Living up to its name, Hypnotic Donuts seems to have cast a spell on the people of Denton. During my visit on Saturday -- four days after the Lakewood shop opened its newest location in Denton's town square -- a line stretched out the door. Parents, their gazes eerily transfixed on the soft glow emanating from the donut case, waited for half an hour to place orders while children tried in vain to get their attention. No mere donut could inspire such devotion.
A donut with bacon on top? Yep, that might do the trick.
Hypnotic was the first shop in DFW to capture the high-end donut market when its first location on Garland Road opened in 2012. This was on the heels of a nationwide trend sparked by Portland's Voodoo Donuts. Voodoo successfully elevated donuts' platform from fried-glaze-delivery systems to artisanal and quirky creations. And with donuts like Evil Elvis (a yeast donut with peanut butter, bacon, banana slices and honey) and Vampire Weekend (long john filled with chocolate cayenne mousse and topped with horchata icing), Hypnotic isn't exactly reinventing the wheel, but they sure as hell are putting a lot of different toppings on it. Purists hath no fear: they also offer plain and chocolate glazeds, cinnamon rolls and basic cake donuts. Prices range from 85 cents to $4 per donut.
For those of you who like a little protein with your early morning carbo-loading, hypnotic has got you covered with chicken biscuits. And in keeping with Hypnotic's founding principles, you can get a chicken biscuit topped with everything from peppered gravy and tater tots (the Maribeth, $6), to bacon, pickles, spicy mustard, cheddar and honey (the Amy, $7.) If you can't decide whether to get a donut or a chicken biscuit, there's always the Jim ($7), which takes a piece of their salty, crispy chicken and sandwiches it between a toasted, glazed donut.
If only there was a coffee shop housed within the same space to help cut the copious amounts of sugar and fat with a nice jolt of caffeine -- a convenient way to lube up the digestive tract, as it were. Oh wait. There now is. Cultivar Coffee -- another independent business rooted in East Dallas -- partnered with Hypnotic to double-team Denton. Cultivar offers patrons a full-service coffee bar with lattes, espressos, iced coffees and more.
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The space these two businesses share is bright, open, colorful and conscientious. Looking around, lots of little details emerge, such as the Hypnotic menus, which are clipped to the front of old records, a tiki cart that holds napkins and plastic cutlery and a whimsical, semi-trippy mural that graces one wall. For the lucky souls that are quick enough to grab one, a few tables and chairs occupy the center space (although there is additional seating outside) along with an aggressively 60s couch. It all feels well-suited for a town like Denton. And from the look of it, Denton agrees.