Duffin’s Donuts

I’ve spent most of my winter break watching movies, one of which was the Edge of Seventeen. It was good; I didn’t think it was laugh out loud funny or anything, but it was pretty charming and enjoyable. Even though it was supposedly set in America, the movie was clearly filmed in Vancouver. How do I know? Because one of the scenes took place in Duffin’s Donuts, which is located quite close to my house. I’ve never actually visited the place however, and after watching the movie and hearing Woody Harrelson recommending the donuts there, I decided to finally check the place out. In addition to the aforementioned donuts (which they serve in about two dozen different varieties), the place actually has a pretty large menu consisting of sandwiches, burgers, fries, and Mexican food. I got four donuts (Chocolate Peanut, Angel, Buttermilk with Custard, and Bear Claw), two Pupusas (Pork and Bean and Cheese), and a Beef Steak Sub.

Pork and Bean Pupusa ($2.99):


2.5/5
The corn tortilla was soft and had a nice fragrance, although I did find it to be a tad on the dry side. The bean did provide a nice creaminess. I couldn’t really taste much of the pork however, and I do find the amount of filling to be a bit stingy in general.

Cheese Pupusa ($2.99):
2.5/5
This was similar to the pork and bean pupusa, except with cheese. Again, I found the amount of filling to be too scant: I actually had difficulty detecting the cheese. The surrounding tortilla was enough to make it enjoyable, however.

Angel Donut ($1.25):


4/5
This is a yeast donut that’s filled with chocolate icing and coated in shredded coconut. The donut itself was reasonably light and fluffy. There was a generous amount of icing, which while a tad greasy, had a nice chocolaty flavour. I really enjoyed the coconut, which provided a great fragrance.

Chocolate Peanut Donut ($1.25):
4/5
This is a chocolate cake donut that’s filled with flaked/ground peanuts. The donut is quite tender and moist. The peanuts provided a wonderful fragrance; I couldn’t really detect much of the chocolate flavour, but that’s fine since I really enjoyed the peanuts.

Beef Steak Sub ($5.29):


4/5
This was filled with pieces of steak, mayo, pickles, vegetables. It usually comes with avocado, but because I’ve got an allergy, I asked them to remove it. The bread was really nicely toasted, being crispy on the outside and had a nice crispiness on the outside. The meat was also quite tasty, and was well seasoned and not too tough; the amount was a bit stingy however. I really enjoyed the mayo and vegetables.

Buttermilk Donut with Custard ($1.25):


4/5
Their buttermilk donuts comes with several varieties of fillings; I had their custard version. The donut had a cakey texture, and was tender and moist. I did find the custard to be a bit too hard/goopy; I think think that one of their jam fillings is probably better.

Bear Claw ($2):
3/5
This was a yeast donut that was filled with cinnamon apples. The dough was once again soft and fluffy. The apples still had a nice crispness to them. I did find the donut to be quite bland however; the apples were tart without much sweetness and there wasn’t enough glaze on the exterior.

So Woody Harrelson was right: the donuts at Duffin’s Donuts were quite solid and quite reasonably priced too. And while I didn’t care for the pupusas, the sandwich was tasty. This is definitely a place that I’d recommend visiting.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Donuts, Sandwiches
Duffin's Donuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lee’s Donuts

Continuing on my review of the shops that I’ve visited during my recent trip to Granville Island, I had the chance to check out Lee’s Donuts. They are a small but popular donut shop located in the Granville Island Public Market. They offer a pretty wide range of flavours, and all of their donuts are made fresh daily. Unfortunately, I visited them a bit early – about an hour or so after they had opened – and they didn’t have all their varieties available (sadly, I wasn’t able to get one of their giant fritters :(). I ended up getting their Chocolate Crunch, Strawberry Iced, and Honey Dew donuts.

Chocolate Crunch ($2.25):


3.5/5
This appears to be cake donut that has been dusted in small pieces of chocolate candy. The donut had a soft, dense, cakey texture. It was not overly sweet, and had a bit of crunch from the bits of chocolate on top. The chocolate did not provide much in terms of flavour however, and I did find the donut to be just a bit too plain overall.

Strawberry Iced ($2.25):


4/5
This was a cake donut that’s frosted with strawberry-flavoured icing. The texture of the donut was similar too that of the chocolate crunch, although I did find it to be a bit lighter/more moist. I quite enjoyed the strawberry icing, which while bright pink in colour, did not taste overly artificial.

Honey Dew ($2.25):


3.5/5
This was a yeast-style glazed donut. I really enjoyed the texture of the donut, which was fluffier and lighter than that of the cake donuts. While I did quite like the icing, I personally couldn’t tell the difference between it and a regular glazed donut.

I quite enjoyed the donuts at Lee’s. Their prices are a bit on the higher side, but cheaper than Cartems (and I personally think that they taste better too). All in all, while I do think this place is a bit overrated, I still quite enjoyed their donuts, and I would recommend stopping by if you’re on Granville Island. Just try going around noon, when they have all their donut made.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Strawberry Iced Donut, Honey Dew Donut
Lee's Donuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Romer’s Burger Bar

As I’ve stated in previous posts, I do try to keep an open mind when it comes to people’s food preferences. There are exceptions however, and one thing that I just CANNOT get behind are lettuce buns. Like why? Seriously, why? I consider myself to be pretty relaxed when it comes to things like “authenticity” (a term that I do not believe in when it comes to food). I’m fine with people putting their own spins are different dishes. But lettuce buns are just a ten steps too far. A burger with a lettuce bun is just not a burger to me; its an abomination. If I were running the country, I’d have the practice of using lettuce buns banned. People who order burgers with lettuce buns should be stoned…okay, maybe that’s a bit too much, but you know what I mean. And I know that you can make the argument that it isn’t any of my business and that it doesn’t really “affect” me the way other people eat, but that’s not quite true: I honestly die a little on the inside whenever I see a burger wrapped in lettuce :(.

