The world is a mixed bag of different people and experiences. We come from different countries, different cultures, different religions, different socioeconomic statuses. Heck, most of us seem to have a signature specialty diet these days.
As diverse as we may be, there's one thing we can all agree upon, doughnuts. (If you don't, we just can't help you. Sorry.)
Fortunately, those sweet little circles of fried dough are all the rage these days -- we can thank our friends maple syrup and bacon for that.
And South Florida is just about to receive it's newest specialty doughnut and coffee shop later on this month. Rhino Doughnuts & Coffee is opening its first location in the coming weeks.
Starting with a soft-opening Lauderdale-by-the-Sea on Memorial Day weekend, and following with Boca Raton in early July, Las Olas Riverfront, Delray Beach, and culminating with Cypress Creek, owners Athan "Tom" Prakas and Davin Tran plan to have all four locations open within the next six months.
Each shop will serve an array of gourmet made-from-scratch doughnuts and baked good prepared at a commissary kitchen in Sunrise. The chef-prepared pastries are all natural, with a wide variety of fillings, toppings, and glazes.
A wide selection of flavors will be served, including simple glazed, maple bacon, guava cheese, apple strudel strawberry snowball (with a strawberry coconut topping), and a drunken doughnut of the day (think espresso martini, Bailey's, and Patron margarita). Muffins, pecan sticky buns, cinnamon buns, and doughnut sundaes will round out the menu.
Sounds expensive, right?
While artisanal products such as these usually garner a higher price tag, the most expensive doughnuts on the menu top off at $1.99; the simple glazed is just $1.39.
To develop the concept, Prakas and Tran travelled the country to visit doughnut shops and even coffee roasters -- here, the coffee has been a carefully considered part of the equation. They went to Texas, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, and infamous VooDoo Doughnut in Portland to figure out what works and what doesn't.
"Doughnuts have been a staple for ages," says Prakas. "Some people have a doughnut and coffee everyday for breakfast. We don't want to be a craze."
The pair have been steadily working on the concept for the past year and a half.
As previously stated, the coffee is almost as important as the pastries at Rhino. Prakas and Tran studiously researched and sampled independent coffee roasters to find the right team to develop their signature blends.
The shops will serve a smooth and a dark roast, available by the cup and pound, for those looking to take some home.
"Coffee is usually an afterthought," says Prakas. "We went to roasters all over East Coast to create our fair-trade private label. We want to win people over on the coffee, as well."
Rhino Doughnuts will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. on weekdays; 6:30 a.m. to Midnight on weekends.
Rhino Doughnuts is located at 107 Commercial Blvd. in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. Call 855-744-6674, or visit facebook.com/rhinodoughnuts.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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