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Tastease Donuts

70 New Park Avenue, Hartford, CT - (860) 233-2235
Posted By Chris & Amy Ayers on 1/18/2011 11:15:00 AM
For donut fans, what could be more exciting than bringing home a box of 25 donuts in all flavors and colors? It’s certainly possible without being a glutton, for Hartford’s Tastease makes midi-donuts, little doughy rings about three inches in diameter. These shouldn’t be called gourmet donuts (let’s leave that tag for those from New York City’s Doughnut Plant), but they surely fit the moniker of “fancy donuts.” Each pastry is carefully and beautifully decorated, and they are scrumptious: all cake varieties, with a splash of flavor from the icing and toppings. Their small size reminded us of the Lil’ Orbits donuts that we used to buy at Checkers hockey games in Charlotte, NC. You might think that you could eat a lot of these to equal whole donuts, but actually 2-3 donuts are a perfect snack.

We met owners Tony and Susan Mendes outside their shop, but the donuts quickly drew us inside as we marveled at all the varieties. Though we chose one of every donut in the counter, we were still a few short of sampling all of them. We bought a box of 25 assorted, and Susan explained a few seasonals, especially the pumpkin cake (Susan said she was almost out of that special flour). We also halved a warm, cheesy Cuban sandwich at one of two tables inside the shop while watching the customers come and go. One guy bought two donuts before catching a bus; another woman picked up an order for 750 donuts (“We pulled an all-nighter for that one,” Susan told us). The best was two girls asking for churros as advertised on their permanent sign out front, to which Susan replied, “Honey, I’m sorry, but I haven’t made those in four years, and we can’t very well take it off the sign!”

Admittedly, we’re suckers for hot pressed sandwiches, and this Cuban was wonderful. Pressed on good crusty French bread with thick slices of ham and pork (roasted on the premises), the only strange thing was the pickles: round hamburger dills, which gave it a slightly different flavor—but it was still quite tasty, and one that we’d order again. Mendes also sells a wide array of spices, arranged alphabetically on their high shelves. Located in the heart of the Parkville neighborhood, Tastease is a place where local color is rampant and a wonderful stop to take friends, family, and visitors to Hartford.

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Scorecard

3 - Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Midi-Donuts
Cuban Sandwich
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Sprinkles, anyone? Tastease has many varieties in a rainbow of colors.
"Sprinkles, anyone? Tastease has many varieties in a rainbow of colors."
Chris & Amy Ayers





Rejoice, coconut lovers: Tastease offers both regular and toasted coconut donuts.
"Rejoice, coconut lovers: Tastease offers both regular and toasted coconut donuts."
Chris & Amy Ayers


The only problem in choosing such a variety of midi-donuts is which one to sample first.
"The only problem in choosing such a variety of midi-donuts is which one to sample first."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Advertised everywhere you look in the shop, the Cuban sandwich lives up to the hype, pressed on wonderfully crusty French bread.
"Advertised everywhere you look in the shop, the Cuban sandwich lives up to the hype, pressed on wonderfully crusty French bread."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Tastease also sells bulk spices: at least 50 varieties are displayed in alphabetical order above the menu boards.
"Tastease also sells bulk spices: at least 50 varieties are displayed in alphabetical order above the menu boards."
Chris & Amy Ayers


These boxes (50 donuts in each) were part of a mammoth order for a fund-raising party in downtown Hartford.
"These boxes (50 donuts in each) were part of a mammoth order for a fund-raising party in downtown Hartford."
Chris & Amy Ayers


The usual reaction at first glance is complete wonderment.  Then without fail you'll ask with wanting eyes,
"The usual reaction at first glance is complete wonderment. Then without fail you'll ask with wanting eyes, "Can I have one?""
John Lundquist


How on earth could you eat such a beautiful donut?  Let me show you!
"How on earth could you eat such a beautiful donut? Let me show you!"
John Lundquist


Susan and Tony always have a smile.  They're like proud parents, and why shouldn't they be?  Each midi-donut is unique in presentation, color, and flavor.
"Susan and Tony always have a smile. They're like proud parents, and why shouldn't they be? Each midi-donut is unique in presentation, color, and flavor."
John Lundquist


Normally the display case is full.  Tony was feverishly generating new Technicolor trays in his
"Normally the display case is full. Tony was feverishly generating new Technicolor trays in his "laboratory of wonders!""
John Lundquist


Don't sneeze or you might miss it!  The shop is located on New Park Avenue near Park Street.  This area of Hartford offers an eclectic mix of restaurants and bakeries; Tastease is by far the best.
"Don't sneeze or you might miss it! The shop is located on New Park Avenue near Park Street. This area of Hartford offers an eclectic mix of restaurants and bakeries; Tastease is by far the best."
John Lundquist



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