Thus, when I went to Romer’s Burger Bar, there was no question on what bun I was going with for my burger. The latter is a popular oint with several locations around Greater Vancouver; the one I went to was their Kits location located on 4th Avenue. Although they are a ‘burger bar’ they do also serve a pretty good variety of casual pub fare and snacks. I got their Righteous Rib Burger as well as Romer’s Almost World Famous Drunken Doughnuts.

Righteous Rib Burger ($13.95):


3.5/5
In addition to a beef patty, this burger contained braised short rib, maple smoked bacon, sweet onions, gorgonzola cream, and fresh thyme. I was quite impressed by the patty itself, which was tender and juicy. The short rib was a bit uneven, being tender in some parts, but quite dry and hard in some others, particularly around the edges. I really enjoyed the gorgonzola cream, which added a great juiciness and flavour and the brioche bun (because a real burger has to have an actual bun and not lettuce) was soft and fluffy. I did find the overall flavour to be a bit one note: everything was savoury and I could have done with a bit of sweetness to balance out the flavour.

Romer’s Almost World Famous Drunken Doughnuts ($8.95):


4/5
This consisted of 10 small donuts that were dusted in powdered sugar, and were served with a trio of dips: limoncello, maple whisky, and Kahula Nutella. The donuts themselves were fresh, warm and soft, reminiscent of the mini donuts that you can get at PNE. The limoncello dip was similar to that of the curd in a lemon tart, and was quite thick with a wonderful tanginess. In all honesty, I couldn’t really tell the difference between the other two dips, although both were tasty, except that one (the darker dip, which is probably the Khula Nutella) had a stronger liquor flavour than the other.

I quite enjoyed the food that I’ve sampled at Romer’s. While I didn’t find their burgers to be mind-blowing, especially for the pretty steep price (quite frankly, I actually think Red Robins is better), I did really enjoy their doughnuts. The server I had was quite friendly, although not particularly attentive. All in all, not a bad place to check out if you’re craving a burger or some other pub fare (Proven fact: a cute innocent puppy dies every time someone orders a lettuce bun, so keep that in mind when you’re ordering your burger).

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Romer’s Almost World Famous Drunken Doughnuts

Romer's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gabi & Jules (at Cafe Divano) – Baked donuts?

I can be a bit narrow-minded when it comes to food. I’ve got no interest in ever trying out a raw food restaurant, I believe that lettuce buns should be banned in this country, and I will never order anything that has purposely been made vegan or gluten free (the only exception occurred when I was at Cartems, and I still resent them to this day for not having regular versions available). Surprisingly however, I’m not turned off by the idea of a baked doughnut. I think it’s because I actually don’t eat donuts often (something that I probably should work on), so I don’t have very strong opinions about how a donuts should be. Furthermore, a lot of my other favourite foods (cakes, brownies, pies etc) are baked, so why shouldn’t a baked donut taste good?

This brings me to Gabi & Jules, which makes, in addition to a large number of other sweet treats, baked donuts in several different varieties. Now the location of the actual bakery is in Port Moody, which is way further than I’m willing to travel for a donut. Fortunately, their goods are also available at Caffe Divano, which had a location in Burnaby. There were three varieties of baked donuts available when I visited; I went with a green tea white chocolate flavour. I also sampled their Pumpkin Cream Cheese Loaf and Vanilla Berry Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

Baked Donut ($2.50, left):
3.5/5
As I’ve mentioned earlier, I don’t eat donuts often, so I don’t really know what I’m supposed to look for in a “good” donut. I can only say that I quite enjoyed this. It was moist and cakey, with a surprisingly strong matcha flavour (most often “green tea” flavoured desserts don’t really have much green tea flavour). The white chocolate icing was also delicious and paired well with the matcha. I did find there to be a slight “eggy” flavour that was a bit off-putting. Personally though, I thought that this doughnut is tastier (not to mention a whole lot cheaper) than the overpriced gluten-free crap from Cartems.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Loaf ($3.75, right):
2/5
I’m a sucker for cream cheese frosting, so I thought that I’d like this. Unfortunately, the frosting was quite bland and dry. Moreover, the cake itself, while relatively moist, had an odd texture: there seemed to be pieces of bran-like stuff inside that I found to be off-putting. Like the doughnut, the cake also suffers from a slightly “eggy” flavour. Although not horrible – I still enjoyed eating it – I’d have preferred a slice of loaf from Superstore or any other generic grocery store over this.

Vanilla Berry Sour Cream Coffee Cake ($4):


4/5
This was my favourite of the bunch. The outside, though a tad dry, was cripsy and had a lovely caramelized flavour. The inside was soft and moist, and fortunately did not suffer from the same “eggy” flavour like some of their other treats, but instead had a nice fragrance of vanilla and cinnamon. There was a fair amount of berries inside, which lent a nice bit of tartness.

So I guess baked donuts, while nothing life-changing, are still pretty good. And I do generally like the other treats from Gabi & Jules, asides from the flop that’s their pumpkin loaf. I do hope to try some more of their stuff (in particular their layered cakes and pies) in the future, if Caffe Divano decides to carry them.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Vanilla Berry Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Baked Donut

Gabi & Jules Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Caffe Divano Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato