon) but there was no line and an incredibly laid back, hip dude ready to answer any question and he was great. No issues for us.
The only objection I had was that the dough was the same for every donut we had, no variation of flavor, just a different themed topping or stuffing. Other donut shops have experimented here to great success and I’d love to see Sublime do the same in the future. Granted, I have yet to have their famed Sweet Potato Cake (not always available, a shame) or their Red Velvet cake so I’ll reserve final judgment until then.
On a side note, if you are heading to Thailand any time soon for honeymoon, shopping or searching for that elusive secret surf spot, hit their sister shop in Bangkok (wait, what? Bangkok? No, really). Also, are you a college student? Bring your college ID and get a discount. Not bad…
In the meantime, I enjoyed the journey back to my youth of Southern California and the donut experience Sublime afforded me. It was nice to have Atlanta home to some of the cutting edge of artisan donut making (Dough In The Box, Dutch Monkey Donuts also come to mind). Their raised dough is the real thing, and their toppings, eclectic and playful. I’ll be sharing their goods with the guys at the firehouse and there exists no stronger recommend then that.
Date: Mar 2013