Donuts are this girl’s best friend. I can’t identify when my love of donuts began, but one of my fondest childhood memories involves time spent visiting my dad and the trips that we took to Ye Olde Donut Shoppe just up the road from his house. I can’t remember what the inside looked like or if it had that magical bakery smell that can make even the worst day better, but I remember how much fun it was just to go for that morning donut run. As I got older, I can remember stopping in to various bakeries and donut shops in Boulder and Denver, but not until I met Jay did I really discover my second true love- donuts.
Initially, we would try the donuts that appeared as desserts on fine dining menus; and then as we started to travel more, we began to seek out donut shops in places that we visited. On the second to last morning of our Tin Sheets in the Desert trip, we were checking out Flagstaff, AZ as a potential place for us to live and decided to grab breakfast at Tourist Home. A breakfast and lunch stop housed in a renovated former boarding house for Basque Sheepherders, Tourist Home sat vacant for more than 40 years before reopening in late 2014; and if we hadn’t already read the great reviews online, the vintage neon sign would have been enough to catch our attention.
Walking into Tourist Home, we were greeted with a table of grab-n-go goodies, including Colorado wine, and lots of orange chairs (our favorite color!). Upon stepping up to the counter we found ourselves face to face with so many delicious looking pastry options that it was hard to know where to start. To the left of the register were the breakfast type options; including donuts, homemade pop tarts, and a cardamom roll, among others. As you can see by our picture, we took one of each of the items listed and then were promptly distracted by the other side of the register and an even larger selection of pies, cookies, cakes, macarons, brownies, and other pastries (that we begrudgingly decided would have to wait for another visit). While all the pastries looked amazing, it was all about the donut. What happens when you combine the best breakfast food in the world with a tasty Southwestern dessert of fried goodness? You get a Churro Donut.
Round but with the ridges found on a traditional churro, the dough was surprisingly light and fluffy. Coated in just the right amount of sugar with a hint of cinnamon, the churro donut was one of the more creative donuts I’ve had in a while- and delicious. To gauge if a donut is good (by my standards), I always order a basic raised sugar donut or the closest variation whenever I visit a bakery or shop. I figure that if someone can make a basic donut that has good texture and no hint of fry or grease taste, then they have the donut making thing pretty well mastered; however, that isn’t to say that I don’t like to try creative variations as well. Creative, but still sticking to traditional donut flavors and textures, the churro donut was a treat and a great reason to take a detour if you happen to be stopping in or even just passing through Flagstaff. You can bet that when we come through Flagstaff on our Route 66 trip in April that we will definitely be back to eat more donuts.