Dallas has enjoyed a doughnut Renaissance in recent years, and now that Renaissance has a new twist. Namely: the cruller, a unique doughnut more commonly found in Canada, New England, and Midwest — but now in Dallas at Carte Blanche, the award-winning restaurant-bakery at 2114 Greenville Ave.

The bakery, which operates out of the restaurant space Thursday-Sunday from 7 am-12 pm, has had doughnuts on the menu since it opened in mid-2021. That includes crullers, which are easy to spot, thanks to their grooved, ridged exterior, not unlike the churro, their Spanish cousin.

The internet says that cruller — the "u" is soft, rhyming with "lull" or "mull" (not "crueler") — comes from a Dutch word krullen for "to curl," and that crullers have traditions in Dutch, German, Scandinavian, Austrian, and Polish cuisines. A 1908 bookThe History of the City of Hudson New York claims they were invented by Sebastian Croll, commander of Fort Orange in Albany, and were a staple of the New England diet from the time the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.

Whatever their origin, they were widely popularized by Massachusetts-based coffee and doughnut chain Dunkin', who initially sold them in the classic twisted oblong shape from the day they opened in 1950. But in 2003, Dunkin' discontinued them because they were too labor-intensive and switched to the "French cruller" format — a round doughnut made from choux pastry, which is the version that Carte Blanche sells.

carte blanche cruller doughnutThe grooves help trap the delicious icing.Carte Blanche

Carte Blanche pastry chef Amy LaRue says she started experimenting with doughnuts during COVID to keep herself occupied.

"I used to hate doughnuts until I met my husband Casey, but he and our sons love them," she says. "I wanted to make something they enjoyed."

Carte Blanche's doughnuts are true artisan products, each made from its own specific dough recipe (most doughnut shops use a mix for all doughnuts, then add flavors or toppings).

LaRue does two kinds: raised doughnuts using a brioche dough, and crullers in two or three flavors, which rotate with the season.

"I was initially inspired by the crullers at Daily Provisions, the bakery-cafe in New York, but my true point of reference is always in French cooking," she says. "Everything that I make comes from a connection to French pastry."

French crullers are made using pate a choux dough, the same dough used to make eclairs, with butter, water, flour, and eggs. (The butter differentiates them from churros, which are more often made with vegetable oil.)

She uses a higher ratio of egg whites than a classic pate a choux, which makes her crullers more airy, and each is made by hand.

"There are machines where you put the dough in a syringe and one comes out with each shot, but at Carte Blanche, every doughnut is piped out onto its own piece of parchment," she says. "They have to sit at room temperature to develop, and have to be fried at a higher temperature than regular doughnuts, in order to get the crunchy crust."

The ideal result is a study in contrasts with an almost brutally crunchy crust and a super-moist, eggy, almost stretchy interior, not unlike the inside of a popover.

For her cruller flavors, she leans towards something tart.

"The crust is so intense that I like something tangy or sweet to combat that exterior," she says. "We always have vanilla, but rotating flavors have included strawberry, lemon poppyseed, and cherry lime."

For January, the rotating flavor is passionfruit. For her regular brioche doughnuts, she's doing a "PB&J" flavor with peanut butter pastry cream and raspberry icing — inspiration, once again, from her family.

"My son loves peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, he'd eat them every day, and he wanted those flavors in a doughnut," she says.

Photo courtesy of Salty Donut

Salty Donut rolls artisan doughnuts into quirky downtown Dallas location

Doughnut News

Dallas is getting a new outlet of Miami's favorite artisanal doughnut shop: The Salty Donut is opening a location in Klyde Warren Park, at 2049 N. Pearl St., on the East Lawn of the park.

And according to a release, it's coming soon: Friday, December 2, when it will bring its craft doughnuts, coffee beverages, and quirky personality to the downtown Dallas community.

Salty was founded in 2015 by husband and wife Andy and Amanda Pizarro-Rodriguez as a pop-up, selling doughnuts out of a vintage 1950s Aljoa camper in a parking lot, right as the doughnut trend was starting to rise.They’ve earned nods from sites such as Thrillist and Food & Wine, and in 2018, co-founder Amanda Pizarro-Rodriguez was named a Forbes 30 under 30 for Food & Drink.

