Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler.
You’ve got less than month to get out to an orchard and drink in the pure glorious beauty of an Upper Midwestern autumn, and we highly recommend that you consider Apple Jack Orchard in Delano, Minnesota, as your fall color destination. It’s located on the Crow River, it’s got an extensive play area for kids to ramble through, you can sate your shopping needs with gourds, apples, and knickknacks aplenty, and there’s the usual pile of random activities available—everything from hay rides to a petting zoo to an apple cannon. (Please do not point the apple cannon at the petting zoo.)
But even more interesting than all that jazz is the in-house bakeshop, which offers everything from apple pie to cookies to apple pull-aparts to caramel apples. The jewel in the crown, however, are the housemade apple cinnamon donuts, which come packaged in paper bags and reasonably priced at a half dozen for $4, or a dozen for $8.
These apple-infused, cakey rings are thoroughly blasted with a cinnamon sugar coating and consequently taste like every lovely thing about autumn in one conveniently sized toroid. Nibble on one bite by bite, alternating with sips of coffee or hot cider, and you’ll have as lovely and complete a fall experience as you can possibly manage on the outside of a leaf pile.
This weekend (October 27–28) is Apple Jack’s last fully open hurrah for the season; you’ll be able to enjoy the bakery and market and petting zoo through early November, but U-pick and the orchard’s carnival-like elements will be shut down for the season.
The Dish: Apple Cinnamon Donuts, six for $4
The Place: Apple Jack Orchards, 4875 37th St. SE, Delano, MN
The Reason: It’s a bite of autumnal bliss.