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Restaurants

Paulette's Original Donuts and Chicken

Posted by Rebecca Fleming / Listed on June 26, 2012 / review policy

Paulettes Donuts ChickenPaulette's Donuts & Chicken opened Monday - and thanks to the new donut trend sweeping the city, a successful debut at the Stop's night market, and the fact that it's owned by Devin Connell of Delica Kitchen - there was no shortage of customers. I was going to drop by after the lunch rush so I could loiter like usual to take pictures, but well, I got hungry.

Paulettes Original Donuts and ChickenPaulette's offers a lot in the way of food, but not space (takeaway only), so what little they have was jam packed with people by the time I got there at 11:30. It's darn cute though, with its mint green walls and uniformed staff, so nobody seemed to mind the line. Those in wait stayed occupied by deciding on chicken sauces or salts, and of course, the donuts of the day - one of each showcased behind glass, in Japanese food display fashion.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I took a trip to New York, and I fell in love with a donut (and then promptly cheated with one of its closest friends). It was a toasted coconut by Brooklyn operation Dough, so when I read that Paulette's had recently been there on a donut and fried chicken "research" trip, I got a little bit too excited. Apparently I'm not very monogamous when it comes to donuts.

Paulette's Donuts and Chicken TorontoFried chicken on the other hand, has never won me over, but being open to new possibilities I, along with my friend, ordered a snack size portion ($8). Each came with two good sized pieces of chicken and a choice of dipping sauce or salt. We went with Graham's Burning Hot Sauce and Chili Maple Dip.

Now to be honest, we were looking at the chicken as a bit of a roadblock as it stood in the way of our donuts, and we had to finish our meal before our dessert...even if they were the nutritional equivalent of one another. We were blown away though. It was incredible. The tempura-like batter has to be among the lightest and crunchiest of its kind, and although my current cholesterol levels might prove otherwise, it wasn't greasy.

In direct contrast to the batter was the chicken, which was unbelievably moist and so tender that it fell away from the bone. Both sauces paired very nicely, but I favoured the Maple Chili as the hot sauce tasted more of Frank's than Graham's.

Paulettes Donuts TorontoSeeing as we did such a good job of eating our meals (it turned out to be pretty easy after all), we moved on to the dessert portion. We ordered a D'oreo -one of their "fancy" full sized donuts ($2.75 each) - and a bag of Garam Masala Hot Donut Dots ($4.50), the indie version of TimBits.

The garam masala flavour on the dots was nice, but the dots themselves were a bit of a disappointment. They were somewhat dry and boring. Maybe if they were piping hot, and I had a cup of coffee for dipping, it would have been a different story.

Paulettes Original DonutsThe D'oreo however was something else. It had a dense cake texture, and the icing that surrounded it on all sides tasted exactly like the innards of its namesake cookie. My friend can be quoted as saying "This might be the most delicious donut ever".

And because I'm a good girlfriend, I bought two more donuts to take home in the name of sharing. And because I had to write this article, I took a bite of each before they made it there...in the name of research.

Paulettes TorontoThe Raspberry Royal, covered in fuchsia icing and sprinkled with graham crumbs, wasn't cloyingly sweet as I would have guessed. It was even a bit tart with a hit of raspberry flavour that started strong and then faded until the next bite.

Paulettes LeslievilleThe Root Beer Float might have been my favourite. Its flavour was muted in comparison to the others, but the root beer had a strong enough presence to make it an interesting eat, without making it taste like one of those Bottle Cap candies.

So we came for the donuts, but it was the chicken that stole the show. My American toasted coconut love affair may not have been swayed, but in terms of fried poultry, Paulette's has my heart. And in the new battle between donuts and cupcakes (I'm on Team Donut), Paulette's is a new stronghold - they sold out of full sized ones by 3pm. Good thing I went early.

