Having lived in Phoenix, I'm of the opinion Tucson suffers from a dearth of quality 24-hour restaurants. Particularly when it comes to pick-'em-up-anytime donut establishments.
If you're trying to satisfy your after-hours sweet-tooth, you're totally out of luck. Want a long-john? Ha, you'll have to wait till 6 A.M. when the grocery store opens.
Unless a sleeve of store-bought, cellophane sealed donut-holes is your idea of a quality midnight snack, you're going to have to drive to Ahwatukee for your glazed fix.
Amy's Donuts, located at 101 E. Fort Lowell Rd., opened on June 19 to much fanfare and long lines. With current locations in Columbus, Ohio and Colorado Springs, Amy's Donuts are known for being candy-coated, creme-filled and over-the-top; much in the same vein as Portland's Voodoo Donuts.
Armed with over fifty varieties of doughy goodness, Amy's theoretically offers something for everyone. From the traditional glazed, maple and chocolate offerings to the more exotic strawberry-cheesecake and rocky-road, Amy's aims to please.
With all that in mind, I headed down to Amy's for their 4 A.M. Grand Opening. Between yawns and bed-head, I was able to acquire half a dozen pastries ranging from the traditional to the off-the-wall. Here is one interns take on six of Tucson's newest confectionery treats:
In my book, it's obligatory to try a new donut shops glazed donut first. In much the same way one tries beans at a Mexican place or a regular hamburger at the local diner, a glazed donut reflects an establishments philosophy and lets the customer know if the rest of the donuts are even worth trying.
At Amy's, the glazed says "it only get better from here." Fluffy from first bite to last, this donut isn't smothered in glaze, rather, the sweet-topping compliments the chewiness of the dough. While not my favorite (Le Cave's has my heart), a solid gateway-donut.
I've had a few peanut-butter topped donuts in my day. This one is the best yet. Paired with strawberry-jelly and a special glaze, this donut will have you wanting to trade you're Snack Pack at the counter.
Another donut on the traditional side. I choose this one to get a taste of what Amy's chocolate-topping tasted like more than anything. It's good. Nothing life-changing, but good. This was your standard donut, the figurative runt of the donut litter.
Now we're talking. This was a unique donut for me; I've honestly never had anything close to it. Orange flavored topping is criss-crossed with some sort of cream-cheese (I'm guessing) drizzle. The first bite evokes the taste of summer: a creamy orange taste with a hint of creme. Just special.
This is a divisive donut. First, if you aren't into the fusion of savory and sweet, this isn't the donut you're looking for. Second, if you don't want A LOT of bacon on your maple bacon donut, head somewhere else. I found this donut to be above the average grocery-store offering, but I prefer my bacon in strips as opposed to diced. Yes, even on donuts.
If you want to get technical, a cinnamon roll isn't a donut. However, tell that to the folks at every donut shop ever and see if they care. I like my cinnamon rolls fluffy as opposed to cakey, and this roll was sort of in-between. However, the glaze-topping was light and sweet.
Ultimately, I enjoyed every donut. What I did not enjoy, however, was the price-point. I understand these aren't Fry's donuts. I understand Tucson doesn't really have a "gourmet donut" shop. However, $11 for a half dozen donuts is just south of outrageous.
Of course, I'll be back. Maybe for just an after work/class treat, though.
Listen, food is my religion. Donuts are my Holy Spirit. They move me to be better, and also to move, better. Trust me when I say Amy's Donuts are worth trying. Tucson hasn't seen anything like it.