#283: Mochinut

2PM, 9/18/2022


I set out yesterday for sushi at Tang’s at Foothills & Blue Oaks, only to find they are only open for dinner on Saturdays. For a quick backup plan I switched to Mochinut, located near Top Golf on Washington. Mochinut is a Korean donut / corn dog chain (an odd combo, but ok). I’ve been excited to try the dogs here since I heard they were coming to Roseville, however I had to wait a while as they were only doing donuts (or the dogs were very limited) for a while after opening.

I pulled up and snapped some photos before heading in at about 2PM. Inside it’s a very simple, very pink space. The counter shows off one of each donut flavor and ordering is mostly a self serve situation, very similar to Local Kitchens. However, if you want to pay cash you can ring a bell and someone will come ring you up. Interesting to note that they charge 4% on all non-cash transactions. A couple of benches offer a place to sit while you wait for your order to be called out. I only ever saw any staff when they were bringing out an order. Other than that it very much felt like an unattended lobby.

The website shows a sizable selection of interesting donut flavors. Today there were 7 options available (plain, original glazed, milk n’ cookies, funnel cake, maple pecan, passion fruit, and churro).

The corn dogs have six variations to choose from (original, potato, cheddar cheese, crispy ramen, hot Cheetos and crunch cereal). Most of these are essentially a coating over the crispy battered original. The cheddar cheese appears to put a layer of cheese between the hot dog and the batter. On top of this, you can get this with a hot dog or mozzarella cheese, or even a half and half.

I wanted to try a little bit of everything, but that was going to quickly add up. I settled on a 3-pack of donuts (Milk N’ Cookies, Maple Pecan, Original Glaze)[$10.35] and two half & half corn dogs (Original [$5.95] and Hot Cheetos [$7.54]). They do also offer some milk-based drinks (milk tea, Thai tea, use, matcha, etc) but I didn’t order anything from this part of the menu today. According to the website some locations also have some soft serve options, however I don’t recall seeing that here. My order came out in twelve minutes and I headed off deep into a nearby business park to find a quiet spot to eat.

I started off with the corn dogs. First thing was that I was expecting the mozzarella and hot dog pieces to be separate (so basically 4 sticks with half the stick used). Instead I had what appeared to be two full sized dogs each on a stick. Diving right in I discovered that the mozzarella was at the top of this, followed by half a hot dog further down the stick. The original had a really fantastic crunchy texture. The batter was more bread-y than a corndog type of batter. I just read on their website that the batter is a rice-flour batter, rather than a traditional American corn dog batter. The mozzarella was super soft and much like a mozzarella stick it stretched way out with each bite. I should take this moment to note that there were a bunch of sauces available to order but I completely spaced on those. I think they would enhance the mozzarella half of this quite a bit. The hot dog portion was fantastic. They use a good quality beef dog that reminded me of the good ones you get at a ball game (or even Costco’s cafe lol).

Moving on to the Hot Cheetos one, as I picked this up I wondered how the Cheetos dust was sticking on it so well. It become clear as soon as I looked at it closely. There was a layer of something, mayo I think, used to stick the bright red coating on it. This was a much, much messier dog to eat. Thankfully I was standing in a parking lot, so I left the local birds some spicy treats. Actually, beyond the initial few bites as they hit my tongue, this wasn’t that hot. That layer of mayo, or whatever it was, really carried a lot of weight in the flavor of this whole thing and drowned out the hot Cheetos almost entirely. When I got to the flavorful hot dog in the last half the dust was nearly undetectable. This was a really interesting and tasty item, though I think I preferred the original a bit more just for it’s simplicity. I fully intend to come back and try all the other options in due time.

For dessert I cracked open the donut box. All of a sudden I wasn’t sure if I needed to reevaluate my donut categories. Does this fit into my long standing slots – Standard, Krispy Kreme or Fancy? Ultimately, I think I can safely group these with Krispy Kreme. The dough is similar, yet a bit chewier than KK’s original glazed donut, . I found the original glaze and the milk n’ cookies to be very close. Milk n’ cookies had a bit more longer lasting, extremely sweet flavor. Other than the bits of cookies stuck to it (which tasted similar to Chips Ahoy), it seemed not that much different than the glazed. The maple pecan had a good maple flavor, just like every other maple donut I’ve had. The pecans were a nice little touch though, I only wish there had been more on it. As with the milk n’ cookies donut, the crunchy toppings on these two donuts were seriously lacking. The display donuts on the counter had toppings on 50-100% of these two flavors . Mine had more like 25-50% coverage.

While the donuts were good, I find myself thinking about the corn dogs so much more. That’s what I’ll be returning for. The donuts didn’t really stand out apart from all the other donut options we have around, aside from the slightly chewy property of their dough.