They have a regular menu plus regular seasonal offerings. Some of their basics include:

  • Traditional Glazed. 24-hr brioche, vanilla bean glaze
  • Maple + Bacon. 24-hr brioche, maple glaze, topped with in-house candied Rudolph’s Meat Market bacon + Oak Cliff Brewery Black Lager reduction
  • Brown Butter + Salt. Vanilla bean cake donut, brown butter glaze + topped with Maldon sea salt
  • Lone Star. 24-hr star-shaped brioche filled with ruby red grapefruit curd + tossed in grapefruit infused powdered sugar.
  • Horchata. 24-hr brioche soaked in a horchata mixture, bottom crusted with Valrhona Caramelia chocolate + finished with torched cinnamon-meringue
  • Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake Donut: Chocolate cake donut with chocolate glaze

There are currently six Salty Donut shops with a handful of additional locations in the works. This is the second Dallas location of Salty Donut, which opened its first in Bishop Arts in 2020.

“Klyde Warren Park is an incredible gathering place for the community and nothing makes us happier than being a part of the excitement. Ever since opening our first Dallas location in 2020, we’ve had our eyes set on finding new areas to open in and expand our reach,” says Danny Pizarro, CMO at The Salty Donut. “Klyde Warren Park is a unique opportunity to not only serve our donuts, coffee, and baked goods to park visitors and guests of the park’s activations, but also to bring our offerings to the offices and establishments surrounding the park. So whether you’re ordering coffee and donuts for a morning meeting or taking the family to see the fountain show, our newest “outpost” location in the park has you covered.”

The grand opening of the Klyde Warren Park location coincides with a very exciting weekend at the park full of holiday activations including the Holiday Show Tree Lighting Celebration, special light and water shows at the Nancy Best Fountain, Santa visits, and more. To celebrate the grand opening weekend and the festive events, The Salty will be offering free hot coffee and hot chocolate to park guests Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 4, as well as surprise giveaways and promotions for customers at the park.

Erik Carlson

New shop Rings Donuts determined to make the best doughnuts in Dallas

Doughnut News

An exciting new shop with must-try doughnuts has landed in Dallas near Preston Center. Called Rings Donuts, it's an independently-owned startup now open at 6053 Sherry Ln., with a noble goal: to make the best doughnuts in Dallas.

Many a shop has tried before, but Rings might actually succeed, thanks to the dedication of founder Bill Hennessey, a New York transplant with a passion for great doughnuts. Not frou-frou doughnuts. Not gourmet with a capital G. Just great old-school classic doughnuts.

"We do classic doughnuts, not gourmet," Hennessey says. "Our doughnuts are not topped with bacon or candy, they're regular doughnuts, but higher-quality than what you generally find."

Rings offers both cake and raised doughnuts, plus fritters, plus a cute little pig-in-a-blanket creation that they call "oinkers."

Their raised selection includes:

  • Glazed
  • Iced - vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry, with or without sprinkles
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Bob's apple fritters

The fritters are named for Hennessey's father-in-law, who passed away. "He really loved fritters and was a lovely soul," Hennessey says.

Their cake selection includes:

  • chocolate
  • blueberry
  • vanilla
  • old fashioned
  • blueberry with streusel crumbles

They also do doughnut holes in two varieties: glazed and chocolate cake; and a special celebration doughnut called the LuLu, a massive 11 inches across, which they frost and decorate for special occasions.

A graduate of TCU where he also played football, Hennessey is a lawyer and entrepreneur who started a successful title insurance company. He also has two young boys, Pearce and Reid, he wanted to see more often, and loved the whole nostalgic aspect of the quintessential doughnut shop.

"I also wanted to do a business that was creative in nature, and I've always been inspired by food, especially classic American foods," he says. "For me, a doughnut is a nostalgic thing. But my wife Dawn and I would take our kids to doughnut shops, and I felt like it was always the cheapest ingredients, lousy coffee, and a lackluster atmosphere."

"I felt like I could elevate every piece of this," he says.

He's surely elevated every piece. He worked with a consulting company to create their own recipe, so that it wouldn't taste exactly the same as all the other doughnut shops in town, and he's using a higher-grade shortening that costs more than double the price of the oil most other shops use. It has a major impact.

"The oil we're using fries cleaner, and the absorption rate is lower," he says. "You can really see the difference in the texture and the flavor of the doughnut. We also make our own icings and glaze. You'd be surprised at how many places don't do that."

They serve coffee and espresso-based drinks, with coffee beans sourced from Dallas-based Globex, including a custom blend for their house coffee, and Lavazza for their espresso drinks.

