Like every other location that has opened since 2013, the Towne Center shop was loaded with lines of patrons wanting to get their hands on those Instagram-worthy doughnuts.
If you're new to the District game, your main question is probably, "should I believe the hype?" After a few visits, our answer is, "Without a doubt, yes, you absolutely should."
Before we go on, let's have a word about these doughnuts. These aren't your classic glazed generic dozen. District's are thick, bready behemoths that are very much "treat yourself" foods. If you can eat more than one, you should probably get your name written on a wall.
District's doughnuts (prices vary) are delectable treats made in small batches with flavors rotating daily. The crew adds toppings like cookie dough and doberge cake to make it more gluttonous. If you ate it with a fork and knife, we wouldn't blame you. Personally, our favorite is the classic chocolate glazed with a few sprinkles on it. We could hardly fit our mouth around it for one bite. Halfway through, we felt as buzzed as Homer Simpson after a gulp of Duff Beer.
But honestly, these doughnuts should take a backseat to the rest of the menu.
This sounds blasphemous, right? You want to get in here, take that picture and post it with the hashtag "districtdonuts4lyfe." That's cool, but don't ignore the rest of the menu — that's where District truly shines.
If you're in the mood for other breakfast items, try the kolaches. Here, the sweet bread is filled with pork belly and dates ($4.25), or smoked salmon and green Tabasco cream cheese ($4.25). Before we knew it, they were gone, and we were looking around for more.
The buttermilk drop ($1.50) is another breakfast item that will make you act like Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally." It's like a chicken-fried cake doughnut with a brown butter glaze. The batter crumbles off with each bite then you get to this flaky, sweet filling. If you have the same reaction we did, the table next to you will run to the counter and say, "I'll have what they're having."
On another visit, we tried a scrambled egg and cheese biscuit ($4.50), which was basically an omelet inside a fluffy biscuit. We agreed that it was one of the best biscuit sandwiches in town.
The coffee program — with options like Nitro Cold Brew ($4 for regular, $4.50 for a large) and hot drip coffee ($2.75 for regular, $3.25 for large) — is also one of the best in town. The espresso ($3) is mild and nutty, but never bitter, making drinks like the Americano ($3.25) have a deep, rich flavor.
If it sounds like we're buying into the hype, we are, and that's just breakfast. For lunch, District keeps the quality coming.
During one visit, we tried the roasted pork belly ($4.50) and cheeseburger ($3.25) sliders. The former combines tart pickled onions and radish sprouts with garlic-anise Creole mustard. The latter, topped with sweet pickles, rivaled the best burgers we've had in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. After each, we wondered if we should brave the line at the counter to order a few more.
A more filling lunch selection is the fried chicken sandwich ($8.75). This is topped with about three crispy chicken fingers, buttermilk garlic slaw, candied jalapeños and a spicy pimento cheese. If you can fit the thing in your mouth for a bite, congratulations. Upon eating this, we found ourselves repeating one thought: "By God, this sandwich is greatness."
With all the hype and buzz surrounding District, you might be annoyed that people are just there to take a picture. If you're looking for that classic, crisp crunch of a glaze, you won't find it here, either. But if you're looking for that special treat, a delicious lunch or a good cup of coffee, do yourself a favor: believe the hype and visit District as soon as you can.
WHERE: 7415 Corporate Blvd., Suite 900, Baton Rouge
HOURS: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
INFO: Visit districtdonuts.com or call (225) 999-7944
PROS: Sliders; sandwiches; buttermilk drop; the coffee program is one of the best, if not the best, in town.
CONS: Everyone will take pictures of what they're eating.