Event - Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee Preview

What do you get when you pair a design-savvy coffee aficionado and a creative caterer with a from-scratch approach? Something along the lines of delicious and satisfying. Envisioning a little taste of coffee and fried dough culture, the duo of Sumter Pendergrast and Brooke Des Prez have put their minds together to create Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee. Who would have thought that they would do this though? After all, Sumter was an artist and clothing designer prior to this venture and Brooke a full-time caterer!


When it started, Sidecar was a mobile operation that you might have seen trucking along Orange County but as of yesterday (Opening Day!), it is a brick and mortar siren's call. Actually, I should say that the storefront will be the main place to visit but don't fret if you loved the vintage mobile because it can still be reserved for events. Anyhow, you'll have your choices of scrumptious Stumptown Coffee and a vast variety of freshly made-from-scratch doughnuts composed of the finest ingredients. Good morning, artisan doughnuts.


We were lucky enough to get an inside scoop a few days prior to the opening and do a tasting of each friendly morsel. By each, I do mean that we did try every one available that morning. That's an array of huckleberry, raspberry, malasada, malasada with haupia, cinnamon crunch, Meyer lemon poundcake, Callibaut chocolate, birthday cake, toasted coconut, and maple bacon. More on that later. You want to talk about decor by the way? That was the first thing I noticed (except for the thick scent of bacon for their maple bacon doughnut) when I walked in. Flea and antique market treasures lined the walls, ceilings, and shelves. Co-owner Chi-Lin described it as a little piece of New York perhaps that you might find yourself in; it's about being classily clean but personable.


As for the coffee, I could see from all the other previewers' faces that they were quite enjoying their brews. How can you not when you've got excellent baristas ready and willing to create your simple but well-crafted cups of "Have a Great Day!"? We took a look at the process and gave it the thumbs up.


Catch a break from all of that? Nope - you power through like you do every morning. I'm glad we shared a plate of doughnut quarters because it really have been too much goodness for me. I really enjoyed them all. Most doughnut shops make products much too sweet for my liking. Whoever said that you had to make a dough to sugar ratio of 1:1? Well, that's what I imagine others might be doing but I don't know for sure. However, Sidecar Doughnuts has the right idea. With a yeast-based dough and frying every hour, the treats are sure taken care of. As I was talking to Chef Brooke, I couldn't help but notice the whirring of ideas in her mind as she talked about the other items they had lined up: a malasada with passionfruit curd, fruit-topped doughnuts, savory doughnuts like an egg and sausage one, and even what caught Duc's attention, a peanut butter cup-inspired doughnut. I made a request/suggestion for a cookie butter doughnut so we'll see about that - maybe all of you can "nudge" them a bit on Facebook? Yep, I'm instigating. I want a speculoos doughnut! Maybe they can squeeze that into their recipe book of 50+ doughnut creations. All 50 will make an appearance at some point as the menu rotates around 6-8 doughnuts aside from mainstays. At $2-$3.50 a pop, each treat will definitely be enjoyed.


Located on the booming 17th Street in Costa Mesa, Sidecar Doughnuts is in the same plaza as Nothing Bundt Cakes and Anne's Boutique Wines (full address is 270 E 17th St. #18, Costa Mesa, CA 92627). There wasn't a sign up top when we visited but their iconic red Sidecar is out front. I would definitely encourage you to check them out for some out-of-the-norm doughnuts and coffee. Make sure you come early - when they're out, they're out! Mornings start at 7am for weekdays and 8am for the weekends. Closing time is when they sell out, and you can bet that with their spot-on recipes, they'll run out quickly. Congratulations to the crew at Sidecar, and thank you for having us!

Photography by Duc Duong. More photos are available on Facebook.

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