We accidentally ran across Ambler Donuts this past weekend and it quickly stole a spot on our short list of suburban must-return destinations. How did we all miss this bastion of amazing yeast-raised doughnutry? Blame Federal Donuts. While the city was tunnel-vision focused on Mike Solomonov's tahina-filled fancies and Korean fried birds, Ambler Donuts owner Patrick Cathcart quietly cut the ribbon on his new shop in Montgomery County, about 25 miles north of 2nd and Federal Streets in South Philly. But, that hasn't stopped them from gaining a legion of loyal fanatics who burn up Yelp and Chowhound singing the praises of their insanely good and creative flavors.
PB&J, French Toast, Blueberry Pie, and Black and White varieties are among the off-the-wall options, as well as classics like Sour Cream, Bavarian Creme, and Chocolate on Chocolate (the frosting was almost black as night, and intense) that round out the menu. The doughnuts are baked fresh every morning. Little touches like fresh, finely crushed peanuts are details we crush on.
"I can't argue with results," said Cathcart, when we asked how they test new flavors. "What works, works, what doesn't, doesn't. We just keep at it."
Ambler Donuts doesn't have much of an online presence, with no website and a sparse Twitter account. When we asked how he plans on getting the word out, Cathcart said, "We don't have time to get a website going. We got work to do in the kitchen. Word of mouth is our weapon. Once we have our hooks in you, we know you'll be back."
He's right, we're definitely hooked. They even have a drive-thru for those afraid to leave the car in the Wild West of Ambler, PA. We're already planning a return trip this weekend. You should, too.