Montgomery, Alabama, doesn’t yet have an artisan $3 donut shop, but it does have Ross Donuts, where traditional under-$1 donuts are very good. Cake donuts are the crown-shaped variety, enriched with sour cream, available with a sugar glaze or a good spill of very chocolaty frosting. And there are lightweights, too — yeast donuts in round and long-john shapes. Arrive early in the morning and chances are your selection still will be warm.
Those in search of something more substantial should consider Ross’ apple fritter. It is a thick, dense disk so crisp around its edges that it makes me think of a deep-fried cookie. It isn’t all that apple-flavored, but it sure does satisfy a morning sweet tooth. A fritter costs all of $1.09. Cinnamon rolls, twists, donut holes, and jelly-filled bismarks round out the sweet-pastry lineup.
Then there are kolaches, aka pigs in blankets. These are pastries of fleecy sweet dough baked around a spicy little sausage. They’re available with jalapeno peppers in the sausage, or simply laced with cheese, the latter making for a very rich, salty, savory morning snack.
Almost all Ross Donuts business is take-out, but there are a couple of tiny two-top tables in front of the counter where customers can sit, sip coffee, and enjoy the simple pleasure of plebeian sinkers.