The Orange County donuttery prides itself on using local and organic ingredients. We think the secret to their doughnuts is the almond flour that they list as an ingredient to nearly all the doughnut batter and dough. Sidecar also carries Stumptown coffee, so get ready to get your doughnut and coffee on!
Madagascar Vanilla Bean Twist [$2]
This large doughnut might be the best bang for buck in terms of size. Recommended for folks who say vanilla ice cream is their favorite flavor.
Maple Bacon [$3.50]
We give props for using Niman Ranch bacon (it's an industry standard for ethically raised bacon, and it's pretty delicious) though to be honest, we're a bit tired of this combo. Yes, it's salty and fatty bacon. Yes, the light maple glaze is that sweet touch that complements the bacon, but we're ready to move onto the next innovative flavor. Still, if you never tire of bacon, this is your doughnut.
Cornbread with Sorghum Brown Butter [$2.75]
This cornbread doughnut (which is a cake batter opposed to a yeasted dough), is dense and moist. Highlights are the mellow brown butter flavor and fresh corn niblets nestled inside the cornbread. It's a down-home, Southern comfort food flavor—definitely an intriguing pick. This doughnut gets swapped out for other flavors depending on the season.
Cinnamon Crumb [$2.75]
The cakey cinnamon crumb sounds like a snoozer, but the punchy nutmeg notes enliven the very solidly delicious coffee cake-esque doughnut. The buttery cinnamon streusel is delicate and crispy, and adds a nice contrast of texture to each bite.
Chocolate Pearls [$3.00]
This doughnut, which is glazed with Callebaut chocolate interspersed with crunchy pearls, is meant to pay tribute to French Laundry's famous "Oyster and Pearls" dish, though it's not exactly clear how. Still, we like how the glaze avoids being too cloyingly sweet as other inferior doughnut glazes can be. The combination of quality, rich-but-not-too-rich cocoa and pearls makes this doughnut compulsively edible. This flavor is another that is occasionally switched out.
Carrot Cake [$3.00]
All of Sidecar's cake doughnuts do well on moisture and sponginess and this is no exception. They make sure carrot cake lovers will be pleased with this doughnut by adding carrot shreds and black currants throughout the dough. One thing I didn't taste very much of were the walnuts, and the cream cheese glaze didn't taste particularly tangy. If you're already jonesing for carrot cake, it's a novel eat, otherwise move along.
Maple Spice Crumble [$3.00]
Because they mastered the Cinnamon Crumble doughnut, it's no surprise that the Maple Spice Crumble is equally pleasing. The maple crumbles have a much deeper maple flavor than the Glazed Maple Bacon doughnut (you might say it's a more Grade-B syrup profile), and the spices make the doughnut pretty punchy, especially the aggressively pungent nutmeg.
This doughnut is also the best argument for why streusel makes everything better. Definitely one of the favorites.
Salty Caramel [$2.50]
Save this doughnut for when you want to delve into a gloriously sticky mess. The caramel is perfectly sweet and salty, with that distinct, slightly burnt note of a good caramel. It's deceptively simple looking, but this fluffy yeasted doughnut is well served by this on-trend glaze. We loved it.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Donut [$3.75]
Every month Sidecar does one distinctly over-the-top doughnut, and this was April's. This time, more was more. What's not to love about a fluffy doughnut with a strawberry glaze, strawberry-rhubarb compote, whipped and sweetened creme fraîche, and pie crumbles? It makes for some very awkward mouthfuls, but it's worth it. Keep an eye out for their Passionfruit Curd Pavlova doughnut the next time passionfruit is in season.
Cinnamon Roll [$3.00]
This was a perfectly serviceable yeasted bun dough but nothing more. We liked how the strong Saigon cinnamon perfumed the entire bun, but the pecans were a bit of an afterthought. It does require a sweet-tooth, as we found the glaze overly sweet.
Given the other exotic doughnut choices at Sidecar, an Oregonian huckleberry doughnut seems almost quaintly retrograde, but it's actually a crowd pleaser. The dense and springy cake dough is flecked with pieces of huckleberries, and we enjoyed the bright berry notes of the glaze. While it's not our star doughnut, it's definitely worth including in an assortment.