St. Pete entrepreneur and sweets specialist Lou Albano has long harbored a desire to open a gourmet donut shop. With the debut of Donut Freak — located inside Genaro — in the EDGE District, Albano realized a savory vision.
This isn’t his first foray into the Burg’s pastry scene. In 2012, Albano partnered with renowned pastry Chef Michael Ostrander to bring Everything Dolce to St. Pete. For three years, the pair introduced customers to the refined world of gourmet chocolate, cakes, cannoli and more, all paired with exquisite wines, of course.
Former Everything Dolce owner opens new doughnut shop
Now, in 2017, at the height of the EDGE District’s culinary renaissance, Albano is back with a concept that elevate the Burg’s sunrise sweets game.
Deep in Donut Freak’s vault is recipe devised by Chef Ostrander. Choosing to open inside Genaro was an easy decision for Albano, who considered gourmet coffee to be an essential partner to well-crafted doughnuts. Genaro owner Patricia Francati was excited by the prospect of a joint venture.
The ingredients utilized in Donut Freak’s baked donuts are back to the basics: butter, flour, sugar, eggs, cream, real fruit, nuts and absolutely no preservatives. All of the donuts are made on premises. While Ostrander may not be on site, it doesn’t mean his influence isn’t in the kitchen every day.
Gourmet pastry chef inspires Donut Freak menu
Brooke Warner, Ostrander’s protege and graduate of Johnson and Wales University, will advise baking process to ensure the doughnuts remain true to the original recipes. Visitors can anticipate to indulge in fluffy doughnuts delicately infused with artisanal fillings.
In addition to baked doughnuts, Donut Freak will offer cake, vegan and gluten-free options, as well as duffins, muffins with holes in the center. Gluten-free options include a doughnut made from decadent almond paste and another that tastes like a savory coconut macaroon.
Toppings and fillings range from classic PB&J to the cinnamon cheesecake and chocolate buttercream.
Step up to the plate for the freak challenge
To satisfy the extreme sweet tooth, they have dessert selections to include an ice cream donut sundae and an ice cream donut sandwich. Donut Freak has coupled their donuts with frappes and cappuccino by the introduction of Freakafrappe™ and Freakaccino™.
For those with mammoth appetites, we suggest you attempt the Wanna Be a Freak Challenge. The task: eat an 8” donut covered with your favorite toppings in three minutes or less and receive a FREE Donut Freak T-Shirt.
Donut Freak is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 7am-2pm, and is located at 1047 Central Avenue.
Must try doughnuts:
- Boneless — Apple Filling and Glaze with Streusel Topping.
- Curb Candy — Peanut Buttercream Filling, Fudge Icing, and Peanut Butter Cup Pieces.
- Primo — Cannoli Cream Filling and Glaze with Mini Chocolate Chips.
- Switch Stance — Oreo Buttercream Filling and Glaze with Oreo Pieces.
- Bullflip — Cinnamon Cheesecake Filling and Cream Cheese Glaze with Cinnamon Topping.
Oh, and did we mention they serve doughnut sandwiches? Start your day with a bacon, egg and cheese on a glazed doughnut smothered with organic maple syrup.