When one thinks of artisanal doughnuts (donuts) one does not think of Philadelphia. I had the pleasure of eating some delicious treats, 3 dozen to be precise, from Beiler's Bakery in Reading Terminal Market which provided some amazing circular concoctions that have not been present anywhere else I have traveled to. With that said, I didn't think I would find a doughnut that could compare to Beiler's in the entire country. Actually, I found one in South Philadelphia!
No more than a 20 minute drive from Center City, tucked away on a tiny cross street in the stuck in time section of Philadelphia lays a fantastic, little shop named Frangelli's. Featured on the Food Network, although I didn't see the episode or was even aware they were on it. They have the traditional bakery items like cannoli, assorted cookies, coffee, but what they are known for is their doughnut. They baked only one type of doughnut it looked like. It was all the same. What was different, is what was inside. If you want jelly, they fill it right then and there for you - FRESH! If you want cream, they fill it right there as well. It isn't a loose, heavy cream like you would find at a Dunkin Donuts or crap like that, it is a light and airy cream homemade and tasty. The jelly filling is also made in house and not from a jar. The dough itself tastes homemade. It doesn't have that mass produced feel to it like other franchise/chain dunking places. It is a bit heavy, so be prepared for that. You won't be eating many of these, at least without taking a nap right after. They are significantly different than Beiler's Bakery in Reading Market. Frangelli's isn't as sweet, but tops out on the weight. They also don't make the fancy dancy flavors and mixes as Beiler's. So if you want artisanal treats, go to Beiler's. If you want a pseudo meal, then go to Frangelli's. Either way you won't be disappointed.
Frangelli's has one thing that no one else has. The one thing that got them on the Food Network in the first place, the Franolli. They take the same doughnut, cut it in have and fill it with cannoli cream. It is one massive, sweet cannoli - make that a Franolli!
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