When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out — and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).
Restaurant: Born & Glazed
Location: 3213 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale
Open: Less than a week
Eats: Doughnuts, coffee
After the rise and the slow — in our opinion, very slow — decline of the cupcake's popularity, the doughnut seems to have stepped up to take over as the hot pastry. In cities coast to coast and now in our own backyard, artisan doughnut shops have popped up to bring carefully crafted rings of deep-fried dough combining innovative flavors to sugar-hungry diners.
The newest place to enter the game is Born & Glazed. This South Scottsdale shop comes courtesy of Nicholas Campisano and Joshua James (who are part-owners of The Clever Koi in Phoenix) and serves a small selection of mostly raised doughnuts.
Born & Glazed takes over a small strip-mall space that formerly housed another doughnut shop, but it's been repainted and given a sleek new look. A mostly black-and-white color scheme, artistic still-life photography, and an array of tiny succulents make this place immediately appealing to hipster types. Even the menu boards are inherently cool, featuring scanned pages from vintage pastry cookbooks.
The flavors of doughnuts are handwritten on a large pastry case. And on the day we visited, there were seven types of doughnuts, one type of muffin, and doughnut holes.
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The cinnamon sugar-dusted doughnut holes were a hit. The little balls had a nice, airy texture and were a great use of leftover dough. We also liked the salted caramel doughnut, which leaned more toward the salty side than the caramel side but was a nice departure from the sweetness of the holes. The dough in this doughnut faced a little bit of trouble — less airy and more dense, it also had a chewier texture than the doughnut holes. We expect these issues could be due to the fact that the shop still is perfecting its baking systems, particularly since the chocolate glazed doughnut suffered the same fate.
Of all the doughnuts in the case, the most eye-catching was easily the pink cactus-shaped variety. The raised doughnut featured prickly pear glaze that was subtle (too subtle to really be detected, unfortunately) and studded with green sprinkles. With such a faint prickly pear flavor, this doughnut won us over mostly with its looks. But the strawberry cheesecake doughnut delivered on appearance and taste. This doughnut came filled with a delicious strawberry jam, topped with cream cheese glaze and just a hint of graham cracker crumble.
The cake doughnut, a simple glazed doughnut on the day we visited, was dense and rich. Though not the best cake doughnut we've ever tried, it made a fine pairing for our morning cup of coffee.
Speaking of coffee, Born & Glazed serves espresso drinks including americanos (no drip coffee), mochas, lattes, and cappuccinos. There's also cold brew coffee and a dirty chai. Our americano was hot and certainly caffeinated, though it probably wouldn't pass muster with a hardcore coffee aficionado.
Born & Glazed still has a few tweaks to make to get their dough perfectly consistent, but we were mostly satisfied with the flavor combinations and totally dug doughnut shop's cool atmosphere. For now the shop is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily — though doughnuts are only available until they run out.
For more information check the Born & Glazed Facebook.