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.
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.
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
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
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
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