federal donuts

Federal Donuts Turns 10


October 11th is Federal Donuts 10th birthday and they are celebrating with free birthday cake donuts, with a purchase.

You know how when somebody tells you the simplest idea, and you just wonder aloud back at them, “Whoa. Why didn’t I think of that?” That is surely the case behind high-minded white linen chefs Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, who with Felicia D’Ambrosio figured out a way to make hand-crafted, handsomely-brined and juicily tender, way crispy fried chicken and lightly fluffy and flavorful donuts work perfectly together. That’s what happened ten years ago, today, October 11, when the trio opened its first teeny tiny Federal Donuts in the heart of South Philly’s Mummers-land. A hot spot no bigger than a closet that closed when the chicken and the donuts ran out. Which was, pretty much, fast.

federal donuts

How elegantly simple and tasty was Federal Donuts at its start? The many times that Solomonov and I spoke a decade ago in regard to making chicken right always came down to keeping his stock low so that everything was fresher-than-fresh, piping hot and exceptionally crispy when it came to the (then still new to American palates) Korean-style: light batter. Sure, there were dips and sauces, and of course, you could buy a dozen different donut styles (eventually). But, for my money, then and now, and its start and in the present day, nothing is better than good old-fashioned plain donuts (also great with BODHI coffee service), steaming, gently crispy chicken and maybe a dab of black garlic sauce. Damn. That was a great first taste sensation.

How dynamic did Federal Donuts become in its remarkably fast-moving decade? Not only do CookNSolo have ten chicken and donut restaurants built up in ten years (to say nothing of Zahav, Dizengoff, Laser Wolf, Abe Fisher, Golide, and more). The co-founding trio, with author Tom Henneman penned a best-selling cookbook and bio, “Federal Donuts: The (Partially) True Spectacular Story” that quickly became the James Beard 2016 Book of the Year.

federal donuts

To celebrate FedDo’s 10th birthday, if you purchase anything to go or stay, you can get a free birthday cake donut while supplies last. Bring your own candles.

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