Paulettes Original Toronto

Discussion

52 Comments

nice / June 26, 2012 at 09:21 am
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Been looking forward to this!
Sounds like its going to be a neat place!
Ryan / June 26, 2012 at 09:56 am
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Looks good.
Address or map of location would be nice though
jae / June 26, 2012 at 10:07 am
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Info is on the right side.
Ryan / June 26, 2012 at 10:24 am
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Thanks. Didn't see it with my browser window at a minimal size.
Steve / June 26, 2012 at 12:34 pm
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You know, with the number of "Why isn't there an address" posts you'd think BlogTO would fix the interface and the authors would start including the address in the text.

You can fume about your readers "not getting it" but bottom line is, the current approach doesn't seem to work.
loper / June 26, 2012 at 12:43 pm
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"And because I'm a good girlfriend,".... fuck, BlogTO, when are you going to learn that we don't care if you're a good GF/BF/Dog or not?
james / June 26, 2012 at 01:14 pm
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Oreo donut was amazing....so was mango yuzu...found this place on my way to mercury....everything she says is true...lol and i used to go to donut plant for donuts lolx2
Dr.No / June 26, 2012 at 06:37 pm
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You'd think with all the amazing press coverage they would make enough product so they don't run out of donuts @ 2pm on their 2nd day ? Or, you could make another batch.... not rocket science.
jd / June 26, 2012 at 06:52 pm
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So this is right near Leslieville Pumps?

Seems like this little stretch of Queen is where I need to be.
Khristopher / June 26, 2012 at 07:46 pm
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$2.75 for 1 donut is too much. Fancy or not, they're just donuts. The fried chicken is tempting though! Great to have a new place to get food from in the area, as there isn't a lot around there for lunch when you're at work.
Louisa D / June 26, 2012 at 09:42 pm
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Just went today for the 1st time. Loooooove this place. Had the raspberry rose donut which may be the best donut I have ever eaten, scratch that, the best thing I have ever eaten in my life. Had a bite of of my friends chicken was beyond delicious. Not greasy, crazy crunchy and super flavourful. I'll be back this weekend. Hope I make it before they sell out.
cathie / June 26, 2012 at 10:50 pm
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Sounds like a great place. Will give them time to figure out how much they need to make so I don't waste my time going there and there's nothing left. A nice backup for when I can't get to Paula's Donuts in Buffalo - now those are some donuts!
Andrew / June 27, 2012 at 12:42 am
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I can't wait to try this place. I wonder if the fried chicken is better than the Stockyards?. It will be hard to top.
Feathers / June 27, 2012 at 07:29 am
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This is pretty good chicken, but I would say Stockyards is still tastier.( and much better value)
Amy / June 27, 2012 at 11:38 am
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$8 for half a breast and leg is too expensive! How does a whole chicken cost $21? Does that come with a winning lottery ticket? Again, this is for young and affluent or those that are in debt because they go out for cocktails and dinner everynight. Buying take out is now becoming only for special occasions. I'm not going go get credit card cash advances just so I can taste this chicken! Isn't that how all the young people eat out at trendy places so often?
todd / June 27, 2012 at 01:29 pm
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wow thanks more restaurants along the same 4 blocks in the same 4 neighborhoods every new restaurant opens in. Thanks fucking hipster scum, try opening something somewhere where people in toronto can go conveniently for once.
Cale / June 27, 2012 at 03:22 pm
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$2.75 is at least a tad cheaper than the competition (Glory Hole, Bake Lab, Dough Toronto etc...).

But I do think the chicken seems over priced especially since you can't dine in. At Delica, the prices seem to keep going up and up... so is that what is in store for Paulette's as well? I hope not.

