Fried: Apple fritters at Wishill's Donut House

You won't find this on a low-fat menu, anywhere.

by Sarah Fenske

Back east, Dunkin Donuts are ubiquitous -- almost like Starbucks or Jack In the Box here in the Valley of Sun. Not so in Phoenix. So I was stunned when, on a trip back to New York last week, I visited a DD for the first time in years. America's most venerable donut chain has gone diet-friendly!

I'm not kidding. My favorite donut, a powdery hockey puck stuffed with vanilla frosting, was nowhere to be seen. Instead, they were pushing egg-white flatbread sandwiches, low-fat smoothies, and even multi-grain bagels. At Dunkin Donuts! I swear, it was like finding a strip club staffed entirely by nuns. Very disappointing to any good strip club client, let me tell ya.

So I was a bit relieved when, this morning, I saw the familiar sign of Wishill's Donut House beckoning me from the corner of McDowell Road and 15th Avenue. This venerable old donut shoppe has not only resisted the siren call of egg whites; it's actually promoting a deal where if you buy a 1/2 pound breakfast sandwich, they throw in a donut for free. Talk about wonderful gratuitousness.

And apparently, even in this time of warring against obesity, the buy-one-get-one-free deal has proven appealing to Phoenix residents. Inside, greeted by a puff of sugar-fried air, I told the lady at the counter I wanted a breakfast sammy-plus-donut. Rather than look shocked at my bad eating habits, she said they'd sold out of the sandwiches. Kind of makes you wonder if Dunkin Donuts is on the right track with that whole healthy thing -- our politicians can scold away, but we eaters apparently still like our breakfasts hearty.

With my dreams of bacon/dough dashed, I was forced to content myself with an apple fritter. These things are clearly a product of a time when nobody cared about clogged arteries: Each bite drips of butter, with the apples and the fried dough melting together under a thick glazy haze. They are utterly scrumptious.

I have to admit, though, the crusade for smaller portion sizes and healthy living must be getting to me: For the first time in my life, I wasn't able to finish my fritter.

I can eat a stick of butter per meal, I guess, but after my East Coast foray, two sticks just seemed a little excessive -- even at Wishill's.

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