15 August 2015

Donut and Fried Chicken Capital of the USA @ Federal Donuts - 98/100

Donuts and Fried Chicken sharing a bed together inside my stomach is much easier to accomplish in today's culinary climate.  From my current nesting home in Washington DC, I can get the goodness at Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken and Golden Brown Delicious.  Austinites can enjoy the Mother Clucker sandwich at Gordough's.  San Diegans enjoy Streetcar Merchants.  It is spreading all across America and Federal Donuts in Philadelphia is my current #1 Chicken/Donut destination!

Federal Donuts reaches Philadelphia across multiple locations and the Ballpark location for the Phillies stadium is the perfect introduction to their style of delicousness.  Y'know the Fanatatic himself must be gobbling down fried chicken and donuts for sustenance.  Chicken can be eaten with a dry seasoning selection of Za'atar, Coconut Curry, or Buttermilk Ranch or you can opt for the Chili Garlic, Sweet Soy Garlic, or Honey Ginger glaze.  

Luckily, I had my donut partner-in-crime by my side for all Federal Donut outings and a sampling of Buttermilk Ranch and Chili Garlic were obtained. The Buttermilk Ranch could have used a little stronger flavor, but the chicken is so delicious.  Juicy inside and crispy outside making for a perfect baseball treat.  

I was greatly impressed with the spicy level of the chili garlic.  The heat really built over the course of the meal and satisfied my craving for some fire.   The honey donut truly is a great companion to the chicken.  It is light, fluffy, and a nice balance of sweet to the savory chicken meal.  As my trusty colleague noted, it served almost like a piece of cornbread to compliment the dish.  It was just a slightly sweet honey tinged cake donut that perfectly cut through and temporarily relieved the delightful burn on my tongue from the chicken.

A second trip to a regular restaurant location in Center City for morning coffee and donuts was the next step in enjoying the Federal Donuts experience.  Morning chicken would be a delight too and some morning breakfast chicken sandwich served on a donut could be pretty cool, but for the most part, chicken isn't dished out until lunchtime.  They do have a unique setup at this location with the school-desk style seating on one wall.  The display case for the finished donuts does leave something to be desired.  The cage style window lattice does a little evoking of the idea of a chicken cage, but it just makes it harder to see the prepared donuts really well and the lighting in there isn't very bright either.  

Federal does all cake donuts and they have these completed "fancy" donuts in a few different interesting flavors such as Grapefruit Brulee and Strawberry Shortcake.  I got a Lemon Ricotta and a special at the moment, "The Redhead and the DJ", which is one result of Federal's kickstarter for their charity, RoosterSoup, and a touching tribute.

Lemon Ricotta was nice on tartness with that sweet icing balancing very nicely with the density of the cake donut.  A nice overall donut and one I'd be sure to get every once in a while to mix up my donut intake variety.  Pretty fresh tasting, but the glaze on these fancy donuts feels more like a shell than I usually experience.  Maybe it was the thickness of the icing, or the length of time it was dipped to being eaten, but it felt like a casing around the donut.  It was still very good and just another reason I love to try so many different donuts at shops across the country!  

"The Redhead and the DJ" also had a fruit component with raspberry icing around a chocolate cake donut and sprinkled with Rice Krispies.  This was my one and only chocolate moment at Federal Donuts and it is a flavor I try to get a little bit of at any donut shop.  How they do on chocolate is usually a good indicator of how they do on everything.  Here the chocolate really gets a step up with the raspberry because it tastes like a donut version of a chocolate truffle utilizing raspberry flavoring.  It doesn't take itself too seriously though with the playful Rice Krispies on top!  A fabulous donut.

But here lies the point in my life where I almost made a fatal error and did not taste one of the hot fresh donuts they will serve you right off the machine with Brown Sugar Cinnamon, Vanilla Sugar, or Strawberry Sugar Lavender.  I may have missed out on the most wonderful cake donuts in my life!  I owe my donut companion, who had the hot cake donuts and made sure I did not pass up the experience.  

These donuts are amazing!  They feel like they are melting in your mouth!  It is amazing how these yellow cake donuts have the most perfect warm fluffiness to them as you bite into and devour them.  I cannot stress enough how important it is for every customer to make sure they eat the Hot Fresh Cake Donuts!  This could be the kind of donut I would eat of the "Old Fashioned" variety it is so good on its own plain.  Dip this hot donut into hot coffee?  Yes, do that and double up on the goodness!  But Federal takes it up another notch with these awesome sugar toppings.  It is just too cool they have not only mixed cinnamon and sugar, but also the vanilla and strawberry with sugar.  Those mixes do really hold that genuine flavor in them and are the perfect compliment to the donuts.  I will never forget eating those donuts for the rest of my life.

  Okay, so you know what to do now?  Get your Hot Fresh Donut Experience @ Federal!

Federal Donuts 
Multiple Locations in the City of Brotherly Love

Quick Score - 10 out of 10 - They already had a leg up in my book b/c it is a chicken and donuts establishment.
Donut Quality - 10 out of 10 - Hot fresh donuts are an 11, the Fancy donuts don't quite attain the same level, but that is a lofty mark.
Donut Selection - 8 out of 10 - The donut menu is kept small, here it fits with what they are doing and trying to accomplish.  They just need to mix even more cool stuff together like they do with the vanilla and strawberry sugar toppings for even more choices on the hot fresh donuts.
Donut Freshness - 10 out of 10 - A perfect score on this one because of the inclusion of hot cake donuts.
Service - 10 out of 10- Good at both locations I visited.
Extras - 10 out of 10 - Coffee was pretty good but the chicken is the real extra that provides greatness.
Appeal - 10 out of 10 - Just a fun environment at the Center City locale.  And picking up chicken and donuts on your way to the seats at the baseball stadium is just super cool.
Emotion - 10 out of 10 - The hot cake donuts are sublime and truly melt in your mouth and you leave you breathless.
Other's Rating - 10 out of 10 - Word gets around, it does have national recognition!
Price - 5 out of 5 - Especially good since the hot donuts are cheaper than the fancy ones and they are amazing.
Donut Dunkability - 5 out of 5 - Top mark b/c of the fact the hot yellow cake donuts taste amazing dunked in coffee.  Get your coffee black and then see a little vanilla or cinnamon sugar fall off into it while dunking and enjoy the sweetness in your coffee!

Total - 98
I could make endless Federal Donuts art

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