Need one last hurrah before you give up sweets for Lent? Or do you just need a sweet treat? How do donuts from the EAT Café sound?
On Feb. 13, customers will be able to pick up two different kinds of donuts now available for pre-sale here. The pastries will be made by EAT’s noted chefs, Valerie Erwin and Margie Felton, and available for pickup at the Café (3820 Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia) on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 13, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Customers can choose either calas, a type of rice fritter, or a fastnacht, a yeast-dough-based donut. A half dozen of either variety of the donuts is $7, and a full dozen is $12. Orders can be made by calling the Cafe at 267.292.2768.
All sales of the donuts will go toward the EAT Café’s mission of providing tasty, quality meals for anyone who wants them. A product of the Dornsife School of Public Health’s Center for Hunger-Free Communities, the Café offers pay-what-you-can full-service meals Wednesday through Friday nights, and brunch Sunday mornings.
In keeping with the Café’s aim to present home-cooking from many different cultures, both types of donuts that are being made are Fat Tuesday treats tied to different traditions.
Calas are a New Orleans Mardi Gras dessert. Erwin, who previously owned Geechee Girl Rice Café, made calas there for years.
“They have leftover rice in the batter, making calas the perfect treat for a restaurant where ‘rice’ was in the name,” Erwin said.
Fasnachts, meanwhile, are a little more local in their origin.
“The fasnacht came from Margie’s Pennsylvania Dutch background,” Erwin explained. “It was something her mother made with her and her siblings on the day before Lent. We are trying to recreate Margie’s mother’s fasnacht.”
Adding to the Fat Tuesday vibe of the donuts, the Café also plans to have a New Orleans-inspired menu for Jan. 31–Feb. 4, and Feb. 8–11. Entrees will include jambalaya, blackened chicken with red beans and rice, and cornmeal-crusted fried catfish.
“Our small plate option will be a muffaletta, a New Orleans-style sandwich with salami, ham, provolone and olive salad on a sesame bun,” Erwin said.
And asked which type of donut she would be taking home for Mardi Gras, Erwin made it clear that she’d be happy with either — or both.
“It’s fried sweet dough rolled in sugar: What could be bad?”