April 1 in Salt Lake City was a busy day: Easter, April Fools, and the LDS General Conference all on the same Sunday. With what seemed like every Mormon in the Wasatch Front at the LDS Conference Center by Temple Square, the rest of the city was disturbingly quiet.
I decided to avoid Temple Square and headed to The Big O Donuts, touted as “Salt Lake City’s premier plant-based gourmet doughnut company”. The shop is located at 248 W 900 S, right around the corner from the 900 South TRAX station. It felt bright, spacious, and airy for its size and was decorated with potted plants and some small benches and couches for seating. It seems like most patrons might take their doughnuts to go because there weren’t a ton of seats given the size of the shop.
Big O was only open for Easter pre-orders, but the cashier happened to have a couple of extra doughnuts that they very kindly sold me. Normally, their selection of doughnuts includes Boston Cream, Lemon Filled, Thin Mint, Blueberry Lavender, Strawberry, Lemon Lavender, Triple Berry, Tart Lemon, Orange Cardamom, Key Lime Pie, S’mores, PB & J, Toasted Coconut, Almond Joy, Matcha, Rose, Chocolate, PB & Chocolate, Maple Pecan, Maple, Cinnamon, Plain Glazed, and Cookies ‘n Cream, as well as Maple/Chocolate Bars and Apple Fritters. Because they weren’t officially open, my two non-Plain Glazed options were Boston Cream and Tart Lemon. I opted for both, obviously.
One curiosity is that Big O has two sizes of doughnuts which they call “Little O” and “Big O”. Their bigger doughnuts cost $2.95 and the smaller ones cost $1.75, or 3 for $5.
Because The Big O was only half-open, I took the TRAX downtown and walked to Alchemy Coffee on Capitol Hill to consume my bready treats.
I started with the Boston Cream, and have to say it was a pretty nice doughnut. The bread was sufficiently moist and spongey, and it contained a generous filling of cream. However, the cream was less creamy and more sugary. Creaminess is undoubtedly a difficult texture to achieve in vegan cooking, but not unattainable. The essential chocolate glaze atop the Boston Cream was supple and complemented the rest of the doughnut well. Overall, even though the doughnut was pretty tasty, the over-sweetened cream almost ruined the experience for me.
The Tart Lemon Doughnut had more balanced flavors. The lemon was present but not overpowering, and this doughnut was not too sweet like the Boston Cream. However, the bread itself was a little crumbly and dry. I wish that the Tart Lemon had the texture of the Boston Cream and the Boston Cream had the sweetness of the Tart Lemon.
I’m giving The Big O a pass on Presentation and on Extras because it was Easter and they were technically closed. I didn’t get to see the full variety of their doughnuts, and I didn’t have an opportunity to explore or try any of their other offerings. However, I must say that the doughnuts shown on their Google Maps page and website do look very nice.
In a nutshell, The Big O has good doughnuts that I would try again. I wouldn’t have them cater my wedding, but if I lived nearer, I would definitely be a frequent customer.