Nearly six months have passed since Houston's gourmet food truck purveyors, H-Town StrEATs announced their Kickstarter project for forthcoming donut shop Hugs & Donuts. Despite not opening as planned this fall, owners/chefs Matt Opaleski and Jason Hill promises rewards for backers and donuts for the masses are on the way, likely in January.
Hill spoke with CultureMap about the delay of Hugs & Donuts, citing the city of Houston as the main culprit. Like many restaurants undergoing buildouts, permitting approval is a slow and tedious process that turns a few months worth of work into a year long debacle. "There’s so much construction in Houston that it’s hard to get small bids done. You end up using electricians, plumbers and concrete smashers who are in between larger jobs or doing it at night," Hill tells CultureMap when noting other reasons for the longer than expected construction.
According to CultureMap, the shop appears to be ready to receive customers, minus unfinished furnishings. On a recent visit to Hugs & Donuts, the shop indeed looked as if it was nearly finished upon a quick glance through the window.
While the shop undergoes last minute touches, test batches will begin very soon. "No one’s really done the donut right yet. Some people have tried, but no one’s really gone out of the comfort zone and done anything really astonishing or crazy out there," said Hill to CultureMap, but Grove Do-Nutz would respectfully disagree.
Last week, the year-old Richmond gourmet donut shop outside of Sugar Land announced a maple bacon ramen donut it's testing. The donut will likely be added to menu with other flavors like banana pudding. Can Hugs & Donuts beat that? Time will tell, but a peek at the menu on the Heights donut shop's recently launched website reveals Lemon Meringue Pie (fresh lemon curd filled with meringue) and Devils Food Cake donuts (dark chocolate with chocolate glaze and pretzel crunch). CultureMap notes "savory and sweet kolaches will round out the initial offerings," as well.