Holy Crullers

Weekends are for doughnuts

San Francisco has a well-trodden doughnut circuit that begins at Dynamo and ends at Bob's. But other doughnuts exist out there, appearing on brunch menus, fried by less social-media-saturated sources:

The Saturday-morning doughnuts ($3.50 each) at Pinkie's Bakery, for instance, make Krispy Kremes taste like cloying rounds of fatty air by comparison. Slow-risen, yeasty and none too sweet, they inspire a long-forgotten nostalgia for the ones we used to get at Midwestern bakeries. Our favorites are maple-almond and cinnamon sugar, but Cheryl Burr switches flavors each week.

The appeal of the buckwheat beignets ($6) at Bar Agricole's Sunday brunch is in the contrast between the subtle earthiness of buckwheat flour and the considerable lightness of the tennis-ball-size doughnuts, which are dusted with cinnamon sugar. Instead of glaze, the cooks sometimes brûlée a tuft of marshmallow crème: It's every bit as good as the filling of a s'more.

A recent replacement for the beignets on the weekend brunch menu of Market & Rye's Potrero branch are Ryan Scott's churros ($7). These aren't the dried-out, greasy dough sticks you get at street fairs, but puffy, straight-out-of-the-oil doughnuts with custardy centers. Yes, there's chocolate sauce for dipping, too.