Dining Out! is the Mike McCann Team’s new column about all of the great places to eat in Philly, from the classic spots to the hidden gems. Read up on all of these fantastic restaurants that keep our city de-licious!
Federal Donuts is an acclaimed Philly restaurant chain with a simple mission and mind-blowing food. Their menu consists almost entirely of donuts and chicken. Though this may seem like an odd combination, it is very hard to argue with the results. Their food has a somewhat magical quality in the sense that once you eat there, you can’t hear the words “Federal Donuts” without emitting an involuntary “mmmmmmm” sound. We recently spoke to Federal Donuts manager, Brien Murphy, about the success and appeal of the restaurant’s bizarre business model.
Federal Donuts is a collaboration between Tom Henneman and Bob Logue, who own Bodhi Coffee; Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook, who own Abe Fisher, Dizengoff, Zahav and Percy Street Barbecue, and Felicia D’Ambrosio, who was a food writer and is now CookNSolo’s communication chief. Bob and Tom had their sights set on opening a great donut shop, and Mike and Steve wanted to try their hand at fast, well-made fried chicken. The concepts were combined to create Federal Donuts. The first location opened at 1219 South Second Street, in South Philly, in 2011. [The Restaurant] quickly caught on when we launched our first store and we currently have four locations in Philly, plus a concession at Citizen’s Bank Park and a summer pop-up at Spruce Street Harbor Park.
Federal Donuts is a casual, quick-serve restaurant. We serve only fried chicken, cake donuts, and coffee. It’s a simple, all-American concept. Being that we are a fast-casual restaurant, before we get you out the door and on your way, we try to make a connection and build a relationship with the customer.
Since we only serve coffee, fried chicken and donuts, everything we make is popular. The chicken is twice-fried, Korean-style, so it’s extra crunchy. You can choose from a dry seasoning such as Buttermilk Ranch, Coconut Curry and Za’atar or a full glaze like Chili-Garlic, Sweet Soy Garlic and Honey Ginger on your fried chicken. Our cake donuts are served two ways: Fancy, which are glazed and topped, made in the early morning; and Hot Fresh, which are fried to order and served in your choice of seasoned sugar, Strawberry Lavender, Cinnamon Brown Sugar, or Vanilla Spice.
We create an excellent dining experience by not only valuing the customer, but valuing the full experience of the customer. We focus on the taste of the food, the unique quality of the food and getting to know our guests by asking what could make their experience better. We are always interested in their feedback and how to go the extra mile. We are able to surprise people with both our culinary skills and by being customer service focused. With good people and good food you can rewrite the book.
Brien Murphy credits the success of Federal Donut to the excellent leadership of the owners, Tom Henneman, Bob Logue, Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook. He claims that their ability to create a unique environment that allows for creative freedom allows the staff to operate with a sense of openness that leads to a restaurant with an atmosphere and cuisine like no other! Make sure you visit on of their fabulous locations and, when you do, bring some treats back for us!
Written by Patrick Kaisinger (Mike McCann Team Blogger Extraordinaire)