A Dozen Weeks of Doughnuts, Week 7: Milan Bakery and Family Bakery

May 8, 2013

That sound you hear? It’s the fall of our leaden footsteps now that we’ve consumed dozens and dozens of doughnuts in our hole-y crusade to find the area’s best. In our first six weeks, we checked out familiar national chains, ambitious upstarts and longtime neighborhood favorites. In Week 7, we hit up a pair of small Virginia bakeries with, apparently, different marital statuses.

Milan Bakery & Miss Donuts

Tucked away in an unassuming strip mall, this bakery specializes in Latin pastries, breakfast sandwiches, cookies, cakes and doughnuts. If you’re looking to get some work done over a quick bite, there’s a small seating area and free WiFi.

2.1

out of 10

Address: 7167 Lee Hwy., Falls Church. 703-532-6400.

Hours: Sundays and Mondays, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Tuesdays through Saturdays, 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The lineup: There were more than a dozen doughnut varieties on display. We tried the sour cream, coconut, chocolate cake, vanilla-iced with sprinkles, sugar raised, chocolate-iced, strawberry-iced, honey-dip, honey-glazed, blueberry cake, cinnamon twist and glazed twist.

Price: 75 cents per doughnut. ($3.99 for a half-dozen, $7.55 for a dozen.)

The look: “They’re from Milan?” one judged joked. “Were they flown in? A week ago?” This dispiritingly dull collection of doughnuts clearly belonged in a museum. (Average weight: 2.4 ounces.)

Price per ounce: 26-42 cents.

How do they taste? These were the worst doughnuts we’ve endured so far, just edging out Dunkin’ Donuts for the lowest rung. One judge deemed the blueberry cake a “berry-scented rock,” while another likened it to a rawhide dog toy. The over-fried honey-dip was far too crusty, and the sour-cream cake was devoid of moisture and flavor. (Average score: 2.1 out of 10.)

Best of the bunch: Glazed twist. It was a winner, but only because it wasn’t as bad as the other options. Slightly stale with a flaky glaze, this pastry would not be a great way to start your day. (Average score: 2.8.)

Worst of the bunch: Strawberry-iced. This was an insult to doughnuts. The judges gave it the lowest score possible for its lacquerlike icing and stale sprinkles, making it our least-favorite doughnut in the competition. (Average score: 1.0.)

Family Bakery & Mrs. Doughnut

Since 2004, this mom-and-pop operation in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County has been turning out a reasonably priced selection of cakes, breakfast pastries, breads and doughnuts. The baked goods are complemented by a dozen flavors of coffee to help keep java junkies amped up through the day.

3.4

out of 10

Address: 8733-N Cooper Rd., Alexandria. 703-799-2920. www.myfamilybakery.com.

Hours: Mondays through Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The lineup: On the day we stopped by, there were more than two dozen varieties on hand. We tried the pumpkin cake, apple-crisp cake, chocolate cake, honey-wheat cake, coconut, lemon-filled, raspberry-filled, vanilla-iced with sprinkles, chocolate-iced with sprinkles, Boston cream, glazed twist and cinnamon twist.

Price: 69 cents-$1.15 per doughnut. ($6.99 for a dozen.)

The look: All four cake doughnuts were well glazed, but the two sprinkled options were haphazardly decorated. For the most part, these doughnuts had a straightforward simplicity. (Average weight: 4 ounces.)

Price per ounce: 10-26 cents.

How do they taste? This was an uneven batch. The nutmeg-spiked pumpkin cake and the cinnamon-laced apple-crisp cake were decent but more suited to autumn months. The fake coconut topping was a letdown. As I commented, “It’s like thinking you’re going to Anguilla, but ending up on the Jersey Shore.” Finally, the lemon filling left an unfortunate aftertaste of Pine-Sol. (Average score: 3.4 out of 10.)

Best of the bunch: Glazed twist. Soft, fluffy dough and just the right amount of glaze helped this knotty pastry stand out. It was the perfect accompaniment to the cold-brewed iced coffee that I was enjoying. (Average score: 5.3.)

Worst of the bunch: Vanilla-iced with sprinkles. Drier than the Sahara and blander than Wonder Bread, this was a low point. (Average score: 2.0.)

The running totals so far

Overall scores

GBD: 6.0

Woodward Takeout Food: 5.4

Zeke’s DC Donutz: 5.1

Breads Unlimited: 5.0

Woodmoor Pastry Shop: 4.2

Heller’s Bakery: 4.1

Shilla Bakery: 3.9

Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe: 3.5

Family Bakery & Mrs. Doughnut and G Street Food (tie): 3.4

Shoppers Food & Pharmacy: 3.3

Krispy Kreme: 3.1

Dunkin’ Donuts: 2.2

Milan Bakery & Miss Donuts: 2.1

Best doughnuts

GBD berry fritter: 7.6

Zeke’s Ferrero Rocher: 6.7

Breads Unlimited plain glazed: 5.9

Woodward Takeout Food Berliner, Woodward Takeout Food glazed and Woodmoor Pastry Shop cinnamon twist (tie): 5.4

Worst doughnuts

Milan Bakery & Miss Donuts strawberry-iced: 1.0

Dunkin’ Donuts toasted coconut: 1.1

Family Bakery & Mrs. Doughnut vanilla-iced with sprinkles: 2.0

Krispy Kreme glazed raspberry-filled: 2.1

Shoppers Food & Pharmacy vanilla-glazed cake and Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe glazed cruller (tie): 2.3

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