Parlor Doughnut, located on 805 W 10th St., is a blend of coziness and soft pride; its name is plastered on a plain, white-sheeted border in purple sans font, yet the walk inside is where its design shines. To the left is a mini merch shop encased in a mocha wooden shelf and mug and coffee products are to the right. The floor is outlined in black tribal patterns, resting under a humble collection of tables and chairs. A triad of quiet sun-colored lamps dangle from the ceiling where the menu is with its décor of doughnuts in a display right below it.
The doughnuts feed the eyes of its customers. The crust is drowned in different toppings and puffed up to perfection. Although there are many options on display, the selection is still bearable enough to reduce the risk of decision-overload. Plus, a tiny ounce of greediness could kick in considering the prices are student-friendly, with one doughnut going for $3.45, and for a complimentary tea, $2.25. Parlor Doughnuts also provides vegan/gluten-free options, which are only 50 cents more.
But the big reveal is the taste.
Some of their most popular options are the French toast and the raspberry filling. They are big and decorated with powder and flavored drizzle. The raspberry powder clouds the tongue first before the crust. Bite it again, the filling is tart and sweet, coating the crunchy yet soft dough. It is more like eating a flavored croissant than a doughnut, a unique taste indeed, which is a product of how it is made.
The doughnuts here are called layered doughnuts, named after how they are prepared; the dough is rolled in butter, proofed, then rolled in butter again, thus producing its fluffy and humongous texture. It is a messy treat, so neat freaks beware.
The French toast is a significantly smaller doughnut with a vegan option. It is made with cake batter as a substitute for the butter, creating the doughnut’s cake appearance in size and shape. Before biting, grab a napkin because the icing loves the hands.
After biting, the pondering begins. It tastes like coconut, though it may be the doughnut or the icing. It is not as flavor-hitting as its non-vegan counterparts but has great appeal for customers who may want a treat that’s not so sweet. The cake batter is heavy, so it’s advised to get a drink. Go for the English breakfast tea with some honey and lavender. It’s fresh, light and calming, a perfect drink for non-tea drinkers and a hidden gem for tea lovers.
Besides all the sweetness, the shop also provides breakfast choices, such as breakfast tacos (avocado, bacon or chorizo) and breakfast sandwiches (spinach pesto, sausage biscuit and bacon, egg and cheese). If customers want something slightly lighter on the stomach in mornings, an avocado toast and an acai bowl is a go-to.
Overall, Parlor Doughnuts is a student getaway, a 13-minute walk from the Campus Center, and there are no worries on breaking the wallet. But it is for an acquired palate. It is best for those wanting to take their taste buds on an adventure, a feat only this sweet shop can accomplish.
Faith Montgomery is a IUPUI senior student majoring in journalism searching for a place for her writer’s heart to reside. With a minor in Japanese, she hopes to become a Japanese interpreter in the future and eventually visit Japan. Although she has a passion for her studies, in her freetime, you can catch her binge-watching anime, decluttering, or screaming into her mic online in a heated game of Apex Legends.