"We really are Rings Donuts + Coffee," Hennessey says.

One other big differentiator is on price. While "gourmet" doughnuts can run $3 to $5 a pop, Rings doughnuts are $2 each, and $16 for a dozen.

The shop's atmosphere is clean, modern, and bright, with a cool retro "Rings" logo and staffers who wear cheery pink shirts. It feels almost like an ice cream shop or dessert shop, a place for an indulgence. A neon sign says "Eat More Donuts" (although it really should say "doughnuts", tsk) and there's a tile wall where people already want to take photos with their doughnut purchases.

They're currently open 6 am-2 pm daily, although Hennessey says they plan to stay open later once the school year starts, possibly until 7 or 8 pm.

"We don't need to reinvent the wheel," he says. "We're not doing crazy concoctions. It's just that classic American doughnut, but better quality."

Shipley's Do-Nuts

Shipley Do-Nuts expansion takes off with new location in North Dallas

Doughnut News

A Houston doughnut company is making a move in Dallas-Fort Worth: Shipley Do-Nuts will open a location in North Dallas, at 17848 Preston Rd., just south of Frankford Road, in a former Taco Bueno. According to a spokesperson, it'll open bright and early Monday, July 25.

Shipley was founded in Houston in 1936, but is in big growth mode, with agreements to open locations throughout Texas, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee, Florida, and Colorado over the next five years.

The company is expanding in North Texas thanks to Houston restaurateur Sam Khader, who owns and operates his family's excellent Dimassi's Mediterranean Buffet concept, with about 25 locations in Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, and McAllen.

The North Dallas Shipley Do-Nuts is first, and will be followed by locations in Corsicana, Ennis, Mesquite, Forney, Greenville, and Terrell.

"Like so many Houstonians, I grew up eating Shipley Do-Nuts with my family every Sunday, and when I moved to Dallas, I wanted to continue that tradition with my son," Khader says in a statement. "Shipley presents a great opportunity personally and from a business perspective, especially with the company's new leadership that is focused on growth, franchisee success, and guest experience. I look forward to bringing my love for Shipley to new generations of North Texans."

Shipley's new leadership is Clifton Rutledge, who was appointed CEO in 2021; he formerly served as executive chairman at Shipley, and previously was president/CEO at Bojangles Chicken and Biscuits, and COO at Whataburger, among other companies.

"Our strategy has been to continue building out our home markets in Texas, where fans know and love us, while also working to bring 'The World's Greatest Do-Nut' to new markets like Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia and beyond," Rutledge says in a statement.

There is no shortage of Shipley Do-Nuts, with 20 locations around Dallas-Fort Worth. Although most are outside of the central metroplex in towns like McKinney; the only location inside the loop is on Ferguson Road in Casa View.

Like most doughnut chains, Shipley has its coterie of fans for its doughnuts (which they insist on spelling as "do-nuts" which may be phonetic but is also barely literate, come on, it's "doughnuts").

Their style is more classic than gourmet, and that's almost a relief, just to have a doughnut that's a doughnut, and not some party topped with slabs of bacon and other distractions, and also not at gourmet prices.

They turn your basic cake doughnut into an art form, with plain cake, buttermilk cake, or blueberry cake, each of which you can also get in a glazed version. They also have raised doughnuts, filled doughnuts, apple fritters, cinnamon rolls, and kolaches.

Shipley also launched a coffee program so that all locations will be serving the same coffee, taking a page out of Dunkin's book (New England doughnut chain Dunkin is actually the second biggest coffee chain in the U.S., behind Starbucks) and this store will open with that program featuring hot and cold coffee drinks.

Courtesy of Explorest

Old-time doughnut shop in Dallas' Oak Cliff takes break in December

Doughnut News

UPDATE 2/14/2023: Lone Star Donuts has re-opened and is making and selling doughnuts again.


Lone Star Donuts, a Dallas doughnut shop that's been around for more than 70 years, is closing its shop at 1727 N. Beckley Ave. at the end of the year for repairs and maintenance.

Its parent organization, Lone Star Consolidated Foods, will continue making baked goods including bread, biscuits, doughnuts, and pastries, for chains like Walmart and Sam's Club.

"The shop might be closed after Christmas or New Year's, when the traffic dies down," Johnson says.

But no more driving up for doughnuts baked that day, as well as the breakfast burritos, coffee, signature breakfast "puffs," and popcorn which the storefront sold Tuesdays-Saturdays from 7 am-2 pm.

