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  • Old Fashioned Donuts - Apple Fritters and Other Delights

    Post #1 - September 10th, 2007, 8:47 am
    Post #1 - September 10th, 2007, 8:47 am Post #1 - September 10th, 2007, 8:47 am
    Image

    Every year, there is a controversial nomination for a GNR. This year, as we discuss the merits of awarding GNR status to high end restaurants, allow me to nominate one of those oddball places, Old Fashioned Donuts. I say oddball because Old Fashioned Donuts is not a restaurant in the traditional sense (although they actually do serve burgers and such), but who can deny the greatness of their apple fritters and the friendliness of the staff.

    Old Fashioned Apple Fritters have been served at many LTH Forum gatherings and there are at least 2 LTHers that have them in their freezer at this very moment in case of fritter emergency. There is more to Old Fashioned Donuts than simply fritters, though. Their other offerings are also extremely good. Dare I say that this is the best donut shop in Chicago? Yes, I dare. Their chocolate donuts are a thing of beauty, and the seasonally made blueberry donuts are as addicting as the fabled apple fritters. Despite their inconvenient location (for most of us), I make the drive without hesitating whenever the fritter bug bites.

    The man who makes the donuts has been doing it for 33 years and shows real pride in his work.

    Old Fashioned Donut Man
    Image

    Most of the discussion of Old Fashioned Donuts has taken place in these two threads, although mentions of Old fashioned has popped up in many a discussion of favorite things in Chicago, including Aaron Deacon’s How to Say Goodbye to Chicago thread and just about any discussion of donuts that has ever taken place on LTH Forum.

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=650&
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=649&

    I puzzled over which place would get my nomination this time around (I had at least two other deserving candidates in mind). After careful deliberation, I am happy to nominate Old Fashioned Donuts for a GNR.

    Old Fashioned Donut
    11248 S Michigan Ave
    Chicago, IL 60628
    773-995-7420
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #2 - September 10th, 2007, 9:03 am
    Post #2 - September 10th, 2007, 9:03 am Post #2 - September 10th, 2007, 9:03 am
    Hi,

    I have never physically been there, though I have eaten their fritters. The product is outstanding and certainly a nomination I could support without any hesitation.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - September 10th, 2007, 11:18 am
    Post #3 - September 10th, 2007, 11:18 am Post #3 - September 10th, 2007, 11:18 am
    I also whole-heartedly endorse this nomination. Old Fashioned makes the best donuts I've eaten, period. Moreover, it is very much a part of its neighborhood (Roseland), even though I have driven way out of my way to get there when the urge strikes. :)
    JiLS
  • Post #4 - September 10th, 2007, 11:25 am
    Post #4 - September 10th, 2007, 11:25 am Post #4 - September 10th, 2007, 11:25 am
    The very definition of a GNR! Maybe the best nomination ever!

    Okay, possibly I exaggerate slightly but this is exactly the sort of place-- well, exactly one sort of place-- these awards are all about. Laboring in obscurity for decades on a largely unknown stretch of, ironically enough, the first or second most famous street in Chicago, Old-Fashioned Donuts is the anchor of its neighborhood, and the welcome mat, too. The famous apple fritter, celebrated in this GWiv picture which appeared in the LTHForum calendar a few years ago:

    Image

    is one of the amazing treats of Chicago, something to be doled out over days, slice by slice (the fat content is high enough that they freeze extremely well). The donuts are outstanding, too, as many have noted. Roseland is far from the most convenient neighborhood to get to for people in most parts of Chicagoland, but the trek down there which Stevez made-- for Old-Fashioned apple fritters and Baylor watermelons-- is one of the most rewarding in Chicago, and well worth doing a couple of times a year at least.
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  • Post #5 - September 10th, 2007, 2:10 pm
    Post #5 - September 10th, 2007, 2:10 pm Post #5 - September 10th, 2007, 2:10 pm
    Superb nomination! I love Old Fashioned Donuts. I''ve had the pleasure of introducing their apple fritters to friends of mine, including lifelong South Siders who had never even heard of it. That first bite of the apple fritter invariably evokes that eyes rolling back in the head look that says, "OK, I'm ready to die now." And honestly, what better way to go than OD'ing on Old Fashioned Donuts?
  • Post #6 - September 11th, 2007, 10:44 am
    Post #6 - September 11th, 2007, 10:44 am Post #6 - September 11th, 2007, 10:44 am
    Having only heard the legend and not partaken in the actual, I had the pleasure to ride shotgun on SteveZ's recent southside extravaganza for the alleged mythic fritters, Baylor melons with a right turn at Calumet Fisheries.

