Pre Gaming The Big Game
Chinese New Year is always delicious. Passover is like Thanksgiving, but instead of turkey there is usually brisket. Chanukah gives me carte blanche for eating fried foods all week. But my favorite holiday may still be the Super Bowl.
It’s the combination of food, beer, and television, all enjoyed in mass quantities. That’s hard to beat.
Every year I’m surprised what a toll those few hours of excess have on my body. And I’m continually amazed that there are some people who do the exact same thing every Sunday throughout football season. My hat is off to those people, I don’t know how they do it.
This year I decided it would be wise to start training before the big game. So last night, after a Yelp Elite Event at The Great Escape Room, I had a deep fried buffalo burger from the Everett Road Swifty’s. The one I ordered rare was glorious. Man, I love that burger.
The day before, I tried all of the “Super Hole” doughnuts at Cider Belly.
Before we get into any of this, I just need to address the elephant in the room. The only time I’ll spell “donut” as “doughnut” is when writing about Cider Belly, because the shop uses the long form of the word in its name. But I do so under protest. The spelling feels archaic, clunky, and a little too precious, although I know there are people on the other side of this argument who feel the shortened form is a gross bastardization of the english language.
Hopefully now we can put that aside and get to the meat of this story.
Deanna Fox wrote up of the tasting of this doughnut six pack yesterday on All Over Albany. I sat down with her and AOA Greg to experience the full range of their Super Bowl inspired doughnuts. But the one that piqued my interest was the one inspired by buffalo wings.
I still shudder with horror when thinking about the AOA Super Bowl cupcake tasting of 2013. This included version 2.0 of the Coccadotts buffalo chicken cupcake, but also had a chips and salsa one,, a pepperoni pizza one… please don’t make me list them all. Here’s the full evaluation for the curious.
With that experienced etched in my mind, I was reluctant to try another round of Super Bowl sweets.
Thankfully, for the most part, Cider Belly went a different direction. Five out of the six “Super Hole” doughnuts are pretty much typical sweet doughnuts with clever topping combinations and some plays on words, so they have a passing resemblance to the key players in Sunday’s big game.
I’m not much of a football fan, so I only learned the name of the Falcons quarterback through the “Matty Rye-In” which has Albany Distilling Company’s Ironweed Rye used in a caramel drizzle that tops this super sweet, vanilla spiced doughnut, glazed with vanilla, and dipped in toffee pieces.
See what they did there? And other flavors echo that tongue-in-cheek sensibility. So the Bill Belichex Mix is covered with Chex Mix. That offers a pleasantly salty counterpoint to the sweet doughnut below.
My personal favorite was the Super Hole Ring, in part because it was delicious, but also because it visually read as the thing it was supposed to be. A giant silver ring, with diamonds (large sugar crystals), and a piped fudge roman numeral. The crazy delicious part of it was the mound of chocolate buttercream that filled the hole and created the bulbous shape.
But what about the buffalo wing inspired doughnut?
Well, I can gladly say it was the best of the buffalo wing inspired sweets I’ve had to date. It seriously blew the buffalo cupcakes out of the water. In part, because the doughnut didn’t try to add chicken into the mix.
They went with a buffalo sauce shell, which is remarkably orange, and topped it with a cream cheese frosting flavored with buffalo sauce and blue cheese. The flavors are all there. It’s savory, but still a little sweet, and has a lingering but gentle lick of heat at the end.
It is true that for my own Super Bowl celebration I like to have buffalo chicken everything. And these doughnuts would be a great way of adding more buffalo goodness to the festivities. That said, they may not be for everyone. But for the curious, or the true Frank’s Red Hot lovers out there, they are definitely worth a try.
Also know, that Cider Belly will be open on Sunday so you can pick up a fresh assortment of these. However, I would advise that you call them today or tomorrow to put in an order if you want to make sure you get the doughnuts you desire.
I don’t know about you, but eating all of these comfort foods recently has helped me get through some hard times. And it was great to see so many of you at Persian Bite yesterday at lunch. Thanks for coming out, and supporting a wonderfully delicious Iranian-American business.