French crullers from Early Bird Donuts

  • French crullers from Early Bird Donuts

For Superman, it was kryptonite. For brave Achilles, it was his heel. Everyone has a weakness and mine is donuts. I realize this is a problem, but there are few things that get me out of bed faster than the promise of a hot, glazed piece of fried dough. I would never advocate eating these gut bombs on a daily basis, but when I feel the need to indulge, a donut is my go-to breakfast item.

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With the success of places like Doughnut Plant in NYC, Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, or Dynamo Donuts in San Francisco, in recent years, the humble donut has transformed from underrated and often criticized to trendy, artisanal, and fancified, just as likely to be found in the clutches of a skinny-jeaned hipster as a cop on a late-night stake out.

While the world is full of many beloved donut chains, I have always been partial to the small mom-and-pop donut joints hidden in neighborhoods around the city. And as a recent transplant to Arkansas, I have made it goal to hunt these down as often as possible. Which brings me to Early Bird Donuts.

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The display racks at Early Bird are loaded with all the classics: glazed yeast raised, chocolate cake, blueberry cake, maple bars, fritters, cream and jelly-filled bismarks. It was hard to choose just a few, so I went with fourteen (for journalistic purposes, I assure you). Although I couldn’t polish off everything I ordered, I was pleased with my selections.