    Upon my first bite I have to say, my smile was so large, laughter followed. With that amount of joy in my mouth, it just occurred naturally. In between groans and chews, washed down by milk, I just couldn't get over how damn delicious the fritter was. Perfect textural balance is what struck me initially followed by a flavorgasm that just wrapped around my head, producing the smile that in turn produced the laughter.

    A great nomination that surpassed the myth and well worth the drive.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #7 - September 11th, 2007, 10:46 am
    Post #7 - September 11th, 2007, 10:46 am Post #7 - September 11th, 2007, 10:46 am
    I think you just made the certificate, Jazzfood.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #8 - September 12th, 2007, 8:37 am
    Post #8 - September 12th, 2007, 8:37 am Post #8 - September 12th, 2007, 8:37 am
    Steve,

    As someone who often keeps a stash of Old Fashioned Apple Fritters in his freezer, at the moment two, down from three earlier in the week, and has often expressed his love for the perfect marriage of crisp, crunch, succulent sweet magic that is an Old Fashioned Apple Fritter, let me just say Terrific nomination.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - September 16th, 2007, 9:55 pm
    Post #9 - September 16th, 2007, 9:55 pm Post #9 - September 16th, 2007, 9:55 pm
    Heartily endorse this nomination - Old Fashioned is a special place, with one of the best sweets on the face of the earth.
  • Post #10 - September 17th, 2007, 8:57 am
    Post #10 - September 17th, 2007, 8:57 am Post #10 - September 17th, 2007, 8:57 am
    great nomination
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #11 - February 17th, 2009, 1:08 pm
    Post #11 - February 17th, 2009, 1:08 pm Post #11 - February 17th, 2009, 1:08 pm
    This restaurant is currently up for GNR renewal. Please post your comments below.

    Thanks,

    =R=
    for the GNRs
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #12 - February 23rd, 2009, 8:56 pm
    Post #12 - February 23rd, 2009, 8:56 pm Post #12 - February 23rd, 2009, 8:56 pm
    The Apple Fritter from Old Fashioned remains one of my favorite confections in all of Chicago. The trek from Deerfield to 112th and Michigan is long and annoying, yet on more than one occasion, I've made it just so I could get my "fritter" on. And when I go anywhere near it, I always try to stop in. Recently, Stevez (the mensch) was kind enough to call me before he made a trip down to Old Fashioned and very generously brought me 2 fritters. My family was thrilled when they heard the news and in sheer bliss as they tore into them. Their fritters are, simply put, an event. They are the trump card of Chicago donutdom. Old Fashioned is a true GNR.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #13 - February 24th, 2009, 1:55 am
    Post #13 - February 24th, 2009, 1:55 am Post #13 - February 24th, 2009, 1:55 am
    I am going to try to trek out there very soon. So the big question, are those lovely fritters and other offerings fried in animal fat? If not, I am so on it.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #14 - February 24th, 2009, 7:30 am
    Post #14 - February 24th, 2009, 7:30 am Post #14 - February 24th, 2009, 7:30 am
    I've neglected posting about Old Fashioned Donuts very much because there's little new to report, but I continue to go often. The apple fritters are what made them famous, but their donuts, especially the blueberry ones when they are available, are equally as good. A trip to Old fashioned followed by a bite to eat at either Calumet fisheries or D's Irie have become a regular routine for me. As the original nominator, my feelings about the place have not changed at all. A huge yes for renewal.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #15 - February 24th, 2009, 8:05 am
    Post #15 - February 24th, 2009, 8:05 am Post #15 - February 24th, 2009, 8:05 am
    pairs4life wrote:I am going to try to trek out there very soon. So the big question, are those lovely fritters and other offerings fried in animal fat? If not, I am so on it.


    Today is really my birthday! I just called Old Fashioned Donuts. No animal fat!!! I am so on it I can barely wait. Yes, I will post.

    Have a great day!
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #16 - March 5th, 2009, 8:48 pm
    Post #16 - March 5th, 2009, 8:48 pm Post #16 - March 5th, 2009, 8:48 pm
    More on Old Fashioned Donuts here and here
  • Post #17 - March 8th, 2009, 1:12 am
    Post #17 - March 8th, 2009, 1:12 am Post #17 - March 8th, 2009, 1:12 am
    I made my first trip to Old Fashioned Donuts today.

