It’s this history that I’m thinking about in the face of indecision. Lemon poppy? Chocolate coffee? Buttermilk with sprinkles? The fresh fried creations made by Milwaukee’s pop-up enterprise Donut Monster all look divine – and a line is forming behind me at this Saturday morning location, Pilcrow Coffee.
I decide quickly: first, the chocolate coffee, which is tender, rich and made from brioche dough, with a shadow of bean flavor in the creamy Valrhona chocolate icing. My second pick is the giant, plump blueberry fritter, which has a deliciously dense but soft, bumpy exterior yielding to an even softer middle, all stitched together with jam-like fruit.
Jackie and Sara Woods launched Donut Monster last year, after Jackie left a career in elevated kitchens like Umami Moto and Ardent. They started slowly, offering 10 varieties ($2.75-$4.75; 13 for $30) at weekly pop-ups in local coffeehouses. Their long-term goal – a permanent spot in 3rd Street Market Hall (the former Shops at Grand Avenue) – looms on the horizon. For now, find them at Pilcrow Coffee (1739 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., Saturday 8 a.m.), Hawthorne Coffee Roasters (4177 S. Howell Ave., also Saturday 8 a.m.) and local farmers markets.