4061 E. Livingston Ave. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43227
Open Mon-Fri, 7 am - 7 pm; Sat, 6:30 am - 6 pm
Accepts cash and check
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? N/N/N
Date of Visit: Friday, September 24, 2010 at 9:45 a.m.
IMPRESSIONS: Resch's. Resch's. Resch's. I've heard the name for so long. Any time I used the words "Columbus" and "donuts" in the same sentence, someone would utter the word, "Resch's." So there I found myself, on the road for the (614) November edition, writing about family-run donut joints in Columbus, with Resch's at the top of my list. Out of Livingston Avenue, on Columbus' east side, sits their little red brick building with a glowing red neon sign. At first, my son and I accidentally drove by the tiny strip, which Resch's shares with a Wendy's and a pharmacy. Once we turned ourselves, we nabbed a spot in the parking lot out front, and headed in...
...and found ourselves at the back of a hungry crowd, hovering near the counter, with numbers in hand.
And there was reason to hover, what with case upon case of donuts staring at us.
Resch's Bakery has been around since 1912. That's nearly 100 years of serving baked goods to the masses. Despite the city changing dramatically over the years, Resch's still makes their wares the same way, and if their lines are anything to go by, they won't be slowing down any time soon.
Remember that Resch's is a full-service bakery. Donuts and breakfast pastries = yes. Cakes, bread, cookies, and more = also yes.
ATMOSPHERE: Aside from the hum of hungry customers and a kitchen in full swing, Resch's is a quiet place. The decor is a little bland: basic creams and browns, with all dark wooden display cases. There are a couple tables, each with 2-3 chairs, near the big front windows, although they're clearly intended more for those who are waiting in line than for those eating there.
The biggest splash of color is a wall mural of Miltenberg, Germany, Mr. Resch's mother's hometown.
But I won't complain about the view. While you're waiting in line, you get to stare at racks...
...and racks of donuts, cookies, and bread.
FOOD: Now let's get down to the business of breakfast pastries. Quick alert: gratuitous amounts of donut pictures ahead.
Resch's loyal fans trek down East Livingston for the donuts. In case you couldn't tell from the rows of shelves above, Resch's has all the donut bases covered.
I ordered a box of a mixed dozen (poor me). It's the best way to get a good cross section. You'll see, in the pictures below, the variety. Chocolate, glazed, cake, cinnamon, twisted, swirled.
I have a soft spot - right around my waistline - for glazed donuts covered with chocolate.
This is one of Resch's most popular pastries. Well, a version of it. This is a cinnamon roll covered with nuts. When drizzled with white icing, they call it a granny roll. This is the non-iced version: I only wanted one, and the granny rolls come in groups of six.
More donuts: some chocolate, some dusted with cinnamon and sugar.
Lots of the soft gazed donuts.
Covered with powdered sugar, filled with jelly.
I forget the name of this one, but it was delicious. In fact, I probably need to brush up on my donut nomenclature overall.
I'm also a big fan of custard-filled long johns.
Another one of my favorites, and one of Resch's signatures: the twisted glaze donut.
...and more. My poor son - he had to help me try all of these. Then we went to the airport to watch the planes. All around, a pretty rough day.
SERVICE: I love the old-school style of service. Reminds me of the grocery store we went to growing up. It's not super easy to spot, but when you enter the bakery, look for the red dispenser hooked on one of the metal shelves. Take a number, then sit back and enjoy the smells. During our visit, there was a consistent line of 10 people. But don't let this intimidate you. When we arrived, they were serving 99. Ours was number 6. After about twenty minutes, they were serving customers in the 40s. That's nearly 50 customers in twenty minutes! (Note: this was misprinted as 15 customers in (614).) With a small army of old German ladies at the counter, plus another crew in back actually making everything, Resch's is more than capable of handling their steady stream of customers. Everyone I spoke to was very friendly, too, and loved to share about the store. There's a reason they've been in business for 100 years.
OVERALL: I can see why Resch's is synonymous with donuts and Columbus for many. It's a little out-of-the-way the for me, and their donuts are not my favorite in town (the honor still goes to DK Diner), but with their years of experience, wide variety of baked goods, and just high general quality, Resch's is a must-stop on any Columbus donut tour. On October 1, 2010, the bakery's owner, Frank Resch, passed away at age 76. You can read about his passing and some history of the bakery in the Dispatch, and his obituary mentions the bakery's founding. I hope that the bakery gets another 100 years of business to honor his family's legacy.
-> my (614) Magazine write-up on donut joints (including Resch's)