My dinner table always looks better with a trio of warm Lakeside Diner doughnuts adorning it…though they don’t last long around here.
LAKESIDE DINER: 1050 LONG RIDGE ROAD
Breakfast has always been the one meal that I would almost always prefer to cook myself. Unless I’m on the road, I don’t really see the point of eating out before noon.
However, working weekends is just one of those things you have to deal with in newspapering and this isn’t always conducive to leisurely Sunday breakfasts.
As a photojournalist at the Advocate, I have been working Sundays for over five years and the good comes with the bad – so to speak. There is nothing better than hitting up Lakeside Diner for a bag of hot doughnuts on the way back from an assignment.
It became a ritual of sorts: whenever I had an assignment anywhere near the Parkway on a Sunday morning, I would pickup a dozen of the warm, fresh, sugar-coated masterpieces and rush back to the paper to share a couple with Al, the head security guard in our old building.
The retired cop would then regale me with stories from his days on The Job, pulling middies as a patrolman in the bad-old-days of Southfield Village and the West Side in the 70s and 80s.
This seemed to work to my advantage as I’m pretty sure these conversations over doughnuts were what made me one of the few people Al would let upstairs if I had forgotten my company ID badge. (Stan the Man was a whole different story)
Lakeside Diner is something of a Stamford institution. Weekends see the dining area packed, often with a line for seating heading toward the door. At breakfast they serve solid diner fare (but terrible coffee), great pancakes, eggs, bacon and sausages, but the doughnuts – the glorious sugar doughnuts – really steal the show.
I’ve had the famous cider doughnuts at the Greenmarket in New York, samplings from Vermont and New Hampshire, but Lakeside really holds their own, especially when you get a batch right out of the fryer.
These are nothing like the doughnuts of my childhood, when we would get a box and load up the VW Vanagon and head off on a family trip with these oddly addictive, yet cardboard-tasting pastries…Lakeside doughnuts are how doughnuts are meant to be: warm, soft but slightly crisp, sugary. Delicious.
While I’m not writing this post to encourage my photo editor to assign me a job that will require dragging myself out of bed next Sunday morning, I must admit, if there are Lakeside doughnuts involved, I won’t even have to set my alarm clock.
UPDATE: I buttonholed Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele at an awards banquent tonight. Fedele, a Stamford resident, is a regular at the restaurant. “Lakeside diner is a landmark in North Stamford and clearly the doughnuts are part of that. They are a staple for many of us in the morning,” Fedele said, then he added with a laugh as he walked into the dining room, “So, I’m the doughnut guy now?”