Freelance writer living in and reviewing Melbourne's West.
Published November 17th 2011
Although I shouldn't eat wheat I make a few exceptions. For desserts. Of course. The humble doughnut, probably one of the 'wheatiest' of all desserts, would have to be number one on my list of favourite desserts. My love for doughnuts dates back to my childhood and growing up in an outer south eastern suburb that couldn't boast for much at the time. But inexplicably it had one of those silver and purple doughnut vans and sometimes my parents would buy me and my brother and even half dozen. Three hot sugary, jam dripping goodnesses each. Times were different then. No one cared about `too much sugar'.
Anyway, enough about me. Let me recommend two places in Melbourne's west where you can get a doughnut. I'm generous like that.
1. Olympic Doughnuts.
No doughnut list in Melbourne is complete without a mention of Olympic doughnuts at Footscray station. No one ever talks about Olympic Doughnuts without moaning gutturally in deep pleasure. Doughnut van owner and doughnut maker Nikos Tsigliris makes about 500 doughnuts a day. He and his little van have been in the same place for 33 years. That's a lot of doughnuts.
So revered is Nick, his doughnuts and his van, the Regional Rail Link has taken the unusual step of allowing Nick to remain in business throughout the Regional Rail links Demolition works. In a notice they created and pasted onto the front window of his van, the Regional Rail Link Team says they worked closely with Mr Tsigliris and his family to `allow the doughnut van to remain in place while the work is undertaken thus minimising the impact of the demolition on the business.' What that means, is that while every other business at the train station was demolished and the area fenced off and under scaffolding, the little van continues to operate in the same spot it has been in since 1981. Now that's respect.
Nick is quite the charmer too. This man can still make a woman swoon. When I told him my parents were from Larissa, central Greece, he recited some lines from a Greek song about fair skinned, fair haired Greek women like myself before handing over a couple of free doughnuts. Smooth.
2. Papa Bear Bakehouse. Actually in the heart of the middle of nowhere is this tiny gem of a bakery that specialises in Filipino bread and delicacies. The friendly owners are too shy to reveal much about themselves. All you need to know, is the Filipino doughnuts are very good. They come in a plait, and are dusted with sugar and/or cinnamon. And they are 50 cents each, very much worth the trek out to Braybrook. Fifty cents people. Fifty cents. And while you are out there, pop into here. That will make for a lovely afternoon tea.
Wow he is still there, over 20 years ago I lived in Footscray and yes it was impossible to walk by and not buy those delicious donuts, I will have to make a special trip down memory lane and try them again !