'Best Donut Shop in America' features Latin food specials in West Palm for Hispanic Heritage Month

·5 min read

In addition to the decadent, Instagram-ready doughnuts on display at West Palm Beach’s new Salty Donut shop, you can now get flan wrapped in a pastelito pocket and a Cold Brew Con Leche, a rich blend of coffee, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk.

Those specials, which are available through Sunday, are owners and founders Andy Rodriguez and Amanda Pizarro-Rodriguez’s nod to Hispanic Heritage Month. But celebrating the month, which kicked off Sept. 15, may be a bit redundant at The Salty, as their shops are known.

The doughnut brand, named by Thrillist as one of the “31 Best Donut Shops in America,” rocks its Latino inspirations throughout the year.

The Salty Donut's Wynwood roots

Years before it opened its doors in downtown West Palm Beach last month, The Salty Donut made its debut in fully hipster and thoroughly Miami style: selling guava-and-cream-cheese doughnuts and other doughy temptations out of a vintage camper, parked in a Wynwood lot.

The Salty Donut's Cold Brew Con Leche stands next to a batch of flan pastelitos. Both treats are on a limited-time menu for Hispanic Heritage Month.
The Salty Donut's Cold Brew Con Leche stands next to a batch of flan pastelitos. Both treats are on a limited-time menu for Hispanic Heritage Month.

But like so many things Miami, The Salty didn’t make a huge deal of its cultural identity. It was what it was, a concept that was as much of a cultural mashup as the city itself. From its start in 2015, The Salty’s menu offered glimpses of the young founders’ Cuban-American roots, their Miami pride — they topped their maple-bacon brioche doughnuts with bacon cracklings by the now-closed Miami Smokers restaurant —and a few nods to traditional doughnut flavors (like glazed buttermilk and spiced pumpkin).

That’s the Miami DNA part of the story. But The Salty’s mission transcends its birth city. The doughnut chain’s marketing officer, Danny Pizarro, describes it as a sharing of inspiration.

“We want to draw inspiration not only from our culture and background and roots, but also from the neighborhoods we’re moving into,” he says.

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The Salty Donut had pop-up events at The Square in downtown West Palm Beach before opening a shop at the plaza in August 2022.
The Salty Donut had pop-up events at The Square in downtown West Palm Beach before opening a shop at the plaza in August 2022.

The concept born out of a 1950s Aloha camper now has doughnut shops in Miami, Orlando, Austin, Dallas and, since Aug. 19, West Palm Beach. Other Salty shops are planned for Tampa and Charlotte.

“We want people to feel welcome when they come into our stores,” says Pizarro.

What that means in Texas at The Salty’s shops is kolache pastries stuffed with local barbecue. What it means in Miami is a brioche bun stuffed with Cuban ropa vieja (stewed shredded flank steak) from the iconic Versailles restaurant. And in Orlando, it means a Puerto Rican-inspired “Toasted Coquito” brioche doughnut that carries the flavors of holiday coconut nog.

The Salty Donut's flan-filled pastelito.
The Salty Donut's flan-filled pastelito.

The West Palm shop’s debut in the former Rita’s Italian Ice space at The Square plaza was announced in a series of well attended pop-up events, staged from The Salty’s vintage camper. Opening a shop 70 miles north of Wynwood made sense for many reasons, says Danny Pizarro, who takes the Brightline train from Miami to West Palm several times weekly.

“So many people were coming down to Wynwood from West Palm Beach. When we really looked at it over time, there were hundreds of people with their families coming just to have our doughnuts and coffee,” he says. “This lit the 'lightbulb'  — we need to prioritize West Palm Beach.”

About the doughnuts at The Salty

A batch of doughnuts at The Salty Donut,
A batch of doughnuts at The Salty Donut,

Most of the Salty Donut favorites are made with 24-hour brioche dough. The result, says Pizarro, is fluffy and soft “like a big pillow.”

Brioche dough is used year-round for The Salty’s traditional vanilla-bean glazed doughnut, the guava-and-cheese doughnut, the White Chocolate Tres Leches doughnut, the caramel apple doughnut, the Milk and Cookies doughnut and seasonally for specialty doughnuts. There’s even a vegan doughnut that’s inspired by brioche doughnuts.

The menu also includes cake doughnuts like the Brown Butter and Salt doughnut that’s made with vanilla-bean cake dough, topped with a brown butter glaze and sprinkled with flaky Maldon sea salt.

“Our cake doughnuts have a different, more crumbly texture,” says Pizarro.

There’s a gluten-free cake doughnut that’s “almost like a cookie-muffin,” he says.

At the West Palm Beach shop, the gluten-free selection is a chocolate chip and sea salt doughnut that’s made with a gluten-free cake dough, topped with a cocoa glaze, dotted with chocolate chip cookie bits and buttercream dollops and sprinkled with flaky sea salt.

About the coffee

At The Salty, a box of doughnuts and a cappuccino.
At The Salty, a box of doughnuts and a cappuccino.

The Salty shops serve a proprietary coffee blend by the Chicago-based Intelligentsia coffee roasters.

The specialty coffees menu, which lists the usual espressos, cortados, lattes and cappuccinos, includes sips like The Salty’s Cinnamon Cereal Milk Latte, which gets its breakfast-y flavor from house-made “cinnamon cereal milk” syrup.

There are also specialty tea drinks and lemonade blends.

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The Salty Donut

A fresh batch of flan-filled pastelitos at The Salty Donut. The special pastry is on a limited-time menu for Hispanic Heritage Month.
A fresh batch of flan-filled pastelitos at The Salty Donut. The special pastry is on a limited-time menu for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Location: 460 S. Rosemary Ave., Suite 170, in The Square plaza, West Palm Beach,

Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Info: 561-933-1522, SaltyDonut.com

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Wynwood's Salty Donut shop in West Palm Beach offers Latin food specials