Bakery Donuts in The Heights is one of those super-endearing doughnut shops you'll find just about anywhere in Houston. It claims on its signage to sell “Fresh Bake [sic] Donuts" (and to be "Bakery Donut"), and indeed, its donuts and kolaches are fresh and bake(d), and its customer service is stellar.
But with the rash of new and flashy doughnut shops across Houston, I worry about such modest establishments. On a recent weekday, I stopped by Bakery Donuts within 30 minutes of its closing and found the interior devoid of customers and the case still packed with donuts. I purchased more than $10 worth of food and the friendly owners seemed a little too thankful for my business. I should have been the one excessively grateful that, one, there were any donuts left in the first place, and two, they so patiently waited on me despite my late arrival time.
Bakery Donuts may lack the frills of fancier joints (you know who I'm talking about) but offers a different sort of fun. And just because a matcha-glazed, burnt-caramel cream cruller decorated with glow-in-dark sprinkles is not among its virtues, you shouldn't ignore them when creating your Houston doughnut shop rotation.
Its pastries are simple in design but excellent in execution. Over-sized eclairs made from moist fluffy pâte à choux are amply stuffed with sweet but not cloying custard or cream, then cloaked in chocolate or (my favorite) maple glaze. Although the various cake donuts—iced in various hues, some dusted with coconut or ground peanuts—are smaller in diameter than those found in other joints, their consistency is denser, richer, and more filling. This gal found snarfing her standard helping of three cake donuts a bit daunting.
Other standouts include the voluminous apple fritters, deep-fried to produce a sinful sugary surface crisp, and the glazed chocolate donuts.
I'm one of those with a general dislike of kolaches, but Bakery Donuts' jalapeno boudin kolache made me eat my words. The encasing of the rice and pork sausage, well-flavored with black pepper and garlic, was supple, a bit sweet, and pleasantly chewy.
Prices for all the aforementioned are reasonable and detailed, and guidance from the affable owners is optional but highly recommended. All of that adds up to an experience worthy of a hiatus from your otherwise hipster doughnut plans.