I haven't tried the chicken but the doughnuts are yummy. The dough has a distinct taste to it. I like that it's about the flavors and not gimmicky toppings on top the doughnut.
Leslieville resident / June 27, 2012 at 04:48 pm
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A word of advice for anyone from Paulette's reading these comments: stop right now...you will go crazy trying to interpret and respond to the nonsense on these boards (I'm including yelp). Just do what you're passionate about doing and focus on the positive...nobody takes these comments seriously anyway, people want to try things themselves. Prices reflect the time, effort, quality of ingredients, location...you need to make a profit---people need to get used to paying the true cost of things. Good luck with your new venture, looks like fun!!
ted / June 27, 2012 at 05:38 pm
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tried 3 donuts today...... awesome cake donut....really nice crunch.
personally way too sweet though..... just glazing the top would be more than enough for me!
cinnamon was the one I preferred.
Nancy / June 27, 2012 at 06:12 pm
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After reading all this high praise, I'm thinking I must have wandered into the wrong place. The "crust" on the chicken was so hard I nearly broke a tooth, the chicken was dry, and the donut was cakey and tasteless, except for the overly sweet so-called root beer icing it was drowned in.
Maybe it was just a bad day, but I'm not remotelytempted to return. And "fancy".....whaaaa????
me replying to a comment from todd / June 28, 2012 at 10:22 am
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Are you that geographically inept?

Its at Queen and Logan. How inconvenient is that?

You hop on the Queen St/King St street-car, maybe ride your BMX or your car and go east for maybe 10 minutes.
BillyO / June 28, 2012 at 11:08 am
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I found the chicken waaayyyy to crunchy, but the doughnuts were unreal!

I will be back, but just for the doughnuts.
Jay / June 28, 2012 at 11:48 am
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I found the chicken a bit greasy, and the donuts way too cakey. Nice atmosphere, though it doesn't make up for the inept staff. I'll get my chicken elsewhere.
Kendra / June 28, 2012 at 01:20 pm
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After reading this review I rushed to Paulettes. Needless to say was this reviewer eating the same chicken I ate? For lack of a better word it was disgusting. The batter was heavy, very oily and had an unappetizing smell. Once you actually get to the meat you will find that the chicken tastes more like it has been boiled than fried. The Maple Dipping Sauce that came with the snack pack was only half full in the container and by no means complimented this disappointing meal. Overall, save yourself $8 plus tax and go get a meal that not only tastes great but won't instantaneously clog your arteries. This is not the fried chicken you want for a picnic or to share with your family.
judy white / June 28, 2012 at 06:39 pm
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Come on people, why such negative comments? What's wrong with your tastebuds? I've been to Paulette's twice and have been knocked out by both the donuts and the chicken, not to mention the crazy good mac n' cheese and coleslaw. I'm going back tomorrow.
beebo / June 29, 2012 at 09:36 am
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this place is great! the chicken was awesome and the doughnuts were even better! i'm really craving one of the rootbeer float doughnuts right now!
TJ / June 29, 2012 at 10:29 am
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$2.75 for a doughnut is too much. It might be slightly cheaper than the competition but still. I think $2 for a "gourmet" one like this is more reasonable. And $8 for 2 pieces of chicken? I think $6 is more reasonable.
JayEss / June 29, 2012 at 11:07 am
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I was really looking forward to trying the chicken based on this review (light, crunchy, tempura like batter), but also found it too heavy and waaay too crunchy and yes, pretty oily. I guess for those that like that kind of crunch it's good, but 'light' and 'tempura-like' it was not. Didn't try a doughnut, so can't vouch for that, but my advice is to skip the chicken.
Matthew / June 29, 2012 at 02:25 pm
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$9 for two tiny pieces. A little too greasy. Good but not worth the price.
Rooster / June 29, 2012 at 04:33 pm
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Love me some chicken.
Joe Public replying to a comment from judy white / June 29, 2012 at 06:18 pm
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Why do I have a feeling you are a shareholder in this little fried chicken shack?
Foghorn O'Kalashnikov / June 30, 2012 at 03:42 pm
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Okay, my little review: We tried the 4-piece fried chicken, hot sauce, garam salt, a couple coffees, slaw and a couple of types of doughnuts. The chicken has a really, really thick shell of batter but is tasty underneath if not quite blew-me-away tasty. The slaw is good, hot sauce fine. Garam salt expensive as an extra but quite nice too. We VERY much liked both flavours (mango, raspberry) of cake doughnuts and the coffee, I can see myself coming back for these rather than the chicken and they are more easily consumed while people-watching on the bench outside. Staff friendly if seeming a bit flustered by the POS, but in fairness it just opened.