#219: Dr. Bob’s Donuts & DoYos

On Saturday morning I headed over to old town Roseville to check out something new.  This is Dr. Bob’s Donuts & DoYos, and it’s not your typical donut shop.  They are located on Lincoln Street near Boxing Donkey and Pacific Street Cafe.  Dr. Bob’s focus is on organic, gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free donuts and frozen yogurt.  When I first heard about this place, about a month ago via Reddit, I was pretty skeptical.  Nevertheless it went on this list and here I was to cross it off.  I think this is the only other truly vegan place in Roseville aside from Baagan.  Thinking back to that visit I recall feeling much the same way before eating there.  Unsure of what I was about to walk into, probably a little bit nervous.  My friend Dan commented about the “fish out of water aspect” of the post, which looking back was actually pretty fun.  With all this going through my head again I stepped through the front door.

Up front is all the seating.  About 2/3rds of the way in you get to a little counter with the register on your right and drinks to the left.  Just past this is where you get started.  When I got to this point there were a few people, first-timers much like myself, who were just finishing their walkthrough by the owner Tasha.  She greeted me and pretty much ran me though the same thing.  She said that on Saturdays most of the customers are coming in for their first time, so she probably does a lot of explaining on this day.

You start with a vanilla or chocolate SteamFresh donut.  These are made fresh throughout the day as opposed to deep fried donuts that are made in a giant batch for the whole day at a traditional donut shop.  From there you move to a station with sauces and glazes to add some flavor.  Some of these include bourbon-vanilla glaze, chocolate glaze, coconut glaze, Himalayan salted caramel and a Nutella-like sauce.  From there you move to the fruit station where you add fresh fruits like blueberries, bananas and grapes to add some natural sweetness.  As one woman next to me mentioned, as she sampled some of the sauces, the chocolate graze actually wasn’t that sweet, so the fruit helps add the sweetness you might be looking for.

Next to the fruit is a frozen yogurt machine which dispenses non-dairy froyo.  They call it a DoYo when you add this to your donut.  Past the fruit and yogurt are chia puddings.  I don’t know anything about chia puddings other that what I just read online about them, being essentially chia seeds, unsweetened almond milk, pure vanilla extract, maple syrup and a pinch of salt.  I didn’t explore them this time but I think I will when I return.  Last but not least is, what I would call, the texture station.  Here you can add lots of different types of crunchy items from almonds, hemp seeds, flax crunch, granola and fruits like dried cranberries and raisins.  If you need any more sweetness you can also find at this station a variety of sweeteners including a few different types of honey (Note: u/exit143 on Reddit pointed out that this is not vegan, which makes sense, although the topic does seem to be a bit controversial, at least in my initial reading.  Something to consider.), a vanilla flavored syrup and also a little shaker of something called Bob’s G*Sweet, which is labeled “6 time sweeter than sugar.”

If all of this is a little overwhelming, and it certainly was for me, you can start out with some pre-made donuts.  I went with the Bourbon Vanilla Blueberry.  Tasha suggested I add a drizzle of some of the fresh warm bourbon vanilla glaze.  I did so and also added some warm chocolate glaze as well.  Not really sure how strong any of these flavors were I tried to go easy on them.  Next I added a few more blueberries and some slices of banana to the size.  I finished it all off with a sprinkle of hemp seeds for a little added texture.  This is pretty much one of the creations listed on their website that I looked at in advance and thought sounded good.

The prices are based on weight, so I placed it on a scale by the register and she rung me up.  I grabbed a chocolate almond milk from the cooler behind me as well.  All together it came to $4.88, which actually surprised me, I had expected for some reason to be paying more like 6 or 7, especially with the drink.  So not crazy, but certainly more than your average donut+milk.  I took a seat and dug in.  I found both the bourbon-vanilla glaze and the chocolate glaze to be much less rich than I would have guessed by looking at them.  They also didn’t leave a sugary coating in your mouth leaving you in a Got Milk situation (a good thing).  Indeed, my chocolate almond milk (which was delicious by the way) was not really needed that much and I drank most of it on the way out.  The fruits were both good and were the primary source of sweetness in this creation.  The bourbon-vanilla glaze definitely did contribute some of it’s own however.  The blueberries were nice and juicy.  As for the donut itself, it is much more dense then a typical donut.  I thought it might have a grainy texture but instead found it to be softer like a cake, maybe like a flourless cake due to the density.

Like my experience with Baagan, I was pleasantly surprised here at Dr. Bob’s Donut’s & DoYos.  One thing that I think helped out with the initial impression in both instances were the extremely friendly and helpful owners.  I think that’s key for keeping anyone that’s not familiar with this type of food (e.g. me) from thinking “this is weird” and turning around within a minute of walking in.  I also happened to meet Dr. Bob himself during my visit who like Tasha was super nice and happy to see me experiencing their donuts for the first time.  I recommend this place, interesting stuff.

Here were a few creations made by customers while I was there.