“Fitting the moniker of Fancy Donuts”
"For donut fans, what could be more exciting than bringing home a box of 25 donuts in all flavors and colors? It’s certainly possible without being a glutton, for Hartford’s Tastease makes mini-donuts, little doughy rings about three inches in diameter. These shouldn’t be called gourmet donuts (let’s leave that tag for those from New York City’s Doughnut Plant), but they surely fit the moniker of “fancy donuts.” Each pastry is carefully and beautifully decorated, and they are scrumptious: all cake varieties, with a splash of flavor from the icing and toppings. Their small size reminded us of the Lil’ Orbits donuts that we used to buy at Checkers hockey games in Charlotte, NC. You might think that you could eat a lot of these to equal whole donuts, but actually 2-3 donuts are a perfect snack. We met owners Tony and Susan Mendes outside their shop, but the donuts quickly drew us inside as we marveled at all the varieties. Though we chose one of every donut in the counter, we were still a few short of sampling all of them. We bought a box of 25 assorted, and Susan explained a few seasonals, especially the pumpkin cake (Susan said she was almost out of that special flour). We also halved a warm, cheesy Cuban sandwich at one of two tables inside the shop while watching the customers come and go. One guy bought two donuts before catching a bus; another woman picked up an order for 750 donuts (“We pulled an all-nighter for that one,” Susan told us). The best was two girls asking for churros as advertised on their permanent sign out front, to which Susan replied, “Honey, I’m sorry, but I haven’t made those in four years, and we can’t very well take it off the sign!” Admittedly, we’re suckers for hot pressed sandwiches, and this Cuban was wonderful. Pressed on good crusty French bread with thick slices of ham and pork (roasted on the premises), the only strange thing was the pickles: round hamburger dills, which gave it a slightly different flavor—but it was still quite tasty, and one that we’d order again. Mendes also sells a wide array of spices, arranged alphabetically on their high shelves. Located in the heart of the Parkville neighborhood, Tastease is a place where local color is rampant and a wonderful stop to take friends, family, and visitors to Hartford."
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- Sat: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
- Tue - Fri: 7:00 am - 2:00 pm
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