This place is not cheap - I think the above order totalled almost $30 - and for ironically presented trendy junk food it is not as filling as Burger Priest. For a once in a while treat it is worth a short trip. We'll be back and I wish them success, which they should get at the markups they must have.

(Also please help solve the mystery of where all the skinny hipsters in line are putting away this fatty food? Surely they can't fixie-bike it off??).
Jeff / July 2, 2012 at 05:30 pm
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Will add my review to the mix.

I was really looking forward to trying this place out but I am glad that I read before hand that the fried chicken "batter" was THICK as it was really different than any other fried chicken I had before. For $8 for two peices I will not be getting it again but at the same time I was glad that I tried it just to understand what people were talking about. The sauce I had with it (honey and some spices) was good.

I enjoyed the balsamic blueberry donut that I had but I can see what people are saying about them being too "cakey" because I had a bite of the strawberry jammie and it wasn't what I was expecting at all.

Wish them well.... but, if you are in the area to try the donuts I would go to Leslieville Pumps and grab a sandwich to fill you up, you will probably need it after the chicken.
Josh / July 3, 2012 at 02:43 pm
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Went around 12:30pm today, there were only 2 other customers in the shop so it was not busy. I ordered the snack pack with Garam Masala salt. Considering it was lunch hour and it was not busy I had high expectations for quality. Unfortunately what I got was quite mediocre. The leg was small, somewhat burnt and the meat was very dry/shriveled. As others have mentioned, the batter is quite hard. It was more enjoyable on some parts of the breast, but on the leg it was way too over cooked and was quite tough. I know they're going for a Korean KFC style chicken but whomever makes the chicken perhaps needs to find a better balance so that it has the crunch but not to the point of chipping your teeth crunch. Quite disappointing since I love the sandwiches at Delica.
Jane / July 7, 2012 at 03:33 am
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So this is right near Leslieville Pumps? Seems like this little stretch of Queen is where I need to be.
Ted / July 7, 2012 at 02:43 pm
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I just had the fried chicken snack with honey mustard dipping sauce.
Value: not great
Flavour: pretty good
Notes: food was not fresh. Donought holes were tough and chicken dried out—room temp. Chicken batter is as hard and brittle as rock candy.

Portions are carefully controled like airline food.
I wont be returning.




martin givens / July 9, 2012 at 10:24 am
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the donuts. were very very disappointing. they were basically all the same heavy cake type donuts with different colour icings that where suppose to be different flavours but all tasted the same. it's truly a shame that these people took a great idea and screwed it up.
weebs / July 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm
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what are you talking about? these guys are the only ones doing anything close to a donut in toronto these guys.

lol just ask around leslieville and people love this place. i think you are smoking to many cigarettes marty! how could each donut taste the same ;)

Leslievillian / July 10, 2012 at 06:31 pm
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Store is cute, well designed and marketed. I was excited about this new addition to my wonderful neighborhood.

but...

The fried chicken was hard and chewy. Seemed like it had been sitting under the lamp for awhile. The flavor was ordinary. The donut (oreo) was MEH. The dipping sauce (honey mustard) was probably the only thing that stood out for me.

The staff was a bit odd.

The biggest let down was how overly priced it was. $8.00 for 2 dried up pieces of chicken and dipping sauce??

I'll stick to KFC and Tim Horton's and spend a quarter of the cost.

