Welcome Chicken and Donuts brings Vietnamese twist to comfort food

If you ever find yourself in this part of town (the restaurant is pretty close to the Greyhound station), be sure to stop by.

Welcome Chicken and Donuts shares a parking lot with U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, Burger King and Subway on 1535 E. Buckeye Road in Phoenix. It's not really a place that you'd expect to find a delicious take on both fried chicken and donuts. 

The neighborhood used to be called Golden Gate Barrio, a prominent Mexican-American area that existed until Phoenix Sky Harbor was expanded.

The restaurant is on Buckeye Road, with parking in the rear of the building, meaning the huge windows create a sense of expansive ownership over the road and the industrial buildings that surround the area. In the near distance, the Sacred Heart Church still stands, a fact noted on the walls of the restaurant. 

The blue vinyl booths and tables are supplemented with ample outdoor seating. When I went, it was a beautiful clear day in Phoenix, and I felt like I could embrace the street. After surveying the industrial landscape reeling from a global transition to a post-industrial knowledge economy, I was able to better appreciate the wide variety of donuts for sale. 

The diversity of donuts ranges from classic rainbow, chocolate and lemon poppy (all $2) to a more inventive cheddar apple fritter ($2.30), maple bacon ($3) and grapefruit mimosa (also $3). 

Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. 

Address: 1535 E. Buckeye Road, Phoenix, AZ 85034

For more information, visit the restaurant's Facebook.  

There's two types for sale here, either raised or cake. I tried the lemon poppy cake donut, and it had an almost perfect crunch. The pastry melts in your mouth after a little resistance from the denser cake texture. 

All the donuts use non-GMO Montana flour and the coffee is all Blue House Coffee — just $2 for a small cup. I enjoyed the subtle representation of the Tempe-based coffee roasters here in South Phoenix. 

Speaking of drinks, if you want to turn up while waiting for your chicken and donuts, you can buy beer here. There are three varieties, two of which are Full Sail brand. 

Now, what we've all been waiting for: chicken. At Welcome, you can buy meal combos with chicken options including a single breast ($7.50) to a whole chicken ($18). If you're feeling adventurous — or even if you're not — get one of the Asian-inspired dressings on your chicken.  

Read more about Tempe fried chicken here. 

I decided to get a combo with a breast, the Thai Yum Slaw and Vietnamese plus Fresh Herbs dressing on my fried chicken. The sauces surprised me, and the minty soy sauce combination of my dressing was just what I wanted at 10:30 a.m. 

The chicken was divine. The salty and sweet Vietnamese sauce played nicely with the crunchy, protein-laden fried bird. The skin on the breast wasn't too breaded or overbearing. It was fried to perfection, and the dressing didn't take over the breading.  

If you ever find yourself in this part of town (the restaurant is pretty close to the Greyhound station), be sure to stop by. The spot is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. 

Reach the reporter at pnorthfe@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @peternorthfelt.

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