Roll forward to my college years and its 3 a.m. on Campus and the only thing open was Buckeye Donuts. Staggering home from "the library", all it would take was a hazardous waste container of their strong "varnish remover" and a couple sinkers - man I was ready to tackle that sociology paper due in the morning...
Now in my dotage, it takes a truly magnificent doughnut to turn my head. While Crispy Cremes are good (especially when they just come rolling out of the glaze). Light and sweet - they have their place, but after one or two, they show their shallow nature. And the variety doughnuts they carry - so lacking in character they are not really worth the time it takes to mention them.
So the point of all this you ask?
Meet Rosa Auddino. She is the matriarch of the family owned bakery Audinos. Locals in the food service industry will recognize the name - Auddino's delivers fresh baked buns and breads to customers all over the city. What most people don't know is they have a retail outlet. And inside that retail outlet - they have doughnuts. Good doughnuts. Did I say good? I meant - Fantastic Doughnuts. Well those and other really great baked goods as well.
Let me regale you with the story of how my hubby found Auddino's.
One of Tony's best friends is Charlie. Charlie owns a towing company. One thing you can depend on is that Charlie knows where to find good food - north, south, east or west he can point you to something that is truly delicious. So one day I asked Tony to hunt down some rolls for the Italian Beef I was making and he was having no luck. So he stopped in at Charlie's shop to get his butt whipped at gin and shoot the shit.
"So watcha up to, Tony?" Charlie says as he rolls his big stogie around in his fingers. (Charlie is a big guy - he makes my hubby look like an anorexic dwarf- and his voice rolls over you like a jet engine ready to take off. You know Hagrid the giant from the Harry Potter books and movies? Well Charlie would bitch slap Hagrid and take his lunch.)
"Rose has me running all over the city trying to find these rolls for dinner tonight and I just can't find what she wants. I tell you if she wasn't such a good cook, her ass would be out on the curb!" says Tony as he shuffles the deck and deals.
"Well why don't you go over to Auddino's?" Charlie starts sorting out his cards while chewing the hell out of his half lit cigar.
"Yeah, Auddino's. Over by the fairgrounds. We'll go over after I finish takin' all your money. They'll have what you want."
So after finishing the game in which Tony was forced to cough up his stripper tipping cash, they headed over to Auddino's. (He denys it, but why else would a man carry around $30 in ones? All men are dogs...)
And I'll be damned if they didn't have the prefect rolls. Plus a ton of pastries. We ate really good that night. I even forgave Tony for his stripper tipping habits - for the moment.
A week later, I made Tony take me over to the bakery so I could check out their wares for myself.
Underneath an ancient sign reading Auddino's Breads Cakes Donuts and Pastries lay one of the best bakeries in Columbus
Behold their bounty...
Fried Croissant -This is my favorite. Take a plain croissant, throw it in some hot fat, then drench in a glaze. It is sweet, flaky buttery and totally sinful. This is what Krispy Kreme wishes it could be.
Apple Fritter - Soft, with tiny apple pieces and lightly spiced with cinnamon, these are some of the best examples of this fried goodie I have ever found.
Cake Donuts - Paired with coffee or milk, cake donuts are that old fashioned midday treat.
And let's not forget the classic Italian treats!!
Amaretti - These are dense moist very sweet cookies made with almond paste. I had tried for years to make these at home but to no avail. Now - I just stop down and pick up a dozen of these to serve with coffee after dinner. And you have to serve these with coffee. The extreme sweetness make this the perfect accompaniment to a strong espresso or dark roast americano.
Cannoli - The real deal. Crunchy, creamy and sweet - these are a dream.
This is not all they offer, so I recommend you stop in and check it out for yourself ASAP.
In parting, here is some advice concerning your upcoming trip to Auddino's.
1) If you see a really big white pickup sporting a set of truck nuts parked out front, be prepared for gale force winds in the building - this means Charlie is there picking up goodies for his crew.
2) Go early. Their more popular choices sell out quickly and you may miss out.
3) Needing lots and lots of bread and goodies? Call ahead and place an order. They are professionals ya know...
1490 Clara St
Columbus, OH 43211