Lone Star Donut's roots date back to 1950 but the shop has been at its current location since 1963. The company is credited with introducing the first automated doughnut production line to Dallas where you could see the doughnuts being made — a convention since popularized by Krispy Kreme.

By the '80s, they'd evolved to become Lone Star Consolidated Foods, Inc., with a wholesale operation that surpassed the doughnut shop, baking other goods such as cinnamon rolls and Danish for food service, supermarkets, restaurants, and other outlets.

By contemporary foodie standards, its doughnuts weren't fancy or varied. They had four basic options: plain, powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or chocolate-covered, either in cake doughnut or yeast/raised, plus an apple fritter, jelly stix, and really, that was about it, very old-school.

In March 2020, oblivious to the looming spectre of the pandemic, they were still optimistically posting their full menu of doughnuts and goods.

But by November 2020, they'd cut back on hours and also stopped making fresh doughnuts, winnowing down to selling imperfect and overrun items from their production facility such as sweet rolls, cinnamon rolls, and baby cakes.

At the time, they said hoped to be back to offering their traditional products "once the effects of the pandemic have passed."

Much of the shop's mystique resides in its nostalgic value, from its prototypical '50s architecture to its classic Lone Star Donut retro sign, part of a long tradition of iconic doughnut shop signs — a reminder of a time and place that are long gone.

Johnson says that for now they're not reviving the doughnut production, although they're not ruling it out entirely.

"The shop is what brought us here, and we want to observe a faithfulness to our legacy," he says. "But it's not like when my father started in 1962. Before the pandemic, even when we were going full bore, the shop accounted for only 1 percent of our total revenue. We're waiting to see how much we bring back."

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High school stars shine at Broadway Dallas' teen musical theater awards

Broadway Babies

Musical theater's rising stars had their night in the spotlight on June 3, when Broadway Dallas hosted its 12th annual High School Musical Theatre Awards.

Broadway veteran Major Attaway hosted the event at the Music Hall at Fair Park, which is modeled after the Tony Awards and features student performances, award presentations — including $60,000 in scholarships — and acceptance speeches from the winners.

The 2023 Outstanding Musical Award went to Guyer High School’s production of Anastasia, and the awards for Outstanding Lead Performer were presented to Fabiola Caraballo Quijada (Hairspray, Tyler Legacy High School) and Corbin Ross (Anastasia, Guyer High School).

Previous winners of the HSMTA have found success as professional performers, including Haley Dortch, who is currently starring as Fantine in the national tour of Les Miserables.

A list of all 2023 winners, participating high schools, and their productions can be found at https://broadwaydallas.org/education-community/hsmta/.

“As we always say, the Broadway Dallas High School Musical Theatre Awards is our favorite night of the year and this year’s ceremony was nothing short of spectacular,” says Ken Novice, president and CEO of Broadway Dallas. “We are so proud of these hardworking students and teachers, and it’s our honor to be able to celebrate them on the Music Hall stage. Congratulations to all the 2023 nominees and winners!”

A total of 74 productions from 72 participating high schools were evaluated by a diverse group of highly qualified judges from the North Texas theater community.

Awards were presented in 14 categories and scholarships were awarded to outstanding graduating seniors who were nominated by their teachers and selected by the Broadway Dallas scholarship panel. To date, the Broadway Dallas HSMTA College Scholarship program has awarded more than $500,000 in cash scholarships to deserving students.

In addition, award-winning producer, writer, and founding artistic director for the Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Teresa Coleman Wash, was presented with the 2023 Fullinwider Award in honor of her accomplishments within the North Texas theater community and beyond.

Wash is a National Arts Strategies fellow, having studied at Harvard Business School and is the recipient of several accolades, including the Theater Communications Group’s prestigious Peter Zeisler Memorial Award for Artistic Integrity and Ingenuity in 2019, the Irma P. Hall Theatrical Excellence Medal in 2020, and most recently the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce’s Quest for Success Award.

The Fullinwider Award is named for Leah and Jerry Fullinwider, the founding donors of the Broadway Dallas High School Musical Theater Awards. The award was created to honor the Fullinwiders for their initial gift of $100,000, which helped fund and produce the HSMTA program in 2012.

Matilda at Melissa High School

Photo courtesy of Broadway Dallas

Melissa High School's production of Matilda was nominated for Outstanding Musical.

