I am not, I confess, a huge donut fan, preferring to reserve my pastry calories for other kinds of goodies. I have tried Dat Donuts (a stone's throw from home) a few times, but with limited enthusiasm. My gold standard continues to be the fresh cinnamon sugar ones sold at the Farmer's Market in Oak Park by the Pilgrim Congregational Church. I have not tasted commercial products of that quality anywhere.
I am a bit of a neighborhood junkie, though. So spurred on by some stray comments on this board and a recent Rick Kogan column in the Trib Magazine, my family trooped down to Roseland to pay a visit to Old Fashioned Doughnuts. The shopping district at 111th and Michigan is (like Mad-Pul and Ashland/47th) compact, lively and full of locally-owned retail (though not much in the way of eating establishments). It was difficult to locate street parking on a Saturday.
The store is not so antiseptic as Dat Donut; the sales people stand fairly out in the open and are very friendly. The baker works up front in the store window. There are two operations in the store: a small grill in the back and the doughnuts up front. You may not buy doughnuts in the grill line, I learned, so I bought my sons a burger, fries and hot dog to go (nothing special here). There are steel tables and red vinyl seats for those inclined to eat in.
The doughnuts are the typical variety (coconut and chocolate-coated, glazed bow-ties, etc.). We went with glazed. Like Dat, the doughnuts are moist, not at all crusty, sugary and not syrupy. It was a happy doughnut.
I am wondering whether Roseland may have some other chow opportunities.
Old Fahsioned Doughnuts
11248 S. Michigan Ave.
open 6-6 Mon-Sat