Vantastic is an old-school donut and coffee shop in Glendale, an old-school suburb of Phoenix. How old-school? For one, there is no web site. Two, Vanastic proudly serves old-fashioned buttermilk bars, the cakey, rich, sugary, fat-tastic donuts of yore.
When I was growing up in Cottonwood, Arizona, buttermilk bars were bakery staples. As I got older and moved eastward, the name disappeared and it got harder, though not impossible, to find this specific kind of brickhouse breakfast food. Maybe that's because of buttermilk itself, one of the more misunderstood dairy products. Although it packs a wallop as an ingredient in donuts or cornbread, it's tough to find someone under 75 that still drinks it, and this might explain why the name vanished.
Whatever the reason, buttermilk bars are not entirely extinct, as my visit to Vantastic showed. For my donut ventures, they're simply the only way to fly, and Vantastic is the only kind of place to enjoy them: at a counter, with a nice, strong cup of coffee and the paper, all the while talking with buddies about baseball, politics, religion, and other forbidden-in-polite-company topics.