First Look: Paulette’s Original Donuts and Chicken, an unabashedly gluttonous new eatery in Leslieville
By Karolyne Ellacott
A winning combo (Image: Karolyne Ellacott)
After much hype, Leslieville’s Paulette’s Original Donuts and Chicken is finally open. The work of young entrepreneur Devin Connell (Delica Kitchen), this ode to chicken and doughnuts was inspired by Connell’s grandma, Paulette, whose kitchen philosophy was to enjoy happy foods.
“I swear she’d put butter on chicken!” Connell laughs. In addition to grandma’s dangerous fried goods, a box of crullers was at the ready each time Connell would visit.
Dolled up in sea foam green, the small space is outfitted with a to-go window; behind it, dapper staff members are suited up with bowties. A glassed-in display case sets the doughnuts off like fine jewels, while silver stools afford a view of the street.
Following a research trip to NYC, during which unnatural amounts of both chicken and doughnuts were consumed, it was time for Connell to focus on the menu. While the goods may not be the healthiest, they are crafted with quality ingredients.
A cake-based batter — as opposed to a yeast batter — is used for the doughnuts ($2.75). “My mentality is that cake is for doughnuts,” Connell says. “Our version is rich, but light.” Flavours will rotate, with seven options available daily; when we stopped by, picks included blueberry-balsamic, mango-yuzu and raspberry-rose, the latter of which which is topped with a graham cracker crumble.
The naturally-raised chicken is procured from The Butcher Shoppe and is available come 11:30 a.m. In order to avoid a typical fried chicken pitfall — in which the coating has the wow-factor while the meat falls flat — the bird is brined for 24 hours before being twice-fried ($12.95 for a half-chicken, or $14.95 for a half chicken with a side and dipping sauce).
Various dipping sauces and salts accompany the fried goods, including Graham’s Burnin’ hot sauce and the sumac oregano salt (Connell’s fave), which, she notes, adds a note of freshness.
Those who are craving their chicken and doughnut fix better arrive early — so far the goods have been selling out quickly.
Paulette’s Original Donuts and Chicken, 913 Queen St. E., 647-748-1177