Monday, January 14, 2013

Fritter Quest 2012

At the beginning of November, several of us gathered in the LA Area for Rodney's wedding. It is not possible for those of us who do not live in the LA area to assemble there without the subject of doughnuts coming up, leading to the inevitable trip to what we used to call Far Fosters.

The discussion this time turned to the apple fritter. There was a disagreement about whether Far Fosters or the local contender, Top Pot Doughnuts, has the better apple fritter. When we made the obligatory doughnut run, it was 10pm, and there were no fritters to be had. We were told they were made at 2am, so we should come back then. Being old, and having Moira in tow with us, that just wasn't going to happen. Our family continued to San Diego on Monday morning, and made a stop by Far Fosters at 9:45am. Again, no fritters. Hrm. However, I had plans to be back in LA around Thanksgiving, and so I decided I would accept the challenge of obtaining the fritter, and try to compare it to others, to see if it's worth trying to get one of these things in the first place.

The entries in this comparison were from Far Fosters, Top Pot, and FROST Doughnuts. My employer, quite by happenstance, brought in a bunch of doughnuts from FROST on the Friday before my trip, saving me quite a drive up to Mill Creek. The FROST apple fritter looks like it ought to be the best of the three, with two types of frosting in addition to the regular glaze. However, I couldn't really detect any apple to speak of. At least now I know, when I do get back there, I can skip the fritter and focus on figuring out if there's anything that sounds better than the bacon maple bar option.

Top Pot was the second one I tried. It's probably the smallest of the three that I tried, although I didn't think about doing a proper survey of all of them, with photographs, measurements, etc. At $2.75, it was also the most expensive to me. It definitely had apple to it, and was a perfectly fine fritter. If you're looking for an apple fritter in Seattle, I'd highly recommend Top Pot.

We flew into Burbank Tuesday evening, had dinner, and settled into our hotel room. Davis had been waking up most nights between 1am and 3am, and things seem to go better when I take him out of the room for a while to try to get him back to sleep. Well, this time, he woke up at 2:45am. After a couple minutes of wishing he'd just fall back to sleep, we saddled up and were on our way.

We arrived at 3:15am, and the third time was indeed the charm. There were three fritters left, so I took two. Hey, after three trips, I figured I deserved it. It turns out, the reason these things are so scarce is that people call ahead to reserve them. It's also, by far, the largest of the three. At $2.00, I suspect it's also the cheapest. I'm pretty sure that's what, way back when, drew me to the fritter in the first place - it's about the best doughnut per dollar you can find, especially if you're trying to avoid raisins. This isn't perfect, since there's the occasional raisin in the Far Fosters fritter, since they're made with the leftover dough from all the other doughnuts.

After the initial bite, the clear winner was Far Fosters. Not only at least as much apple as Top Pot, with a far more interesting dough. It's only fair to note, though, that I ate this one a little differently than the others.

As noted, this is a big doughnut. With the others, I'd just pick them up in one hand and eat them. With this, I tore out a section and took a bite of that. As I finished off the piece, though, there was a problem. The outside ring of the doughnut tasted a bit burnt. Meanwhile, the middle bordered on uncooked. This held true with both of them, and is something I don't remember at all from college.

Given the price and size, I'd say I prefer the good parts of the Far Fosters offering to Top Pot, even though it bugs me that a good chunk of the doughnut goes to waste. It also wins the early morning availability category, since I'm not a local professional athlete. Since I'm not often out and about at 3am, though, Top Pot wins for being actually available.

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