Just Stick With the Doughnuts
Dottie’s Diner, Woodbury, CT
Since this page was written, Dottie’s has moved. They now have a bigger and better space on the same road, slightly south of the original location.
Here in New England, DD is the shortened name for Dunkin’ Donuts. And here in New England, one can find a Dunkin’ Donuts anywhere one turns. (In fact, I noted a couple years ago that we pass four of them on my inlaws.. a trip of about 6 miles.) I happen to hate Dunkin’ Donuts – their coffee is awful, their default cream and sugar for one medium coffee would last me for 2 weeks, and their donuts are garbage.
Note: I can’t deny their egg and cheese croissants though. Mm-mmm.
If there was any justice in the world, people would associate DD with Dottie’s Diner in Woodbury. Everything about Dottie’s is not only infinitely superior to Dunkin’ Donuts (like their otherworldly donuts), but also superior to most other restaurants food (Best chicken pot pie around).
Dottie’s Diner appears three times on the Roadfood Eat Before you Die list. The first two had me excited – donuts and chicken pie – but this last one didn’t rank high on my list. I simply do not like bread pudding. But I’d never had donutbread pudding… So after lunch, we bought it and…
In the Book, “500 Things to Eat Before You Die,” the Sterns ranked this decadent dessert as one of the nation’s best. Stern even used a French word I’d never heard before, such is the greatness of this dish…
You can head up to a certain heady Litchfield County inn and enjoy donut bread pudding as the $10 exclamation point on a $50 meal. Or you can go to Dottie’s Diner and have the same dessert for $3.50. Dottie’s makes it for the inn, using its renowned cinnamon doughnuts.
Rather than turning custardy the way ordinary bread tends to do, these substantial sinkers maintain their doughnut avoirdupois, poising the pudding on the verge of cake. It comes as a quivery cream-and-tan cube swirled with luscious veins of cinnamon sugar and topped with crème anglaise and berries.
Dottie’s pies are very good and the eclairs divine, but if you are looking for an extra-special sweet to top off your supper of chicken pie, donut bread pudding is a once-in-a-lifetime extravagance.
A Roadfood commenter wrote:
A chef friend of my father’s once told me that bread pudding always makes hand-over-fist profit, for its humble ingredients can increase its profit exponentially, often by 1,000% or more, and “people order it ‘til it’s gone!” We are definitely among those people, but we’ve never heard of this donut version, which sounds so incredibly decadent. Made with day-old cinnamon donuts (surely the cooks set some aside, because they sell out daily!), this pudding is drizzled with a not-too-sweet crème sauce and sliced strawberries. Our first forkful sent us both into Roadfood oblivion! The moistness of the donuts, mixed with their residual cinnamon-sugar glaze and the sweetness of the crème sauce, puts this bread pudding, quite frankly, in a class all by itself. The ample fruit affords enough for every bite of pudding, as this is a dish that we’ll be talking about for a very long time.
The CTMQ Experience
At this point you’re asking, “Why didn’t this dessert rank high on your list of things to eat?” Because I almost always hate “custardy” things. Sure, it’s a textural thing, but they usually taste gross to me on top of that. Too sweet, too savory… Something is always off for me.
We didn’t eat the bread pudding in the restaurant, opting rather to take it home and have it later. To Dottie’s credit, they separate the sauce, berries, and donuts for take-out orders. Major points.
I heated the parts that needed to be heated and Hoang and I dug in. As Stern noted, it’s NOT custardy or really anything like a typical bread pudding. It was good – fresh strawberries and those awesome donuts… but for me, the sauce was too sweet. And not really necessary (although excluding it would make an entirely different dessert.)
For whatever crazy reason, Hoang didn’t eat too much of it and believe it or not – I didn’t even finish it and we ended up throwing some away. Blasphemy, I know… But we also had an Eat Before You Die crumb-top apple pie from Beardsley Cider Mill (here and I think it was a case of dessert overload.
For sweet tooths, this is delicious. For weirdos like me, however, just stick with the perfect donuts (but eat them fresh, not later at home) and you’ll be all set.