You'd be forgiven for thinking the shoppers wanted the latest iPhone: Standing in a line that snaked out the door, they waited patiently, often for the better part of an hour, to make their way inside. And when they emerged—telltale white box in hand—they had an air of giddy triumph about them.
But these boxes contained something even more innovative than palm-sized supercomputers: cannoli donuts! (Or any of 13 other scratch-made, all-natural donut varieties.)
The scene? Last weekend’s ceremonial opening of Cleveland’s City Girl Donuts. And today marks the confectioner’s first go at regular, weekday business hours: 7am to 4pm, or until the donuts sell out. But considering that 1200 sold out in less than two hours on Saturday, you may want to show up sooner rather than later.
Indeed, the early bird gets the perm. Okay, not really. But City Girl founder Barbara Fazio does happen to be a celebrity hairstylist (whose beauty tips, P.S., have appeared in this magazine).
So what takes a woman from ’dos to donuts?
A lifelong love, with no local outlet for it: “As a kid, I’d use my lunch money to buy the perfect maple-glazed, butter cream long john,” says Fazio. “As an adult, I’ve tasted absolute works of art in other cities’ donut shops—and wondered why no one had captured that experience here."
Consider it captured. Each of City Girl’s creations—co-dreamed-up by pastry chef Erica Coffee—is more exquisite than the last. So there was no clear favorite on opening day. But if you pressed customers to pick just one, the typical answer went like this:
“The everything bagel donut. Because you think it’s so crazy it just might work. And it totally does—garlic, cream cheese, chive and all. Wait, no—the lemon merengue donut. Because the pastry chef’s grandma’s lemon curd recipe makes you want to marry into the family. Wait, wait; no. The cannoli donuts. Because seriously, cannoli donuts!”
And so on and so forth til the end of the menu.
Bet you dollars to donuts you can’t pick one either. But have fun trying!