Possibly, I went to HiFi Donuts for lunch in order to give myself an excuse to eat a doughnut, or three. I mean I couldn’t write about a doughnut shop without trying its doughnuts ($2.75 each), right? I wouldn’t be doing my job.

The narrow storefront on Monument Square also sells breakfast and lunch sandwiches. And if you want to go all mashup, for $1 extra, you can get your breakfast sandwich made on a doughnut instead of sensible rolls or bread slices.

How many people do that? I asked the fellow at the counter. “More than you’d think,” he answered, adding that the honey-glazed doughnuts offer a caramel flavor that complements the sandwiches nicely. I didn’t take his advice there, but I did when he suggested the peri peri fried chicken sandwich ($8.50) after seeing me hem and haw in front of the sandwich board. Everybody likes it, he assured me. I also bought a ham club sandwich ($12.99) so my partner could share lunch with me.

The hemming and hawing over the doughnuts was more protracted (and accompanied by a happy soundtrack, Bing Crosby crooning “White Christmas”). Even at 1:30 p.m. on a sleepy winter Wednesday, there were still plenty of flavors to chose from. Eventually, I settled on a chocolate-raspberry and a maple cruller. Possibly, I second-guessed myself the entire route home, in a fog of doughnut selection regret as I thought about about the s’mores, lemon poppy seed, and hefeweizen varieties.

The raspberry-chocolate doughnut at HiFi. It’s of the cake school variety. Photo by Peggy Grodinsky

As it turned out, though, I think of myself as a raised doughnut sort of gal, and the chocolate-raspberry cake doughnut got my vote. Maybe it was that festive pink and chocolate glaze or the tunnel of raspberry jam running through the donut that sealed the deal.

The very generously proportioned club sandwich transported me back to my childhood; it tasted like 1970 – though where was the frilly toothpick, and for that matter the extra slice of toast in the middle? Otherwise, amply supplied with bacon and soothingly contained in slices of white bread, the sandwich was altogether pleasant.

The peri peri fried chicken sandwich. Everything goes better with a pickle. Photo by Peggy Grodinsky

The fried chicken sandwich had the necessary crunch, a gentle touch of peri peri mayo heat and a few choice leaves of butter lettuce. The bun, described on the menu as an egg bun though tasting closer to a hamburger bun to me, was underwhelming. Both sandwiches came with a choice of pickles, fries or chips.

For lunch, there’s a crowd-pleasing menu of items like BLTs, chicken salad and a deep-fried brisket burger, with prices ranging from $8.50 to $13.75. With one exception, the breakfast sandwiches cost $8.50, and they come in appealing combos like ricotta, egg and roasted vegetables or chorizo sausage, egg and cheese. They’re available all day.

You’ll find a few seats at the window counter at HiFi overlooking the square, but the doughnut shop, with its fun retro décor, is well set up for grab and go, and the counter staff wins points for friendliness. Next time I have a hankering for a doughnut, I can virtuously pretend I am going shopping at the adjacent Longfellow Books to read something important and serious, and then sneak into HiFi for a “Swirly Thing.” The name alone makes me happy.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: