As soon as I heard the Doughnut Plant
had finally opened up their new location on 23rd Street in Chelsea I hightailed it over there to check out the space and some of the new doughnuts they would have to offer.
I wish I had the words to describe this set-up but the best I can say is that the counter reminds me of a ticket counter at an old train station (in a good way). They have a series of TV screens on the wall in the back of the shop that have a rotating display of Food Network shows that have highlighted the Doughnut Plant.
Even the chairs have a doughnut theme. The first time I went I ended up switching tables as a couple from the Upper West Side had brought their extended out of town family and I got to watch their young daughter, Zoe, eat her first Doughnut Plant doughnut. Very cool. Start 'em early! This shop is much bigger and more of a place to hang out for coffee and doughnut with your friends whereas the original location is really a to-go spot. It does get crowded very quickly though (yeah, like THAT would stop ME!) Disclaimer
: while enjoying my doughnuts last night I overheard a customer ask if the doughnuts are made on-site and the guy at the counter said no, that they are made at the LES location and driven over. I think they are working through some red tape regarding their fryers but hope to have them made on-site very soon.
The also incorporated the doughnut tiles on the wall (same as in the original LES Plant) and a design on the small counter where I ate a couple rings of fried goodness last night!
What I really dig though are the doughnut shaped and themed pillows on the walls...coconut cream, strawberry, peanut butter & jelly, Meyer lemon, Valrhona chocolate, take your pick!
The TVs in back also display old photos and I think this one is of owner Mark Isreal's grandfather or great grandfather, whose recipes Mark used to start the Plant.
I was really surprised this shot of the menu came out! I have to give high marks to the chai (creamy, slightly perfumed and very comforting) and the churros (crispy and sugary on the outside and creamy, almost caramel-like on the inside). A word to the wise (which would not be me), I have come here three times all after work and once they were closed two hours before the posted schedule as they had run out of doughnuts. The other two times they had already run out of newest flavors, chocolate chip, salted peanut and oatmeal. So, the lesson here is : GO EARLY! One of these days, they will be mine. Oh yes, they will be mine!
Peanut Butter & Blackberry Jelly yeast doughnut. Probably my all-time favorite. Lots a fresh crunchy peanuts and a rich homemade jelly inside surrounded by a light, slightly chewy dough. Mmmmmmm!
Pistachio cake doughnut. I really loved this one. Not only were there fresh, crunchy pistachios in the glaze but they were studded throughout the cake as well!
Fresh Strawberry glazed yeast doughnut. Every time I eat one of these I am still blown away by how fresh the strawberry tastes. I made a few furtive glances around the room last night and then proceeded to lick the "glaze paper" in which it had been wrapped. Don't want any of that flavor to go to waste.
Pistachio glazed yeast doughnut. Excellent, though I think I like the cake version more as this one didn't have pistachios throughout. The 411
220 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011
Phone# 212-505-3700 (Lower East Side number-not sure if the new digs have a phone yet)
Just up around the bend, some burrito love (Anna's Taqueria style) in NYC!!