Today is one of the greatest days of our lives. As one of the greatest perks of being EiC and Business Director of Spoon ever, Amanda and I were invited to the soft-opening of Federal Donut’s new Sansom store. Let me tell you, life will never be the same.
This bad boy is opening on Monday, March 10th, while we’re on break. While you’re probably distressed about the fact you won’t be here, think of it in a positive way: you deserve something to look forward to after a week of flaunting your prepped bikini bod. This is your welcome back reward — your beautiful, magical, fried reward.
The store is situated in between Doc MacGrogans and White Dog on 34th and Sansom, and is adorned in the traditional Federal Donuts’ red, white and blue facade. The interior is warm, inviting and, right now, kind of empty.
But, enough about its looks, let’s get to the important thing: the taste.
We walked in and were immediately greeted by a friendly man who asked us if we wanted a fresh order of fried chicken and their hot and fresh donuts. You already know we said yes. As we waited we sat on the counter with other guests and tasted the special Federal Donut West Fancy donut flavors: Chocolate Covered Strawberry and Marshmallow².
As someone who believes the greatest dessert in the world is a chocolate covered strawberry, I was more than excited to see the shockingly-red donut and immediately popped a piece in my mouth. Delicious and cakey, this donut had more flavor than its Marshmallow² counterpart. While the marshmallow flavor in the glaze was subtle and could be missed, the addition of crispy charred mini marshmallows ensures you end on a high note.
A few minutes and a lot of donut pieces later, a plate of hot and fresh donuts was placed in front of us. The starring flavors were Cinnamon Sugar, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Orange Dream (think Creamsicle). As a general truism: Federal Donuts hot and fresh donuts will melt in your mouth; they are good to a fault and the world is honestly better because of their existence. The cinnamon sugar was a classic flavor profile – it’s like the nice girl in your study group —she’s cute and enticing but never demands your attention. Yet somehow you can’t keep from glancing back to her. You finally make eye contact and you’re glad you did.
On the other side of the donut spectrum exists the chocolate peanut putter and the orange dream. The chocolate peanut putter is made with a peanut butter powder that delivers an extremely rich and amazing chocolatey-peanut butter taste that you will keep going back to. The star of the hot & fresh was probably the Orange Dream. Called so because Creamsicle is trademarked, the flavor will grab your tastebuds’ attention the minute the donut hits your mouth. It’s creamy, dreamy, lightly citrusy and soo good.
Finally, it’s time for the chicken. Oh boy, oh boy, the chicken. What many people don’t know is that Federal Donuts has some of the best damn fried chicken in Philadelphia. The minute it was placed in front of us, Amanda and I stopped talking and found ourselves transfixed by the crunchy skin and the moist, flavorful flesh. Their chicken starts being served by 11 a.m. every day, and comes with a dry rub or a wet glaze.
Federal Donuts West is introducing five new flavors, and we tried them all. (Somebody’s gotta do it). New to the glazed game are the Pad Thai dressed in lime, roasted chili and crushed, toasted peanuts, and the Sweet Soy Garlic, simply covered in a sweet soy, roasted garlic and sherry sauce. Amanda and I loved the Pad Thai, whose crispy, double fried skin was even better with the addition of crunchy toasted peanuts. As far as the dry rub goes, our favorite was the Moussa, which is a spiced packed chicken, seasoned with parsley, onion, saffron, coriander, cumin and sumac (which is a Middle Eastern spice with a lemony taste). Amanda likens it to the Shabazzi chicken Federal Donuts serves at other flagships. The Furikake has a slightly fishy taste, which makes sense because it’s seasoned with bonito flakes, nori and toasted sesame seeds. It was good, but not our favorite. The Buffalo Ranch packs all the flavor of buffalo wings – tangy, hot taste and a cool note of celery – with the crunchiest and thickest skin out of the bunch.
It’s safe to say we’re obsessed. It was my first time at Federal Donuts, and I don’t think I can go back to a world without this chicken and donuts. As Felicia D’Ambrosio, the head of Communications at Cook’NSolo said, “We’re your favorite fry-ierie.” We’ll be seeing you on 34th and Sansom after break. On Monday. And Tuesday too.
Address: 3438 Sansom St.
Hours: coming soon!