Ritter's most desirable seats have always been at the counter, so you can witness their simple (albeit, efficient) cooking method: A squirt of oil, add-in of protein, heat and sauce; then turn on the steam 'til evenly done. Their signature pan roast was as reliable as your worn-in T-shirt. It could do no wrong, and is still the go-to choice for most. However, few are aware of the menu's best kept secret–dessert.
At first glance, it may seem like a standard slice of something a la mode. Wrong. This magical treat is brilliant for one sweet reason–DOUGHNUTS! Chef Sheila O'Halloran in the Ritter's kitchen is the mastermind behind this tasty delight. It turns out one of SKC's neighbors is a doughnut shop that would routinely toss their day-old selections into the dumpster. Instead of purchasing new carbs, she thought repurposing the pastries was a win-win. Each batch was unique, since the selection of extra doughnuts varies daily. One bite may contain a hunk of old-fashioned. The next time, a bear claw.
If that's not enough reason to devour this puddin', let's go over the finishing touches. You've got a scoop of creamy, French vanilla melting atop. Then it's all about that heavy-handed pool of whiskey sauce. Whiskey, French vanilla and doughnuts. Now that's a triple threat, if you ever saw one. Go ahead: pack up that pan roast to go. You've got some lost dessert times to catch up on.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.