Metro, Food, Newton

Donut Villa Offers Diners a Taste of the Unexpected With Unconventional Savory-Sweet Combos

Donut Villa Diner is not your typical diner. In fact, its Newtonville location is not a diner at all, according to its owner.

The Newtonville Donut Villa opened on Sept. 18, separating itself from the Donut Villa Diners in Cambridge and Malden not just in location, but also by dropping “diner” from its name and incorporating a wider selection of menu options. It serves a range of traditional and inventive donuts, including a Donut Breakfast Sandwich and Pizza Donut, as well as other food options.

Whether you’re watching a football game, grabbing donuts on the way to the office, or sitting down for dinner with your family, the Donut Villa has all bases covered. 

“That’s the beauty about Donut Villa—you can go in and grab a late night drink and hang out, and families with kids can come in for brunch on a Saturday,” said Erin Bashllari, owner of the business.

Taking over the original Malden Donut Villa Diner in 2017 was Bashllari’s first dip into the restaurant industry. Bashllari left his job as an emergency room nurse to fully dedicate himself to the restaurant. 

“I’ve always talked about owning my own restaurant,” Bashllari said. “My dad finally said, ‘We either are going to do it now, or this is something we’re not gonna be able to do later.’” 

Director of Operations Johnny D’Eletto said he believes the third Donut Villa gives Newton something unique. The city was missing a restaurant where anyone could walk in at any time of day and find something they liked, D’Eletto said, but the new Donut Villa location became that place.

“I believe us offering a unique line of craft beers, as well as mimosas and bloody marys on top of [offering] dinners … was just a little hole that [needed] to be filled,” D’Eletto said. 

A cheeseburger with fresh donuts as the buns is one of the many savory-sweet combinations and unique food items on Donut Villa’s menu. 

The restaurant also offers an array of gluten-free and vegan options, as well as traditional comfort food items that are unlike anything you’d expect at a conventional donut shop. 

“We’re offering a steak [that’s] marinated for 24 hours,” D’Eletto said. “We’re doing crab cakes, penne vodka—all this food you don’t normally think of.”

In addition to its unique menu, Donut Villa also offers a one-of-a-kind environment. The dimly lit but vibrant atmosphere creates a comforting, family-friendly feel with modern decor. Neon lights cascade down the walls, which are littered with donut puns such as “Glazed and Confused” and “Donut Forget About Me.” 

Donut Villa is filled with emerald green, kid-friendly booths, steering away from the traditional diner decor in the franchise’s other locations. The pink neon sign and a 20-person bar also provide an atmosphere for young professionals to come in and enjoy themselves. 

“We really wanted to pay homage to how the brand started,” Bashllari said. “It’s an old-school retro restaurant, but [we wanted it to] still have more of a modern retro vibe.”

October 30, 2022
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