I love a good doughnut, hell, I even love a not all that good doughnut. For me, next to cake, they are a perfect dessert offering both the doughy heft I enjoy plus with all the varieties you can throw in some possibility of icing or frosting and some type of luscious filling. Everything you (or me) want in a dessert all in one. Plus the fulfill any late night or anytime sweet craving I occasionally have as there is an All-Star Donut always open somewhere on some corner in this town. Now combine that availability with food truck mobile-ness and you get Johnny Doughnuts. Their original location is a brick and mortar place in San Rafael but they have a food truck version now roaming the streets that I will tell you now, if you see the below truck, try it, much like this crowd did.
They had a quite a selection and I honestly wanted to try one of everything, except the gluten free one, because, well, my past experiences with such things have been less than desirable. While I decided not to be full sugar glutton, I fortunately had my friend Ms E with me and we did get 4 different ones to split and critique. First up was the strawberry and the salted chocolate caramel.
Our first thought when we got them--these babies are HUGE--and that is an A+ where I am concerned, particularly when you are paying $3.50 each. These are not your light yeasty doughnut, these were hearty, cakey, deep fried delights. The strawberry was spectacularly glazed/frosted and while this was the only part of it with strawberry, for both of us, when you bit into it, it was like a burst of strawberry flavor--very strong, very tasty. The doughnut part is standard cake but still, slightly sweet, cooked just right and combined with the frosting it was like a great slice of cake--but a doughnut so you could hold it in your hand and eat away. The salted chocolate caramel was closer to an old-fashioned, a denser, crumblier cakey than the other, which I was okay with. Thing with this one though was we didn't really taste either the chocolate or the caramel, even though there was chocolate icing drizzled on top. For us this tasted more like cinnamon coffee cake in both flavor and texture, which isn't a bad thing, just not what we expected or wanted. I did like the sprinkling of salty to give it the whole salty/sweet thing but we were just perplexed why it was listed one way but tasted totally different. Still, it was good, but our least favorite of the four. Next came the lime mascarpone bismark and the chocolate vanilla cream bismark.
The lime was a big cake round coated in sugar and filled with lime cream that tasted close to a key lime with a nice tangy but not too sour flavor, we liked it a lot and only wished there had been just a tad bit more filling on this one so you could get that flavor jolt in every bite. The chocolate vanilla cream was a like a slice of Boston cream pie. Sweet, creamy, cakey, chocolatey and plenty of filling on this one, this and the strawberry are neck and neck as the favorites. Plus like the other two they were both the size of my hand and to get the dough to cook so well in such a size was a treat.
What can I say, four sweet treats worth eating, including the one that wasn't even our favorite. Yes they are doughnuts, but they are a step up from the standard All Star fare. Big hearty, delicious cake delights where every bite can be savored. If, like me, you enjoy your desserts big and comforting then by all means, if you have a chance, check out or find Johnny Doughnut, you won't be disappointed. How does that old saying go, "winner, winner, chicken dinner," or in this case, win with a doughnut.