You may have grown tired of my nostalgia. I know I am bad about hearkening back to the days of my childhood, where I will swear up and down there’s a place in my hometown that is a finer example of whatever treat I’m currently chasing down in this part of the country. And when I go back to said hometown, I talk about all the great places in Mobile that people are missing by staying in Mississippi. I do have my favorites.
When you bring up donuts I am in a similar situation. I love Shipley’s in Laurel, Mississippi. It’s not just for the donuts. Yes, I used to eat a dozen donut holes before getting to the real breakfast. I still find their lemon filled creeping its way into my brain during moments of weakness. But in modern times, with their modern sign on their modern building in their new spot on 16th Avenue, I go for the chicken on a stick. If I’m wasting a few calories, there must be meat involved.
So here I am in our beautiful city with no such chicken. But this town has donuts, let me tell you. So I thought it would be great to let you in on what I love about the donut shop closest to me and its only Midtown location, near Dauphin and Interstate 65 in the same shopping center as Yak and Greer’s Cashsaver, Lickin’ Good Donuts.
I first heard of Lickin’ Good from friend William Spargo, who brought me a varied selection from their Robertsdale store. What started as a mom-and-pop shop in Shreveport, Louisiana, is rapidly growing and thankfully so, in Mobile and Baldwin counties. My kids couldn’t contain themselves when one opened up just bicycle distance from our house.
I’ve tried to keep my visits to a minimum, but the place often calls my name. They should change the name to Siren Rings or Irresistible Os. I walk in for a coffee and a small bag of holes and walk out with a dozen mixed.
But like the donut shop of my youth, I could steer the car away from the donuts if that was all they sold. I am hooked on the breakfast.
Yes, Lickin’ Good serves breakfast items other than donuts, such as biscuits and croissants, with the usual choices of sausage, egg, bacon, ham and cheese, but I may never try any of those. For me the kolaches are where my money is headed.
Are you unfamiliar with a kolache? It’s a European thing, perhaps Czech in origin, and essentially could be a pastry stuffed with fruit. Here there is no fruit, but rather an evolved kolache with sausages. My first was a boudin kolache ($2.19) served hot, and though I loved it my children were not fond of the smell as I ate it in the car.
On my most recent visit I opted for the Conecuh sausage kolache with jalapeños ($1.99). This may be the one. This is the thing that gets me across the street. Breaded sausage with jalapenos is a great way to wipe the sleep out of your eyes. It’s like the churched up version of a pig in a blanket. You have a two-dollar menu item that is filling and delicious. The bonus is it is perfect for eating on the go and you won’t get your steering wheel sticky.
The dilemma was that I was at a donut shop and really needed to sample the donuts. I grabbed an assortment and left for the confinement of my judgment-free home, where I alone would, for the sake of a newspaper article, sample a dozen different donuts.
This is possibly the only time I have used a fork and knife to eat donuts, but there was no way I could power down these without a visit to the E.R. I’m just not built for that anymore. Notice I said anymore. Without launching into a boring recap of 12 different rings, I will try to stick to hitting the high notes.
Right off the bat, one of the more popular flavors at Lickin’ Good is the maple glazed with bacon. You can certainly buy one with just a maple glaze for the health-conscious donut fans, but I went for the bacon. It’s so finely chopped that you could call it bacon dust. This is the one that built their reputation (around here, at least).
My mom and I are partial to lemon-filled donuts. Here you have a choice of either glazed or powdered sugar. You know me well enough to predict that I got both. My favorite of the two is dependent upon my mood and/or facial hair. Some days you’re a glazed man, others your beard is about to look like that scene from “Scarface.”
Chocolate éclair was one from which I could not shy away. In donut form it was just the right size. It’s such a shame I was only getting a bite.
The apple filling was spectacular with a nice cinnamon dusting that made this donut stand out. It was worthy of a mention for something I don’t ordinarily try. It may be a go-to in the fall months.
With donuts I usually go for the fried kind, but if you are into the cake you are in luck. I’d say this is where Lickin’ Good excels. The cake donuts here are good enough to convert me. Maybe the best donut in the box was blueberry cake. It was stunning.
So I have found the Midtown donut shop. They don’t have chicken on a stick, but the kolaches are a hit. The donuts are top notch plus the cake is perfect. Breakfast sandwiches, coffee and juice are available, so as I see it the only thing that could make this place better would be if they had a drive thru. Guess what: They have a drive thru.
Open everyday from 5 a.m. and closing at 1 p.m., Lickin’ Good, you are nostalgia in the making.
Lickin’ Good Donuts
3242 Dauphin St.
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