It seems like there's always a big food trend going on. I know I wrote all about how rainbow bagels started a big colorful food moment, but the sweet treats of the moment are definitely doughnuts. New York City has a bunch of fancy doughnut spots, but I've heard so many amazing things about Doughnut Plant that I had to put them on my list.
Doughnut Plant first started in 1994, but the family history of these treats dates back to way in the early 1900s. Founder Mark Isreal used to bake the doughnuts in the basement of a Lower East Side tenement building, and the doughnuts were originally carried in Dean & Deluca and other coffee shops around the city. In 2000, Doughnut Plant opened at 379 Grand Street. Since then, other locations have popped up, but I went with the original for my first.
To be completely honest, I'm not a big doughnut fan. I grew up having Dunkin' Donuts (chocolate cake, thank you) for special treats, but I've never been one to really crave a doughnut. Since these treats have become so popular, I've kind of rolled my eyes at all the specialty shops that have opened up, and the realist in me knows that many will start to close (ala fancy cupcake places) as new food trends pop up. Still, I've heard so many great things about Doughnut Plant, so I just had to go see if they could turn me into a believer.
First up, the menu. Doughnut Plant has some crazy flavors, so choosing one might be difficult. I think if I had gone with other people, I would have ordered a few and we could have split them. The menu includes a number of specials (right now there are Chinese New Year varieties, including Crystalized Ginger and Lychee), as well as their popular cake, yeast, and, something they're famous for, filled square doughnuts.
I like to be adventurous with food, but the Brooklyn Blackout (filled with chocolate pudding, topped with glaze, and sprinkled with cake crumbs) looked and sounded too good, so I went with that. Doughnut Plant also serves up coffee, espresso drinks, and other beverages, so I grabbed a coffee and sat down to eat.
I mentioned in some other posts, but I'm not a food critic, so don't expect me to use big fancy words to describe the things I eat. That being said, holy crap this was an amazing doughnut. The cake doughnuts from Doughnut Plant are leavened with baking powder, and they have a texture that really does resemble that of cake, instead of the dryness I picture when I hear "cake doughnut."
As for the coffee, I could have done without it. It wasn't terrible, but it also wasn't worth the price I paid for it. I guess that's why this place is called Doughnut Plant and not Coffee Plant.
Even though I'm not a big doughnut fan (although writing this has me absolutely craving one), I would still come back for more from Doughnut Plant. The menu has something for everyone, and I think it would make a doughnut believer out of anyone.
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