A Look at Kane’s Donuts’ New ‘Dowiches’

Paul Delios has transformed his family's world famous treats into a versatile conduit for lobster, savory braised meats, and more.

kane's donuts

Photo by Olga Khvan

As the face of Kane’s Donuts—widely regarded as one of the country’s premier purveyors of that most American of sugary, fried confections—it’s easy to forget that Paul Delios has, and always will be, a chef first. Prior to getting into the family business, the Lynn and Saugus native gained culinary acclaim as the chef and owner of successful Charlestown restaurants Paolo’s Trattoria and Meze Estiatorio. He has decades of kitchen experience under his belt, not to mention a comprehensive cookbook that captures his brand of new Greek cuisine. So, maybe it’s not all that surprising that Delios looked at Kane’s contemporary new outpost at the International Place building in Boston’s Financial District and saw an opportunity to go beyond those hubcap-sized coffee rolls, the honey dipped rounds, and the old-fashioned cake doughnuts.

Much like his father Peter, whose penchant for creative dabbling gave the world a croissant/doughnut long before Dominique Ansel’s cronut phenomenon, Paul loves to push the envelope.  Hence the “dowich,” a variety of savory sandwiches introduced last week that utilize an unsugared, unglazed jelly doughnut shell in lieu of a bun. These overstuffed creations cover everything from lunch rush standbys (tuna and chicken salad) to the inspired and gourmet (a braised beef with chimichurri sauce), most for under $10.

“These took me about six months to perfect, but I just figured people in the building would be looking for a quick, portable lunch,” Delios says. “Why not use the doughnut like a brioche-style bun. It’s much like if you went down to South America and bought an arepa. It’s the same philosophy. Arepas are made with a masa-based dough that’s deep-fried, and once it comes out of the kettle they pop it open and stuff it with meats. I said, ‘Let me use something that is quintessential to New England, the doughnut, and use it as a vehicle to do the same thing.'”

kane's donuts

From left: Mediterranean chicken with tzatziki sauce, lobster roll, and tuna salad. Photo by Olga Khvan

Using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, the chef carves out the middle of a plain yeasted roll and piles in options like pulled pork with cabbage slaw and a pineapple mango salsa; grilled chicken with tzatziki sauce; and lobster salad brimming with large chunks of tail and claw meat. In addition to the six dowich concoctions currently on offer, Delios says he’s also working on vegan and vegetarian versions.

For the time being, dowiches will be limited to the Boston location at 90 Oliver Street, but Delios sees Kane’s introducing the new savory side of the menu to the original location later this year. And who knows, this could only be the beginning of something much larger for the Saugus-based company. According to Delios, developers all over the state are clamoring for a Kane’s Donuts to pop up in their respective towns—something the family hasn’t ruled out.

“We don’t know where we’re going next,” Delios says. “We’re getting offers from everybody, but for right now we’re just trying to enjoy what we’ve got here in Boston.”

kane's donuts

From left: Pulled pork, braised beef, and the chicken salad. Photo by Olga Khvan

90 Oliver St., Boston; kanesdonuts.com.