    I called and ordered 4 fritters yesterday with pick-up today. The weather was horrible and I was tired, but largely in search of mindless errands to pass the time until sunset when my Fast (I am a Bahai) would be broken for the day. I called them this afternoon to confirm I was on my way but would be late.

    The people were nice, but the product was beautiful. I don't think I have ever been to a doughnut shop where doughnuts are still being made at 4 pm in the afternoon.

    I dropped one fritter off for a friend's husband. She took one look at it and said he would not be getting all of it. She tore off a piece and held it in both of her hands ( I still could not try mine at this point). She then said OMG with the first taste. Then, although she knew it was an apple fritter, she took another piece and proclaimed there was apple everywhere. She shared it with a friend who lives around Lake Shore Drive and Irving Park. That friend proclaimed it was well worth the trip and would be heading out to Old Fashioned on Monday. I gave her the phone number, directions, and the procedure for making sure the fritters were available when she got there by pre-ordering them.

    I finally had mine. As huge as my sweet tooth is I could only tear off a small piece of the behemoth for consumption. The first thing I noticed was how lovely the dough was. It was not hard or stale at all. It was rich with a yeasty taste and a slight crunch to the exterior. The next thing I noticed was apple. It was in every bite and it did not taste cloyingly sweet. I did not put a dent in my fritter at all. It is so huge, it looked untouched although I tore off what I know took me more than 4 bites to finish. I have two more in the freezer as we speak.

    I will be going back and I am glad I made the effort to travel there during the GNR Renewals. It is outstanding. Thanks to everyone who commented about Old Fashioned Doughnuts, you got this non-driver to make the trek from the Near Northside to the Roseland community, just west of the Pullman District.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #18 - March 9th, 2009, 3:38 pm
    Post #18 - March 9th, 2009, 3:38 pm Post #18 - March 9th, 2009, 3:38 pm
    I stopped by Old Fashioned Doughnuts yesterday on my way into the city. As I walked up, I was aghast to discover that they were closed! I ran through a gauntlet of emotions - "I'll never get to try those delicious apple fritters!" "Why does this always happen to me?" "I'm really hungry now, and all I want is a box of doughnuts, surely dunkin donuts will never fill this void in the pit of my stomach" "Oh, hey, what's that sign in the window?"

    "Oh. Closed on Sundays. Whoops."

    I'm off to the "mapping lth" thread to ask germuska to add hours (if known) to the entries, if only to prevent me this embarrassment in the future.
  • Post #19 - March 9th, 2009, 4:05 pm
    Post #19 - March 9th, 2009, 4:05 pm Post #19 - March 9th, 2009, 4:05 pm
    Llama wrote:I stopped by Old Fashioned Doughnuts yesterday on my way into the city. As I walked up, I was aghast to discover that they were closed! I ran through a gauntlet of emotions - "I'll never get to try those delicious apple fritters!" "Why does this always happen to me?" "I'm really hungry now, and all I want is a box of doughnuts, surely dunkin donuts will never fill this void in the pit of my stomach" "Oh, hey, what's that sign in the window?"

    "Oh. Closed on Sundays. Whoops."

    I'm off to the "mapping lth" thread to ask germuska to add hours (if known) to the entries, if only to prevent me this embarrassment in the future.


    However I do appreciated your enthusiastic response. Once one has eaten the apple fritter, one only wants more just like Eve in the Garden of Eden.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #20 - September 19th, 2011, 4:59 am
    Post #20 - September 19th, 2011, 4:59 am Post #20 - September 19th, 2011, 4:59 am
    This place is up for renewal of its GNR. Please post your comments here until 10/10/11.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #21 - October 2nd, 2011, 10:38 am
    Post #21 - October 2nd, 2011, 10:38 am Post #21 - October 2nd, 2011, 10:38 am
    This morning I'm noshing on the final remnants of an OFD fritter (pan-fried in butter...), and considering myself lucky to have this place in the area. My SO had a friend visiting town yesterday, and this was at the top of the list of places she wanted to bring her friend - to give her a delicious, and perhaps uncommon, tourist view of Chicago*.

