Just when we thought we’d found the one doughnut type to make us believers, we went and found another that also makes us giddy. But our new doughnut crush offers more than a singular take on a classic sweet. With pop-ups around the city, Hero Doughnuts offers a delightful neighborhood tour.
They’ve shown up with Parkside views and brews at Good People. They’ve kitted out a shipping container in Woodlawn – fitting for a neighborhood honored as “most progressive” at the 2016 Hammy’s – and they’ve had a regular-ish run at Crestwood’s Seasick Records. That’s where we tried them, sitting outside over a Crestwood Coffee while we plowed through our pile of dough.
We had trouble settling on a favorite doughnut profile. Initially, it was the Brown Butter Crumb, with the perfect hint of saltiness and the highest rise. There’s something charming about a doughnut you can barely bite into. The Chocolate Crunch, though, has a semi-sweet topping studded with delightful chocolate crunch bits. Then there’s the Vanilla Glazed, a sly favorite. It flies under the radar, but the brioche dough makes a standard special.
But be warned, you’ll want to get show up on time for these. And plan on standing in a long line as well, because you won’t be the only one hungry for a hero. Don’t worry, though, it’s worth it. And there’s something fun about the experience, almost like lining up for concert tickets. A tense excitement, given the zero certainty you’ll walk away with the doughnut you want. Hero has, however, worked to ramp up their supply in the face of enthusiastic demand.
We’re still rooting for them to make a home in the downtown loft district, but we’re enjoying the ride in the meantime. They can be counted on to show up near new Birmingham gems, and that alone is worth celebrating. There’s also a case to be made for defining Birmingham neighborhoods through Hero flavors, and we’re ready for the field research.