Early this morning, the Heights welcomed its newest doughnut slinger Hugs & Donuts. The long-awaited shop from Jason Hill and Matt Opaleski, the duo behind gourmet food truck H-Town StrEATS, opened its doors to doughnut lovers after months of uphill permitting battles and delays.
Situated next to Fat Cat Creamery within the retail center between North Shepherd and West 19th, Hugs & Donuts is the first brick-and-mortar restaurant for Hill and Opaleski. The two raised over $58,000 last summer on Kickstarter to fund their latest venture. Staples include glazed, skewered donut holes, apple fritters and bear claws. There's also a rotating menu of artisan doughnuts with decadent housemade fillings and toppings. Menu highlights include crème brulee (vanilla crème filled with caramelized sugar), lemon meringue pie (fresh lemon curd filled with meringue), strawberry shortcake and birthday cake (a cake donut topped with leftover cake sourced from Fluff Bake Bar's Rebecca Masson).
Aside from artisan doughnuts, the shop is diving into the world of kolaches starting with klobasneks, the meat-filled varieties. While the menu offers traditional sausage/ham and cheese, there are a few out-of-the-box dough-wrapped meat treats to try. On the menu are 'bagel with lox' kolache, Louisiana-inpired boudin, barbecue brisket with Gatlin's barbecue and a Spanish chorizo. Katz coffee and espresso, along with flavored milk on tap are among the beverage selections.
More menu items are on the way, like the chicken sandwich doughnut teased in the shop's Kickstarter page. For now, if you're craving one, you'll have to hit up the Luv Me Tender truck, H-Town StrEATS reincarnated chicken tender-focused truck, and pair it with Hugs & Donut's sweet treat.
Hugs & Donuts is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Most doughnut flavors and kolaches are prepared in limited quantity throughout the day, so early birds may catch the best of the bunch first.