As someone said, they took a good idea and blew it. :(
Bee replying to a comment from Leslievillian / July 11, 2012 at 08:54 am
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Seriously Leslievillian? KFC and Tim frozen donut hortons?.............. your opinion doesn't count... damn it, you made me say it. I'm sure if you live in my neighbourhood you are probably a nice person but this food thing isn't for you. I agree with everyone on the price but consider that this isn't the kind of stuff you shovel down your throat with a double double everyday.
Marc replying to a comment from Leslievillian / July 14, 2012 at 10:58 pm
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Haha no wonder you didnt enjoy them. Enjoy your timmy's. You'll find the rest of us at mercury with a paulettes doughnut. Great doughnuts and chicken,


So true comment from above. I wish peeps couldnt annonymously post on here.

nady / July 19, 2012 at 06:16 pm
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I just finished my 2-piece snack, mac'n'cheese, coleslaw and doughnut. Two thumbs up for the doughnut, but the chicken was quite awful. I love me some fried chicken, and the stockyards kicks these folks to the curb. The mac was merely meh, and the coleslaw was disgusting. Go for the doughnuts (which blew my mind), but stay away from everything else.
V / July 26, 2012 at 01:22 pm
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Horrible chicken and horrible donuts. Dry and flavourless. No love here. Also insanely overpriced $3.5 for a shitty donut.
Christine / July 26, 2012 at 10:05 pm
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I tried this place for the first time today and this is my review:

GOOD
-the chicken was quite tasty and with the dip I have to say that I did enjoy it. HOWEVER, if I'm going to go for fried chicken, I would still prefer KFC if I'm going to indulge. Have not tried stockyards. I like fried chicken to be greasy and over the top. Thats why I eat fried chicken for god sakes.

MEH
the donuts and the mac were really just meh. maybe if the donut was fresher I would have liked it more... the mac was not cheesy enough - i make a way better mac and cheese at home.

david / August 7, 2012 at 06:43 pm
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I love the attempt, but going to be tough in this area to sell "expensive" donuts and stay afloat. I had a couple donuts, wasn't blown away and won't be back.
Aidan / August 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm
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I tried the chicken tonight - I can't recommend it for the reasons others have mentioned: the batter isn't very palatable - very think and hard / crunchy as well as greasy - and the meat itself didn't impress - rather dry. The side of coleslaw was pretty good to be fair, but when you consider the price point - $16 for the combo (4 piece) - this isn't an adventure I'll be repeating.
Bob But Not Doug / August 23, 2012 at 06:34 pm
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If you want fried chicken on Queen East, stick with Chick 'n' Joy. Cheaper and much better.
SAD / September 20, 2012 at 10:33 am
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I absolutely love fried chicken and I WAS very eager to try Paulette's rendition of it BUT, I am completely thrown off by their prices - especially for a take-out joint. Is the chicken organic, extra large, made of gold or anything other than regular chicken? $12.95 would be a steep price for a four piece take-out meal, let alone four pieces by itself and it sounds as if the chicken isn't even that great. At a restaurant you pay extra for the atmosphere, service, time, venue, etc. When did drastically over paying for take-out become "cool"?
James / September 21, 2012 at 02:23 pm
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This place is great. got a half chicken and hot sauce. Hot sauce could be spicier but chicken was moist and tasty. Got mint chocolate doughnut which was very good as well.

will be back to try the other doughnuts they have on offer.
Bolz / January 26, 2013 at 11:42 pm
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Bought a dozen today
They only sell cake and no raised yeast donuts which is a letdown. Taking advantage of a rising trend and gouging people.$2.75 is way too expensive even though competition sells for more. All they are is white cake donuts with original glazes. Big deal. Most clever one was balsamic blueberry. But look at the work done on the competitors' products.. Works of art, toasted marshmallows,meringue,brown butter icing and twice the size.
Yvonne / June 13, 2013 at 10:44 pm
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Paulette's is the best donut in Toronto!!! love the strawberry jammy's and all other favors. I've just tried the fried chicken!! super good!!! I went back 10 times already!!!!
Rj / November 2, 2013 at 10:51 am
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This place is closed now, no? I'd been meaning to go for so long but a month or two ago I noticed they had closed.

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