Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee
270 E. 17th St. #18
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
I felt like Christmas had come early for me last week. Well, okay maybe that is not the way to put it, because anyone that knows me, knows that I am not a fan of that holiday. That's for another post though. This post is all about doughnuts. Orange County was lucky enough to be home to a new doughnut shop that flung open its doors to the world last Friday. I was lucky enough to be able to attend a media preview of this new doughnut shop, and I was very impressed.
Sidecar comes from the creative minds of Brooke Des Prez and Sumter Pendergrast. Each of them brings a different aspect to Sidecar Doughnuts. She is the chef, who comes up with many of the creative ideas for the doughnuts. He is the coffee guy that envisioned a gathering place where there would be cutting edge coffee. The result of all their hard work came to fruition with the opening of Sidecar Doughnuts.
When I first pulled up to the early morning event, I was immediately drawn to the 1959 International Harvester Metro Van parked out in front of the store front. For those of you old enough to remember, this truck is reminiscent of the old Helm's Bakery trucks that roamed neighborhoods in Southern California in the 50's and 60's. I did not snap a picture of the back, but this van also has the wooden drawers, where doughnuts are kept for catering events. Very nostalgic, and definitely a way to distinguish Sidecar Doughnuts.
Once I walked through the door, I was handed a sampler plate of doughnuts to try. This is what heaven must look like to Homer Simpson. I promise, that will be my only reference to Homer during this post. The storefront of Sidecar is very small. Of course there were about 20 of us crammed into the space, so maybe it just appeared smaller than it actually is. I can not imagine them putting any tables in here, plus it will detract from the real reason people are here, the doughnuts.
While no one was looking, I sneaked around the counter and took some close up shots of the doughnuts. Okay, truth be told they did not seem to mind, as the other invited guests were doing the same thing as me. On the day we were here they featured ten different varieties of doughnuts. These are scratch made doughnuts, with no preservatives. They are meant to be eaten right away, or at least within a few hours. They are a very light and non-greasy doughnut. In fact, I ate probably four whole doughnuts during my visit here, (don't judge) and did not even feel full at all. The flavors are going to rotate depending on the availability of seasonal ingredients. The big winners in my opinion were the cake doughnuts. The Birthday Cake, Cinnamon Crumb, Meyer Lemon Poundcake, and the Huckleberry were all among my favorites. Definitely some of the freshest doughnuts I have had, but also some of the greatest tasting ones too. They were not overly sweet, conservatively glazed, and unique with their flavor profiles. The raised doughnuts offered on this preview day were the Maple Bacon, Raspberry, Toasted Coconut, Callebaut Chocolate, and the Hawaiian specialty doughnut, the Malasada and the Malasada with Haupia (a light coconut cream). Out of this group I liked the Raspberry one the most, which is surprising because I am not much of a fruit person. It had a fresh raspberry flavor, that was more on the subtle side. Of course the Maple Bacon was good with it's low key maple approach and the saltiness of the bacon. I was also pretty impressed with the Malasada with Haupia, it really brought me back to Hawaii. I liked all of these, but am already looking forward to other visits to see what other doughnuts they are going to come up with.
No offense to Sumter, the Coffee Guy at Sidecar, but I am no fan of the breakfast beverage of choice for more than 100 million Americans every morning. I did hear rave reviews for the coffee here at Sidecar though. They are the first in Southern California to use Stumptown Coffee. Stumptown Coffee is a Portland born coffee company that has really made a name for themselves by doing small batches, keeping their standards high, and developing a direct trade program with the coffee producers. They develop direct relationships with the farmers, which improves the quality of the coffee, while offering incentive based rewards to the farmer. These rewards helps the growing communities financially and with sustainable improvements. At Sidecar they will be rotating a different roast that will be paired with what kinds of doughnuts they will be serving that month. Kind of like wine and food pairings, but at breakfast time. They will also be serving all of your espresso drinks as well at Sidecar, using Stumptown's Hair Bender Espresso. I always want Katie around, but more so at this point of our visit to Sidecar, because she knows way more about coffee than I do. I kind of just nodded and acted like I knew what I was talking about.
So a week in, and I have heard some real good things about Sidecar. On their opening day they sold out of doughnuts by noon, and the line was wrapped around the building. For those of you headed over there, I suggest that you get there early. They open at 7AM on weekdays, and 8AM on weekends. They are only open until they run out of doughnuts, which has been happening around two in the afternoon on average. They bake every hour, and what does not sell that hour is taken off of the shelf. These doughnuts are not cheap. They are priced anywhere from $1.50 to $4, which might deter some people from coming to Sidecar. That would be a shame though, because then they are missing out on what a well made doughnut this is. I am really looking forward to coming back to Sidecar Doughnuts and seeing what kinds of flavors they have up their sleeve.
To find out what flavors of doughnuts are being offered, and for more information on Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee, click here: http://www.sidecardoughnuts.com/