Wondering why a real estate blog has restaurant reviews? First, I love to eat. Second, I work with quite a few out of towners buying Phoenix real estate for the first time and they almost always ask for restaurant suggestions. Eating my way through Phoenix, just to serve! ;-)
15834 N Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032
Rainbow Donuts is located on Cave Creek road just south of Greenway Parkway. There are 2 other shops in town with the Rainbow name but I learned today they're independently operated. You can also find Rainbow on 1347 E McDowell Road and at 8714 N 7th Street.
The Cave Creek road shop has been there for about 6 or 8 years and is run by a two-person team. Gina runs the front of the house, and her partner does the baking overnight in the back. They open at 4:00 am and there's even a drive-thru!
A note about the pics - These are camera phone pics and are blurrier than I'd like. Thought the phone would be less conspicuous than the camera. Turns out I forgot that ordering 4 donuts and then aiming my phone at them would kinda give me away. ;-)
It's all about the donuts here at Rainbow. The big glass display case up front is all donuts, all the time, without any unnecessary frills. Think Dunkin' Donuts, not Starbucks. Joe Sixpack would be completely comfortable here. So would Joe the Plumber, but I think he's kinda busy these days.
The shop is tidy, neat and really clean. Gina uses tongs to grab your chosen pastry delight, and while the tongs get a little gummy with glaze, who could really complain about too much glaze? Besides, there's none of those disposable plastic gloves to clog up our landfills.
Rainbow offers an assortment of other morning needs, including milk, soda, super-caffeinated drinks and bottled water for those who don't drink coffee. Talk about coffee! This stuff is good and strong, served piping hot. If you need a pick-me-up to get you through the day, a size Small will suit you fine. Need to pull an all nighter to cram for exams? Try the Medium. For those who stir stuff into their coffee, Rainbow provides sugar, sugar substitutes (pink, blue and yellow), half-and-half and powdered non-dairy creamers in various flavours.
I tried the above-mentioned Small coffee and 4 donuts: plain glazed, sugared (both yeast style), apple crumb and chocolate glazed (both cake style). Gina has 2 employees helping her in the morning rush hours and they willingly offered to photograph me with my pastry stash. Hmmm, reminder to "do" my hair before doing another restaurant review.
The cake style donuts were really good - not too dense and not too light, with a little hint of lemony zing in them. I thought the chocolate glazed could use more glaze, but then again that's me. I'm pretty sure I'd eat cardboard if it had enough chocolate glaze on it! I liked the Apple Crumb quite a bit too, especially because of the little whiff of cinnamon spice in the crumb mix.
The yeast style donuts were excellent and the plain glazed rival the defunct Krispy Kreme variety in my opinion. KKs were so overly sweet they made my teeth hurt. Rainbow's plain glazed are just right.
Gina reports that while she's got lots of regular customers, the current economic downturn has slowed traffic a bit. So get out and support independently owned restaurants in Phoenix - go taste the Rainbow.