The mural on the wall at Tiger Deaux-nuts on Government Street proclaims the doughnut shop’s fare to be “Fresh. Gourmet. Local.”
You might think to yourself, “Gourmet? Doughnuts?” This American-made breakfast pastry is usually just a fried, sugary lump of dough. That’s not necessarily a bad thing: Because of these attributes, doughnuts are delicious — even when they’re at their worst.
But "gourmet"? Believe it.
The folks at Tiger Deaux-nuts are elevating the humble doughnut. And I love how they’re doing it.
Instead of creating blueberry compote or paprika apricot or some other self-consciously "creative" foodie flavors, they serve combinations based on classic desserts.
Take the lemon poppy seed doughnut I had on a Sunday afternoon. I expected an overly sweet lemon jelly oozing out of a plain glazed. Instead, I was transported back two decades to a church dinner on the grounds and a slice of cake that tasted of lemon zest and delicate cream. This doughnut is delicately sweet with a bit of lemon filling and a light glaze speckled with poppy seeds.
On another trip, I tried a peanut butter, chocolate and banana doughnut. These specialty creations are all based on the same sizable fried yeast doughnuts that are about 1-inch thick. This one would make Elvis smile. The flavors complement one another in layers, never becoming too sweet or too rich.
Tiger Deaux-nuts regularly rotates its specialty flavors ($2 each), and six are available each day. Maple bacon is a fan favorite, as is the chocolate sprinkled and banana Nutella.
The old standbys ($1.25 each) receive upgrades, too. The plain glazed contains a bit of honey, and the chocolate glaze has the sheen of a fine ganache.
Tiger Deaux-nuts also gives its gourmet treatment to another blue-collar breakfast staple — the breakfast sandwich. One morning, I couldn’t resist the boudin, fried egg and cheese ($5.50). Served on a grilled doughnut bun, it is tasty and filling. It’s every bit as rich as it sounds. While the flavor combinations aren’t quite as complex as the doughnut creations, the sandwich is heavy yet hard to put down.
The menu also features burritos and “lagniappe” sandwiches, like a grilled peanut butter and jelly, and a brunch burger, all served on grilled doughnut buns. I loved every bite of the chicken, bacon and ranch ($5.50). The juicy beer-braised chicken is topped with pepper jack cheese, bacon and jalapeño cilantro ranch — a satisfying, slightly spicy medley.
Tiger Deaux-nuts delivers on its promise of gourmet, and it's not pricey. That the shop can do that while creating some delicious combinations will only make a doughnut and breakfast sandwich fan like me want to visit over and over again.
WHERE: 5162 Government St., Baton Rouge
HOURS: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
INFO: (225) 421-1091 or facebook.com/tigerdeauxnuts
PROS: Creative doughnut flavors; hearty, tasty sandwiches; inexpensive.
CONS: There’s only one location, and it’s not on my way to work.