Worth the Trip: Doughboys is Back; Oprah's Favorite still included

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BY KAREN YOUNG

They bake one of Oprah’s Favorite Things and it’s one of my all-time favorite casual restaurants — Doughboys Cafe — and it’s back — a definitive MY DAILY FIND…even if it’s a teeny bit of a drive from the 818.

Oprahs Favorite Thing — Doughboy's Red Velvet Photos: Karen Young

Doughboys first garnered national attention in 2006 when Oprah Winfrey announced the eatery’s Red Velvet Cake as one of her “favorite things” (incredibly moist with a thick mound of real cream cheese topping). It then closed a couple years ago, but is  now reorganized with new management, a new design, and back at its original location on Third Street just west of Crescent Heights.

A small café with inside and outside seating, it’s almost always crowded, so go on an off time, or prepare to wait. Doughboys is known for its extensive and creative menu, large portions, breakfast that’s served all day and fair prices (the menu tops out at $11.95 with the average item at $8-9).

Rice Crispy Malted Pancakes

Here’s a couple  breakfast items to make your mouth water: PBC&B — chunky peanut butter, bittersweet chocolate, and banana sandwich on pan de mie bread which is dipped in egg batter, grilled and served with raspberry dipping syrup; Sourdough Semolina Waffle with plumped dried cherry compote and mascarpone cheese (also available with fresh fruit and whipped cream instead instead of cherries and cheese ); or how about Rice Crispy Malted Pancakes with rice krispies, topped with a thick, melted fresh marshmallows?

The Afterschool Special with tomato soup and grilled cheese.

All day breakfast offerings include a slew of a egg dishes, including their famous four-egg Frittata in various versions and Morning Pizza (caramelized onion, pancetta and swiss cheese baked with two eggs on top). Soups are a big hit here and served in giant bowls with freshly baked baquette on the side. They are most famous for their French Onion Soup with loads of French swiss cheese and garlic toast points. Soup Au Pistou, a tomato base soup with vegetables and pesto is another big hit, as is Straciatella.

Chopped Antipasta Salad

There is an enormous selections of salads, sandwiches and pizza. Even better, there is no skimping on ingredients. Oh, and then there’s the  “Taters,” which are basically home fries topped with all kind of stuff — grilled onions, cheddar cheese, mushroom gravy, chili and cheese, creamed beef, nacho style, roma, and the most hilarious one called “White Trash,” which onions, beef, bacon and steamy velveeta!

Pan Bagnat is a Salad Nicoise in a sourdough boule.

On a couple of excursions, we tried the Pan Bagnat, which is basically a Salad Nicoise in a scooped out sourdough boule.  Also, the After School Special — tomato soup and grilled cheese filled with emmanthal, white cheddar, and fontina cheese on buttered pan de mie — in oversized proportions. The soup is sweet and chunky, unlike most other smooth tomato soups.  The Chopped Antipasta Salad is a hearty combination of soppresatta salami, roasted chicken, mozzarella, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, cucumbers mixed with a creamy balsamic. There was so much packed inside this salad that the lettuce seems like an afterthought.  Even the simplest Smoked Turkey sandwich with gorgonzola is excellent.

The Monster is insane!

Among the craziest menu items is the Monster Sandwich — open face on grilled foccacia bread topped with swiss cheese, grilled onions, mushrooms and roast beef — and as the menu says, “you eat it like a big taco.” Very popular are the Pulled Pork and Beef sandwiches — the meat is smoked on the premises with their own special rub and homemade sauce and wrapped in pan de mie buns. All sandwiches are served with their homemade slaw.

The pizzas are not typical. It is more of a dough rolled and flattened with toppings. Patrons at a nearby table ordered a Garlic Mushroom Pizza topped with basil pesto and swiss cheese. They were raving and couldn’t stop remarking about the generous amount of mushrooms heaped on their very unique pie.

Interior is light and airy with fresh baked goods ready to go.

Doughboys offers a tremendous selection of fresh, baked goods— whole loaves of bread, muffins, bagels, brownies and bars, scones and cakes.

It’s virtually impossible to name everything— and it also takes forever to decide what to order because the menu is so extensive. Just take a little ride and check Doughboys out for yourself. But, remember, be patient with the wait.  Plus, parking in the neighborhood can be tough. Watch the signs.  No matter what, I guarantee a unique and well-priced meal.

Doughboys Cafe and Bakery, 8136 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA (323) 852-1020.  Check out the website for menu and ordering to go.

KAREN YOUNG is the Publisher/Editor of MY DAILY FIND.  Email: karen@mydailyfind.com

About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.