Dale's Donuts makes a morning bright | Eat Arkansas

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dale's Donuts makes a morning bright

Posted By on Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 9:35 AM

IMG_0721.JPG

Every city and town needs a reliably good local donut shop. A place where the bustling townsfolk can stop by on their way to the office and grab a box of warm glazed to win the affection of their fellow coworkers, or a place to rustle up a few chocolate coated Long-Johns and Bavarian-cream-stuffed donuts before setting out on a family road trip for the weekend. Often the greatest donut shops are not flashy or particularly beautiful on the exterior, often they are the kind of place you might drive by numerous times without even noticing they exist. But for those who are able to slow down and look around, perhaps even actively seek out an exceptional donut shop, these inconspicuous establishments make for a pit stop worth pulling over for.

In Benton, the walls of Dale’s Donuts have been packing in happy patrons since the early 90s. Donut lovers from all around central Arkansas are waking up early to make the drive to Benton in order to procure the hot, glazed pillows of fried dough that Dale’s has been perfecting for years.

IMG_0730.JPG
The simplest and probably most important measure of a decent donut shop is its plain glazed. It’s no surprise that Dale’s plain glazed is good enough to keep their customers coming back for more. This donut has all the notable characteristics you’d expect from a made-from-scratch pastry. Lightly sweetened dough, chewy and slightly dense gets a thin, slightly crispy brownish-gold exterior after a flash fry in the oil. They don’t come out overly greasy, but you still won’t be confusing them for anything on a salad bar. The thin glaze is adequately sweet, complementing the airy fried pastry wonderfully, without leaving you reaching immediately for a toothbrush after you take a bite. I’ve always found genuine, scratch-made donuts, the products of real people waking up before the sun touches the world, to be so far superior to the offerings of most chain donut shops in flavor, texture, and character, that I simply can’t bring myself to return to the latter. Dale’s is also the kind of place in which you know that, due to their consistent and steady stream of customers each morning, you won’t be left with stale donuts that have been sitting on the shelf for hours. In the donut world, a high turnover rate can mean all the difference.

One donut that stands out in the variety offered at Dale’s is the indulgent maple and peanut. The standard glazed donut gets a healthy slab of maple frosting and is then sprinkled in chopped peanuts. Although they are, perhaps, a little too generous with the frosting, the combination of maple and peanut is an unconventional pleasure. Another customer favorite, rather unique to this shop, is the chocolate cream filled bars. While most donut shops limit themselves to custard and whipped cream fillings, Dale’s offers a whipped chocolate cream, which they inject into a chocolate glazed Long-John. They are able to get the cream to travel the entire length of the bar, providing each bite with a good blend of chewy donut and creamy chocolate filling.

IMG_0722.JPG

Most of the offerings at Dale’s are excellent, owing to the fact that, at their core, each donut begins with good ingredients, assembled with the quality and care you’d expect from a locally owned shop. The only item that could use a tune-up is their apple fritters. As these have always been one of my personal favorites, I was a little disappointed to find their version, flat, slightly dry, and severely lacking in apple flavor. The perfect fritter, in my opinion, is a thick amalgamation of chewy bits of dough, interlaced with beads of cinnamon and chunks of apple filling, all doused in a blanket of hot sugar glaze. The interior should be soft, steaming, and chewy, with the exterior being brown, and fried to a crisp. Dale’s version misses the mark on most accounts.

I’d have no hesitation in making a quick detour, if driving through Benton, to grab a bag of Dale’s donuts. Concern for my health may prevent me from making this a regular routine, but for the occasional morning sugar rush, I find Dale’s to be a satisfactory addition to the Central Arkansas donut scene.

Dale’s Donuts
919 Military Rd.
Benton

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Daniel Walker

  • The Kraft Mac & Cheese Food Hack

    Recently, we held another food hack competition, taking another childhood classic, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and tried to turn it on its head, creating something entirely new and unique. Again, the results were pretty awesome. The rules were simple: Use a whole box of mac and cheese, both noodles and cheese powder, and turn it into any sinister monstrosity imaginable. We had a vote via the Eat Arkansas Facebook page to crown a winner. Here's what was submitted:
    • Jul 30, 2014
  • Food Feedback Friday: The "We need your vote!" edition

    Alrighty...you know the drill with Food Feedback. Tell us what you're eating this week and what you thought about it. I love to hear all the suggestions and I'm frequently looking back through your recommendations to determine my next meal. So share away! Happy weekend, y'all.
    • Jul 25, 2014
  • Looking in on the new Le Pops, now in the Heights

    Le Pops is a wonderful addition to the Heights neighborhood. Laurie Harrison is incredibly dedicated to her product, she still works here 7 days a week and is constantly experimenting in the kitchen to develop new flavors. Check them out the next time you need a cool down.
    • Jul 24, 2014
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • A sneak preview of Fourquarter Bar in Argenta

    A look at Fourquarter Bar in Argenta, brought to you by the folks behind Midtown Billiards. Beer, barbecue and killer cocktails abound!
    • Feb 23, 2016
  • Coming Monday: Little Rock Black Restaurant Week

    MoTown Monday is Ceci's Chicken and Waffles. Tasty Tuesday is Sims BBQ and Brewster's Soul Food Cafe. Wing Wednesday is Chicken King and Chicken Wangs. Soul Food Thursday is Lindsey's BBQ and Hospitality House and Food Truck Festival Friday is @station801. It's the first Black Restaurant Week.
    • Mar 8, 2017

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

  • Arkansas Times' photographer Brian Chilson was at Midtown today to check on progress being made towards their grand opening scheduled for July 7.
    [content-1]The owner, Maggie Hinson, will be handing out markers so patrons can "mark their territory" on the walls of the new location.
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation