Fried chicken with fancy doughnuts is, apparently, a thing. The combination has taken the East Coast by storm, with four such shops announced in Washington, D.C., alone.
But, as best as I can tell, no one else is combining wings 'n' rings quite like Little Big Burger boss Micah Camden. Blue Star Donuts makes a glazed brioche ring with chunks of moist chicken breast in a dark bronze batter and a squeeze packet of Frank's RedHot ($4.75).
Surprisingly, the chicken doughnut is the standout of this stylishly minimalist shop selling a $30 dozen (only $10.50 at Voodoo) in the Twelve West building
former Pinot American Brasserie space. Though there are but three crisp and stupidly obvious chords—hot, sweet, doughy—it comes together like a Cheap Trick song.
There's more novelty, but no equal satisfaction, elsewhere on the constantly shifting menu. Brioche is famously versatile, and Blue Star uses enough of it to occasionally press the coffee station into service as a proofing rack. Rich and dense, the doughnut doesn't fuse with the toppings so much as display them. This works well with dulce de leche ($2.50) and a smoke-kissed bacon maple made with real syrup ($2.75), but not so well with sharply acidic passion fruit or overly bitter chocolate ganache. A ring coated in a cloying ooze of blueberry, bourbon and basil accomplished the unlikely feat of going uneaten in our newsroom. A powdered peanut-butter-and-jelly-filled doughnut was another major disappointment, a globular mass with only a hint of peanut residue. Lemon-and-lime cream filling was uncomfortably similar to those cement-mixer shooters primarily used to induce vomiting in young and obnoxious bar patrons.
Cost aside, Blue Star's menu is still worth tasting. Especially at 11 am, when the chicken goes in the fryer.
- Order this: Chicken doughnut and the simple but wonderful fritter.
- Iâll pass: Blueberry bourbon basil.
EAT: Blue Star Donuts, 1237 SW Washington St., 265-8410. 7 am-7 pm Monday-Friday, 8 am-7 pm Saturday-Sunday. $.