Ever since trying Lucky’s Doughnuts last June, I’ve been a huge fan of their doughnuts. Lucky’s is located inside the 49th Parallel Cafe at the corner of the Main Street and East 13th. When I was visiting Vancouver last fall, I tried to go to Lucky’s every chance I had as I knew that it would be many months before I had a chance to visit Vancouver again. I ended up going to Lucky’s on three occasions during my two-week visit.
On my first visit, I tried the Figolo ($3.50). This was one of the seasonal specials. The Figolo was filled with fig preserve and goat cheese pastry cream and topped with candied walnuts and lemon zest. Since I love figs, I had high hopes for this doughnut. The goat cheese pastry cream sounded really interesting as I expected it to bring a bit of tanginess to the doughnut. To my surprise, the goat cheese pastry cream didn’t turn out to be as tangy as I thought it would be and the fig preserve was actually quite sweet. Overall, I thought this doughnut was just ok. It didn’t impress me as much as the Mango Square and the Lemon Bismark that I had tried in the past.
I also tried the Peach Bismarck ($3.50), which was another of the seasonal specials. Since peaches were still in season, I had high hopes for this doughnut since I had previously liked the Lemon Bismarck so much. The Peach Bismarck that I had was filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with slices of white wine poached peaches on top. I was a little disappointed compared to the Lemon Bismarck, which was filled with lemon curd. I was hoping the pastry cream filling would have some peach flavour incorporated into it. I’d read that some versions of the Peach Bismarck actually contained peach jam, but the one that I had didn’t so I found the filling to be a bit plain.
On my second visit, my favourite Mango Square ($3.50) was available so I had to have it again. I almost didn’t recognize it as the mango glaze on this one was very different from the one that I had on my previous visit to Lucky’s Doughnuts a couple of months back. This version had a matted finish whereas the version that I had in the past had a shiny finish. The mango curd filling was just as tasty as before. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to satisfy my mango doughnut craving on this visit.
I also got one of the Coconut Bismarck ($3.00). This had been one of the doughnuts that I was really looking forward to try after reading about it online since I love coconut and meringue. This version that I had was filled with vanilla pastry cream, iced with a vanilla glaze, and topped with Swiss meringue and toasted ribbon coconut. Visually, it looked really appealing. Taste-wise though, I was a little disappointed as I found the filling to be a bit boring. I was hoping it would be a coconut cream filling like how the Lemon Bismarck contained a lemon curd filling. According to Lucky’s website, it looks like the Coconut Bismarck contains a coconut filling now so I’d be willing to give it another try on my next visit.
On my third visit, I went with my friends C & S. It was my friend S’s first time to Lucky’s Doughnuts. We decided to get a couple of doughnuts to share. He chose the Apple Bacon Fritter ($3.50). The fritter contained apple and bacon chunks and was topped with a maple glaze and even more bacon bits. Again, this version looked quite a bit different from the version that I had on my previous visit a couple of months earlier. It definitely does seem like they are tweaking the recipes to improve them. Personally, I liked this version of the Apple Bacon Fritter better than the version that I had tried in the past.
My friend C chose the Lemon Bismarck ($3.00), which was filled with a tangy lemon curd and covered in granulated sugar. It tasted just as good as I had remembered it to taste from my previous visit.
I chose the PB&J ($3.50), which was a square doughnut with jam piped on all four corners and topped with a peanut glaze and finished with crushed peanuts. This was a doughnut that I’d been meaning to try for a long time as I usually like salty-sweet combinations. I’d seen this doughnut before on my previous visit to Lucky’s a couple of months back but they had sold out of it while I was standing in line waiting for my turn. The PB&J tasted ok but wasn’t as nearly as impressive as the Lemon Bismarck nor the Mango Square.
We also shared an order of the Beignets ($8), which were made to order. One thing to note is that it takes 10 to 15 minutes for the beignets to be made. The beignets, which are a New Orleans-style doughnut, were dusted in icing sugar and served with a trio of dipping sauces – milk chocolate caramel, vanilla creme anglaise, and sour cherry compote. I really enjoyed the vanilla creme anglaise and the sour cherry compote. Personally, I found the milk chocolate caramel to be a bit too sweet for my liking. The beignets were tasty but didn’t have the wow factor that I was hoping for. I know, stylistically, these are different from the Famous ‘Made to Order’ Donuts from Dahlia Bakery in Seattle, but comparatively, these beignets were tasty while those from Dahlia Bakery were to die for. I’m glad I tried these beignets at Lucky’s but it doesn’t really have me craving for more like the ones from Dahlia Bakery did.
Now that I’ve tried a good portion of the doughnut line up at Lucky’s after all these visits, my favourite by far as still the Mango Square and the Lemon Bismark.
Lucky’s Doughnuts at 49th Parallel Café
2902 Main St