There was a time, not so long ago, when I had not walked down that certain alley and into her doughnut world. Dolly's world where 'nasty' and 'cream' sit side by side with blood orange jelly and chocolate. I took to the doughnut like some take to the pipe or the bottle or Whip-its. We had coffee together afterwards - to cap off the whole experience - and yeah it goes without saying that it too was way above average. Pretty quick I realized that there was no such thing as a life without Dolly.
There will always be doughnuts - sugary sweet nothing stuff that can make you sick - but there is only one Dolly. Damn it all to hell.
Many hearts have become owned by shop proprietress Hannah Hoffman and her homemade doughnuts. Doughnut Dolly is named after American Red Cross Girls' fondly given nickname 'Doughnut Dollies' during WWII. Hoffman's homemade treats, funded by a Kickstarter campaign are making a name for themselves among Oaklanders.
These doughnuts are yeasty, sugar covered, and filled with the cream or jelly of the day's offering. It all comes together before your own eyes. The cream or jelly gets manually shot into the doughnut. Always there is a crème fraîche filling with strong vanilla called Nasty Cream, dark chocolate and usually a lemon cream and a few jellies. Today's offering included a delicious pluot jelly.
Located in a sweet alley behind shops and restaurants on popular Telegraph Avenue near 51st in Oakland, everything about Dolly is tastefully and cheerfully presented, from the checkerboard floor to the fresh flowers and large window overlooking a picnic table. Smiling is big in the courtyard atmosphere. Even though they are not the cheapest items (at three dollars a pop) most in-the-know doughnut eaters agree that these goodies are worth it and that one doughnut from Dolly goes a long way.
The rating for this fine addition to Oakland's Temescal district should really be five hearts rather than stars. Open from Wednesday to Sunday from 8 am - 3 pm (unless sold out) which is indeed a sad thing and happens (unhappy face here).