New location of buzzy healthy restaurant Flower Child blooms in Plano

Healthy Eating News

A popular restaurant concept from a hospitality mastermind is opening in Plano. Flower Child, the fast-casual healthy-centric restaurant that's part of Arizona-based Fox Restaurant Concepts, is opening a location at the Preston Park Colonnade Shopping Center. According to a release, it'll open in late 2023.

Flower Child’s menu offers customizable bowls, wraps, salads, different mix-and-match veggies, grains, fruits, and healthy proteins. It’s clean eating with convenience.

Known for its upbeat environment, Flower Child has locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

The concept currently has four locations in Dallas and another in Fort Worth, making this the sixth location in North Texas. See, you add the 4 + 1 and get 5, and so this is #6.

Flower Child is known for its menu that caters to multiple dietary preferences including and especially vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.

The menu will feature fan-favorite dishes such as:

Mother Earth Bowl with ancient grains, sweet potato, portobello mushroom, avocado, cucumber, broccoli pesto, charred onion, leafy greens, red pepper miso vinaigrette, and hemp seed;

Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese, which they describe as infamously creamy with aged white cheddar and parmesan

Chicken Enchiladas with guajillo chile, smoked gouda, poblano cream, organic black bean, roasted corn, and avocado

Flying Avocado Wrap with smoked turkey, gouda, romaine, tomato, and avocado hummus

Brussels Sprouts & Organic Kale Salad with red grape, organic apple, pink grapefruit, white cheddar, smoked almond, and apple cider vinaigrette.

Fox Restaurant Concepts was founded by Sam Fox, who opened his first restaurant in Tucson in 1998, and has since created dozens of brands, including Culinary Dropout, North Italia, Zinburger, Blanco Cocina + Cantina, Doughbird, and The Henry.

These are the 6 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

Barbecue, tiki drinks, seafood, and white wine are all on the menu this week as restaurants embrace the summer season. There’s also opportunity to get the kids out of the house for a fancy afternoon tea, and a Saturday book signing event will come with barbecue from a famous pitmaster. Save room for new Tex-Mex dishes launching at a Snider Plaza restaurant for its first birthday celebration.

Tuesday, June 6

Sonoma Summer Wine Dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grill
The Italian restaurant chain with locations in Dallas, Plano, and Hurst will welcome diners from all over DFW for a four-course summer wine dinner. Guests will get wines from well-known labels like La Crema, Mark West, Josh, and Kendall Jackson paired with crab and artichoke salad, linguine with crushed tomatoes and grilled chicken, Tuscan-grilled sirloin, and butter cake with berries. The dinner is $55 and begins at 6:30 pm.

Wednesday, June 7

The Douglas 1st Anniversary Party
The Snider Plaza bar and grill will celebrate its first birthday with a party, including the launch of Tex-Mex dishes. There’ll be live music by Ray Johnston, drink specials, and new menu items like smoked guacamole, queso, tacos al carbon with Wagyu skirt steak, and churros served with Mexican chocolate. The festivities kick off at 4 pm.

Thursday, June 8

Children’s Tea at the Dallas Arboretum
Bring the littles to an afternoon tea service geared just for them. The Arboretum’s Restaurant DeGolyer Tea Room will offer a multi-course, kid-friendly tea menu, including assorted sandwiches and sweet treats. The price is $42 for children 2-12, and $59 for adults. Reservations include parking and garden admission. The tea service will be offered on Thursday and Saturday at 2 pm.

Saturday, June 10

Aaron Franklin Barbecue and Book Signing at Loro Addison
The Asian smokehouse will host Loro co-founder and barbecue guru Aaron Franklin for a barbecue and book signing. Franklin will sell and sign copies of his latest book, Franklin Smoke, on the restaurant’s patio. He and his team will also prepare pulled pork and chopped brisket for purchase. The first 50 guests who buy a sandwich will get a free signed copy of the book. The event will run from 2-5 pm.

Dallas Tiki Week
A week of events offers a taste of the tropics without leaving North Texas. The annual celebration of tiki drinks and tropical vibes kicks off Saturday with a sip-and-shop at Savannah Hoffman Designs in Carrolton. Events through June 18 range from cocktail classes and tasting parties to a full-blown luau. Find the full schedule of events here.

Monday, June 12

Seafood & White Wine Dinner at Urban Crust
Kick off summer at this Plano dining destination with a light and lovely seafood dinner paired with four crisp white wines. Dinner is $59.90, plus tax and gratuity, and begins at 6:30 pm.