You Can’t Just Eat A Nibble of Nibble Inc’s Doughnuts

Andrea Currie

Staff Writer

Over the course of several weeks I watched Francesca’s Café at 461 Broadway in downtown Troy transform into Nibble Inc., an artisanal doughnut shop. Old diner booths were carried to the curb, the interior walls were painted turquoise, and a large carving of a doughnut with a bite taken out of it was hung over the door. On some nights, renovations continued past midnight.

I first went to the shop on a dark, rainy Wednesday morning just after the store’s 6 a.m. opening. My dining companion and I were the first two customers of the day.

We split an apple cider doughnut and a blackberry cassis doughnut. The apple cider treat, from the $1.50 Simple menu, was a satisfying take on the seasonal standby.

The blackberry cassis doughnut, from the $2.50 Signature menu, was a standout. Staffing the counter was co-owner Michael Cunningham, who finished preparing it for us on the spot by piping in filling made with blackberry jam and wine, then dusting it with confectioners sugar.

The sauce oozed deliciously when we bit into it, and the tartness of the berries was wonderfully juxtaposed against the sweetness of the dusting.

We both ordered coffee. I had the pumpkin spice blend, which tasted rather bland compared to the flavor of the doughnuts. My companion was satisfied with his regular coffee.

On Saturday, I went back to the store just after its 9 a.m. opening to meet some friends for breakfast. This time, the line was out the door, and a steady stream of people exited the store carrying cardboard boxes and paper bags of doughnuts.

I ordered the Local Lemon doughnut and a chocolate sea salt doughnut from the Signature menu with an iced coffee, which Cunningham explained was a mixture of several different coffees. Nibble Inc. partners with local companies and carries six different coffee blends.

The chocolate sea salt doughnut was already prepared. Cunningham filled the lemon doughnut, a Bismarck, with lemon curd, then added honey glaze and a slice of candied lemon.

I ate the doughnuts in what proved to be the wrong order. I had the Local Lemon, which was very sweet, first. It was my favorite of all the doughnuts I tried. The pastry was still warm from the fryer, the candied lemon blended with the honey glaze into a finger-lickingly sweet coating, and the lemon curd was delicious.

The chocolate sea salt doughnut, a chocolate doughnut with honey glaze, sea salt, and dark chocolate shavings, was dense and not very sweet. There was a distinct saltiness to the glaze, which nicely complimented the chocolate flavor.

The iced coffee was delicious, and the breakfast was well worth the $8.10.

I was also able to sample several other doughnuts. The maple bacon doughnut, an apple cider pastry covered with maple glaze and candied bacon, had a great sweet-and-savory balance, and the crunch of the bacon contrasted well with the dough.

The pumpkin spice doughnut was not sweet, which surprised me. It’s a worthy version of the basic doughnut, with a cake-like inside and slightly crispy exterior with hints of spice. The gluten-free version of the classic tasted much like the regular version, with a slightly different texture.

Nibble Inc. also sells cocktail doughnuts, for $4.00 each. The menu includes a margarita doughnut, complete with lemon-lime icing and sea salt, and a Coco Rum doughnut, a chocolate pastry with macaroon and rum-coconut glaze.

Nibble Inc. is open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m on Saturday, although the store often closes early when they sell out of donuts. Cunningham told me they’d sold out of doughnuts every day this past week.

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