Even with its soft opening, Glazed the Donut Café generated almost as much excitement as one might expect for the debut of In-and-Out Burger. Part of the excitement stemmed from the constant delays: Glazed was originally slated to start serving on June 6th, National Donut Day, but construction and health inspection timing issues pushed the grand opening to more than a month later. Also fueling the fire was the Glazed’s Facebook page, updated almost daily with new food pornography showcasing chefs experimentations with different topping combinations.
Although Glazed is not the first Houston establishment to offer donuts 24-7 (several Shipley’s locations do as well) what sets Glazed apart is it unusual flavor selection, locally sourced ingredients, and, most importantly, friendly, well-lit dining space that lends itself to chowing down on ringed confections while surfing the web at 3am. The narrow strip mall shop features multiple hightops along the side as well as red “floating” ceilings, i.e. scarlet panels suspended above, which in combination with the pristine white interior, give the café almost a modern art museum feel. An open kitchen allows for true transparency (pun intended) in the decorating process, for customers are free to watch as employees hand dip and sprinkle every last one of Glaze’s confection.
Donuts are categorized either as “classic” ($.99), “specialty” ($1.49), and “gourmet” ($1.99), and in the nascent stage of the Café’s development, a few flavors of each are available at any given time. I never thought I’d pay more than $2 for a doughnut unless said donut was 1) sold in London or New York 2) covered in gold flakes and caviar, but the maple bacon, already a crowd favorite, is well worth it. Its rich syrupy frosting and salty bits of pork fat combine everything that is sweet and savory and wonderful about breakfast. Of the specialty donuts, I also very much enjoyed the dainty piquant lemon poppy seed, though a bit more frosting might be added to counteract the resulting icing loss that inevitable ensues in the bagging process. With its incredibly light doughy base and sweet but not saccharine sheen of vanilla, the classic “plain” glazed donut will make your eyes roll back in your head. So, maybe don’t try it for the first time while driving.
Other rotating flavors include the orange spice and mocha, which when paired with a cup of the Café’s espresso drinks, I imagine, would really get you going in the morning. And given its location in the medical corridor, that’s very desirable for the hard-working hospital folk nearby. On a recent visit, part-owner Omonele Nwokolo, who moonlights as an anesthesiologist, stopped by each and every table individually to see how customers were faring. Her warm smile and pleasant demeanor made the atmosphere so inviting, I felt no hesitation in requesting two new flavors to add to the line-up. (Not that Glazed needs any help with creativity.)
One final note: At press time, customers were limited to buying six donuts—nowhere, though, was it written you couldn’t come back multiple times a day.
Glazed The Doughnut Cafe
1333 Old Spanish Trail Ste 100-E Houston, TX 77054