New York, and much of the rest of the country, is pretty much over the cronut craze.
Come now, surely you recall the cronut? The fried croissant that took the fooderazzi by storm back in the spring of 2013—heady days defined by Pope Ratzinger's shocking resignation and Pitbull’s "Feel This Moment"—which was subsequently imitated far and wide.
All the while, Oregon lagged behind.
Despite the Cronut king of New York threatening all sorts of legal actions against imitators, the Oregonian spotted the first local version of the cronut at Safeway and it looked… well, not that great. None of the people who tried it at that paper seemed to be very impressed. This should be taken seriously: Any doughnut unfit for unpicky newspaper reporters should not exist.
The original cronut is made from a hoop of laminated dough in grapeseed oil then filled and glazed. The Safeway version was about the same, minus the filling.
Over the weekend, we spotted a “Cro-Nut” at Joe’s Donuts in Sandy, Oregon—Gresham’s Gresham. You may know Joe’s as the 40-year-old shop with a distinctive red and white facade and fluffy maple bars the size of a brick.
Joe’s can now add Oregon’s Best Cronut to its resume. Because the thing we had on Saturday (before a 14-mile hike—which is the only time one should eat a cronut) was outrageously delicious. Having sampled the offerings at every doughnut shop of note in Portland, I am prepared to say that Joe’s cronut is tastier than any doughnut-type breakfast pastry in this city.
The secret? I think it’s the fact that Joe’s keeps it simple. They just fry a croissant and cover it in glaze. That’s right: No special shape, no filling, no little fruit garnish. Joe’s just tosses a buttery croissant in the fryer, then sops it in sweet sugar sauce. It flattens, which makes it easier to stuff in your maw, and it’s sweet and a little crunchy but so soft it hurts and then rich and buttery and… oh, yeah, it costs only $1.50, which is 75 cents more than a normal Joe's Doughnut, but $98.50 cheaper than what some people pay in New York.
If you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go for another 14-mile hike now.