Beer & Donuts?! Donut Bar Scottsdale is Rolling Deep
Contributor Shannon Severson was introduced to Donut Bar’s first Arizona location on a recent media introduction. Here’s her tasty recap::
Donuts sizzling on a flat top. It’s the first thing I saw when I walked into the light-filled, hot-pink-accented Donut Bar in Scottsdale.
What sorcery is this?
Donut Chef Peter explained just what he was up to… making French toast and grilled cheese sandwiches… using donuts! Clearly, I can’t get over this concept because it’s genius.
The bright, friendly shop is currently Arizona’s only outpost of the wildly popular San Diego brand.
Donut Bar donuts are hand-rolled, hand-cut, and made entirely from scratch. The yeast-raised versions are bigger than the wheels on your super-sized childhood Tonka truck, but much tastier, with a light, airy interior and just the right amount of sweetness.
To prepare the Saigon Cinnamon and sugar donuts for the grill, the tops and bottoms are thinly sliced off for maximum grill contact. The French Toast Donut is dipped in the shop’s homemade custard and pan-fried to crisp, golden brown, dusted with powdered sugar and served with butter, blueberry preserves and maple syrup. Because of the height of the donut, it reminded me of eating a stack of fluffy pancakes… but better.
The toasty grilled cheese version is layered with cheese and served with a side of both Sriracha mayonnaise and straight Sriracha sauce. The crispy, creamy, sweet and spicy combo is perfectly delicious. There’s a Monte Cristo version, too!
Savory items like these pair well with the selection of local Arizona beers on tap, which are especially popular on Friday and Saturday nights, when Donut Bar has “encore openings” in the evenings from 5–10 pm. Though no one will stop you if you want to start the day with some suds!
Owner Sheley Brien says that, as an Arizona native, it’s important to her that local brews are the ones on offer. Under the pink neon lights, with donuts nearby, you begin to see beers in a new light. Huss Brewing Co.’s “Koffee Kölsch,” Papago Brewing’s “Orange Blossom” and San Tan Brewing’s “Mr. Pineapple” make perfect sense alongside a donut.
Of course, there is plenty for adults and kiddos who seek a morning sweet treat. Early risers are rewarded because when they’re sold out, the shop closes. The menu changes weekly and is posted on their website.
The traditional glazed, raised and cake donuts are certainly here for traditionalists. No matter how fancy or simple, Donut Bar takes pride in creating glaze with real vanilla beans, zesting and juicing fresh lemons for their lemon glaze and candying bacon each morning for a host of bacon-infused donuts (it’s even rolled into cinnamon rolls that are only available on the weekends.) A lot of care goes into each round, scrumptious morsel.
Brien says some of the most popular treats include the 100% adorable Unicorn donut with hand-sculpted chocolate ears and horn (even some adults have been known to want their own Unicorn!), the Big Poppa Tart (with an entire Pop Tart inside!), the Homer (with pink-tinted cake batter icing and colorful sprinkles) and the Crème Brûlée donut, which resembles an overgrown pastry puff, coated in shining caramelized sugar which, with a delightful crackling sound, breaks apart to reveal the sweet cream within. I had the temerity to suggest they market a croquembouche-style cake for unforgettable celebrations.
Speaking of celebrations, Brien says her donuts are a hit at parties - kids and adults love these beautiful, yummy creations that aren’t the standard cake or hostess gift. And her staff hand-stamps every box for that personal touch.
This Fourth of July, Donut Bar gets patriotic with red, white and blue decorated versions of the Unicorn, Cake Batter (with colorful buttercream rosettes and candy sequins), Chocolate Euphoria, Oh My Birthday Cake Oreo™ (with a birthday cake Oreo™ stuffed inside), chocolate bar and Red Velvet donuts. What a way to celebrate America!
Donut Bar is located at 6205 N Scottsdale Rd Suite 110, Scottsdale, AZ 85254. Hours are Monday – Friday: 7am to Sold Out; Saturday and Sunday: 8 am to Sold Out. Phone (480) 656-5754