Donut Patrol: Churros at Arandas Bakery

A plate of churros and a mug of hot chocolate is the best dessert on the menu at Hugo's, the upscale Mexican restaurant on Westheimer. A churro is a Mexican donut made by pushing dough through a nozzle into a deep fryer. The nozzle gives the long, stick-shaped donut pronounced ridges, which trap the cinnamon and sugar topping.

At Hugo's, the kitchen doesn't fry the churros until they are ordered, so they're served piping hot. Hugo's fills the hollow tube inside the donut with dulce de leche and serves it on a plate with a little scoop of mocha ice cream. But I can't afford to pay ten dollars every time I want a Mexican donut. So I had to find some alternate suppliers.

El Bolillo, the big Mexican bakery across from Canino's, has decent churros if you get them when they're hot. But the best I've found outside of Hugo's are the churros rellenos at Aranda's Bakery on Beechnut. At first I was disappointed because the regular churros were stone cold. But then I realized the regular churros were getting cold because everybody was buying the churros rellenos.

These may be the best churros in the city -- they are filled with dulce de leche and tipped with a little chocolate. They are so popular, they are usually piping hot, and they cost a dollar each. I also grabbed an intriguing cream-filled donut at Aranda's. Instead of being injected, it was simply cut in half, and the filling was generously spooned in. The regular raised donuts were nothing special. But there was a big Dia de Los Muertos display in the window, so make plans now to pick up your pan muertos here for your Day of the Dead celebration this coming weekend.

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