    For someone who lives ~20 miles away and doesn't own a car, I get to OFD a lot. I've ridden my bicycle there for a fritter, took my motorcycle on the highway for the first time to get there, borrowed cars, etc. It's destination-worthy doughnuts in a town sadly bereft of good doughnuts.

    While the fritter deservedly gets praise ladled on as thick as its glaze, OFD is not a one trick pony. All of the yeasted doughnuts are winners in my book - from the basic glazed, to the chocolate frosted, or coconut coated. Even the orange frosted - which has a flavor reminiscent of Tang - is a gem.

    Needless to say, I strongly support OFD's continued GNR status.

    -Dan

    * We also did Calumet Fisheries, Panozzo's, JP Graziano's, Bari, D'Amatos, Riviera, and Caputo Cheese - it was a busy morning.
  • Post #22 - October 2nd, 2011, 3:46 pm
    Post #22 - October 2nd, 2011, 3:46 pm Post #22 - October 2nd, 2011, 3:46 pm
    The apple fritters at Old Fashioned are arguably the best confection in the entire city. I definitely support renewal.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #23 - October 3rd, 2011, 10:08 pm
    Post #23 - October 3rd, 2011, 10:08 pm Post #23 - October 3rd, 2011, 10:08 pm
    I maybe on a dessert sabbatical, but I still adore OFD. Those fritters are outstanding, hmmm, maybe I should order some to take to the baby shower this weekend since I doubt I'll have time to cook and freeze some things and the fritters freeze wonderfully!

    Not a doubt in my mind that this GNR retains its status.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #24 - October 4th, 2011, 7:10 am
    Post #24 - October 4th, 2011, 7:10 am Post #24 - October 4th, 2011, 7:10 am
    dansch wrote:This morning I'm noshing on the final remnants of an OFD fritter (pan-fried in butter...)
    Even for a nothing says excess like excess kind of fellow like myself that is over the top!

    Love OFD, if I lived closer I'd eat Apple Fritters until Dick Gregory had to hoist me though the roof of my house.

    Old Fashioned Donuts, count me a fan!
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #25 - October 4th, 2011, 11:00 am
    Post #25 - October 4th, 2011, 11:00 am Post #25 - October 4th, 2011, 11:00 am
    Can only reiterate what I posted last round of renewals:

    "Having only heard the legend and not partaken in the actual, I had the pleasure to ride shotgun on SteveZ's recent southside extravaganza for the alleged mythic fritters, Baylor melons with a right turn at Calumet Fisheries.

    Upon my first bite I have to say, my smile was so large, laughter followed. With that amount of joy in my mouth, it just occurred naturally. In between groans and chews, washed down by milk, I just couldn't get over how damn delicious the fritter was. Perfect textural balance is what struck me initially followed by a flavorgasm that just wrapped around my head, producing the smile that in turn produced the laughter.

    A great nomination that surpassed the myth and well worth the drive."
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #26 - October 5th, 2011, 11:59 pm
    Post #26 - October 5th, 2011, 11:59 pm Post #26 - October 5th, 2011, 11:59 pm
    I tell people an OFD apple fritter is one of those foods that changed my life. They chuckle, thinking I'm exaggerating. "No, really," I say with deadly earnestness.

    Yes for a renewal.
  • Post #27 - October 7th, 2011, 1:41 pm
    Post #27 - October 7th, 2011, 1:41 pm Post #27 - October 7th, 2011, 1:41 pm
    I still have a small stash of OFD apple fritter left in my freezer. Mr. X doesn't know what that package is because I didn't mark it. Is it wrong to hide the fritter pieces from him? I don't care -- they are so good. Yes to OFD for GNR renewal.
    -Mary
  • Post #28 - October 9th, 2011, 8:59 pm
    Post #28 - October 9th, 2011, 8:59 pm Post #28 - October 9th, 2011, 8:59 pm
    And darn terrific doughnuts - including the only pineapple frosting that I've had the pleasure to gobble.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #29 - October 10th, 2011, 10:20 am
    Post #29 - October 10th, 2011, 10:20 am Post #29 - October 10th, 2011, 10:20 am
    Picked up a few dozen on Saturday for marathon-watching with friends and neighbors (the marathon route goes down our street). Excellent, excellent -- day-old OFD donuts are still in the 99th percentile of donuts in Chicago. And for all the justifiable raves for the fritter, the yeasted and cake donuts are excellent and best-in-class as well. Continues to be a GNR, and one I always enjoy introducing new folks to.

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