Doughnut Madness


For almost a year, since they opened, I have been meaning to get us up to the larger location of the Doughnut Plant in the Chelsea Hotel. We used to make occasional trips down to the original LES branch, but I have to admit that I usually found myself too impatient with the long line and too frustrated with the cramped space to really enjoy the doughnuts properly. So while the bright and shiny new space might seem a little too fancy-schmancy for die-hards (especially considering its presence in the Chelsea hotel), I really appreciated the quick-moving line, the room to stand, and–even better–the room to sit!

Of course the best bits are the doughnuts! The Doughnut Plant has been officially on the guidebook circuit ever since owner Mark Israel bested Bobby Flay in a throwdown. For years he made his grandfather’s yeast-raised doughnuts–often squared, with interesting glazes and fillings–but now the best known varieties are perhaps his cake doughnuts, the Tres Leches and the Blackout (with chocolate pudding in the cake). We could see why.

Going a little overboard, we got ourselves a half-dozen to sample (cha-ching!): From the cake selection, carrot cake (which tasted exactly like a slice would, down to the cream cheese frosting filling), salty peanut, tres leches and blackout. From the yeast selection, vanilla bean, pistachio, and coconut. The coconut was outstanding (something we already knew from previous visits), but I think I’d recommend the cake doughnuts over the yeast in general. We also tried the Mexican-style churro (different from the kind served in Spain). I agree with many that the Tres Leches was my favorite of all: seemingly simple like a glazed old-fashioned, but so fresh and buttery, and then surprisingly decadent with an injection of evaporated milk, condensed milk and cream.

Oh, nothing like a serving of doughnuts for a healthy lunch. Don’t tell Hudson I said that.

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Caffeine Fix


Since beginning my maternity leave with Hudson, I’ve increased my latte expenditures considerably. It’s especially dangerous having some of the best coffee houses in New York within a few blocks. (In fact, I’m getting to know the blocks around the East Village better than ever these days and there’s a lot of “dangerous” spots I’ve been meeting or revisiting, all worth mentioning.)

Ninth street espresso is famous for both its unyielding quality and its unyielding ways when it comes to serving the perfect espresso. Seriously good stuff.

Yesterday, I walked Hudson over to Tompkins Square Park and to the Ninth Street Espresso location across the street (this branch is actually on tenth, between aves A and B) and then one block down to eat the most delicious, freshly fried donuts at the Brindle Room’s sidewalk bench. Yes… dangerous.

(Check out Oliver Strand’s map of the best coffeehouses, for the NY Times; Thank you, Mr. Strand. Now I’d like a version cross-referenced with Free Wifi Hotspots, please.)

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