Sugar Rush: Klunkers from Bonomini Bakery, Cincinnati
Bonomini Bakery's Klunkers ($.89) were presented to me by an enthusiastic local as "doughnut bombs". Other than the incorrect tutelage, he could only roll his eyes and hold back his hands in a, "Stop, they're just too much!" kind of way. When we finally made it to the 3rd-generation bakery tucked away in Northside, we were far from disappointed.
This is Ginny Bonomini. She's in the second of the three generations of owners, having taken over from parents Joe and Rose Volz, who opened their first bakery in 1956. Bonomini got its roots when they took over Blue Rock Bakery in 1976, where they've been ever since. Though Ginny's not German, she (and now her son, John) produce some of the most beloved local German favorites—including a paczki that's evidently the best in the city—along with unbelievably light doughnuts, rich, creamy custards, and chewy loaves of bread.
But back to the klunkers. "Oh my god," several in our group uttered.
They combine the density of a cake doughnut with the fluffiness of a yeasted doughnut, somehow managing to be both in one super sweet go. The crust has a nice crispness thanks to a deep fry, and it's covered in a thick layer of glaze that melts as soon as it hits the tongue. Unlike many cake doughnuts which dry out easily and crumble too soon, the klunkers retained both their firmness and moisture throughout the day, when hands continually went to grab them.
They're a hefty six-bite treat that reeks with tradition and family warmth. Most items on their extensive bakery menu have inspired loyalty from a far-reaching crowd of regulars, but if you're delving in for the first time, try the klunkers. Just do yourself a favor and don't stop at just one.