#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.

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#88: Baker Ben’s Donuts, Manley Donuts & Foothills Donuts

The big donut post!  I didn’t really feel like I could really go on for an entire post about each one so I decided to knock them all out in one shot.  This was actually easier than I anticipated because there are only 3 dedicated donut shops in Roseville (unless I’m missing a new one, but I don’t think so).  There was a fourth, Mr Donut at Cirby and Vernon, but it seems to have gone out of business.

I’ve long been of the opinion that there are only 3 kinds of donut shops:

  1. Krispy Kreme (see my next photo post for Roseville’s Kirspy Kreme)
  2. Gourmet Donuts shops (Such as Doughbot Donuts in downtown Sacramento)
  3. Everything else

Krispy Kreme is, well, Krispy Kreme.  They’re delicious and consistent, and I practically lived off their original glazed while going to school.  There’s something very special about getting one of them right off the line when they’re making them fresh.  I’ve only had Doughbot once.  I found “The Dude” (a White Russian Bavarian creme-filled donut with a vodka-Kahlua glaze & sprinkled with ground coffee) to be decent, but it just didn’t do much for me given the insane online hype that surrounded the shop when it opened, so I haven’t felt compelled to go back.  Finally there is the third kind, which pretty much every other donut shop falls into.  This is the kind of donut you’ll find in an unmarked, pink box that someone brought into the office.  They all generally carry the same kinds and I would be hard pressed to identify the shop unless the name was stamped on the box somewhere.

I figured the best way to go about this would be to simply get the same donut at each place and compare them side by side.  One of my longtime favorites is Old Fashioned Glazed, so that’s what I went with.

My first stop was at Baker Ben’s Donuts at the corner of Folsom and Douglas, behind Roseville Square.  This shop is open 24 hours and I often see at least one person sitting and reading a paper inside at just about any hour when I drive past it.  On this Saturday morning at about 10am there was a steady stream of customers coming and going when I arrived.  Their display was large and full of all kinds of donuts.  The woman running the front was shorter than the display case and didn’t actually see me right away but was all smiles and laughs when she finally did.  I ordered my 80¢ donut and was on my way.

 

 

 

 

Next I hit Manley Donuts at Sunrise and Cirby.  This one is tucked into the L-shaped shopping center across from Bel Air.  They are open M-F 4:30-3 and Sat-Sun 5-2.  This was the first time I’ve been here.  It’s a smaller shop than Baker Ben’s but still has some seating toward the back of the narrow space.  They had a much smaller offering and I got the very last old fashioned glazed.  The woman working here wasn’t quite as smiley as the one at Baker Ben’s but was pleasant enough for the quick transaction.  Another 80¢ and I was off the the final one.

 

Foothills Donuts is at the far north end of the shopping center at Foothills and Main/Baseline.  The sign on the window says the open daily at 4:30, so I’m not sure if they have a set closing time or if they simply close when they’re done making donuts and have sold the last of them.  A woman sitting by the window said to me when I entered that she saw me taking my photo outside and asked if I was with the paper.  We chatted for a moment and I told her about Eating Through Roseville.  She then recalled seeing the segment on KOVR.  She explained my mission a bit to the owner while I was rung up, 85¢ for this one.  The owner here was very nice.  I noticed a maple bar (my 2nd choice when old fashioned glazed isn’t available) with a piece of bacon set into the glaze on the top shelf of the display.  I think I will come back and check that out sometime.