Friday, November 5, 2010

NYC's Best Doughnut Search: Doughnut Plant

New York is known for its bagels and for its pizza. It definitely is not known for its doughnuts.

You can find a cannoli on every corner in Little Italy, and you can order a knish at nearly any given deli. But a plain, simple doughnut? No can do.

Of course, a good doughnut isn't really plain or simple. And, as I wrote in September 2009, a good donut does not come from either Tim Horton's or Dunkin' Donuts. Since these two chains are nearly as omnipresent as McDonald's and Starbucks, it's difficult to look past them. It took some research. A few fancy restaurants, I found out, have high-end doughnuts on the menu, but I'm looking for a doughnut that doesn't come with a waiter or a linen tablecloth.

And so I have begun my search for New York's best doughnut. First stop: Doughnut Plant.

This Lower East Side doughnut mecca gets high marks for drool-inducing flavors like creme brulee and tres leches. It has about an equal number of yeast donuts and cake doughnuts on the menu, and they all looked equally appetizing. The long Sunday afternoon line gave me plenty of time to second-guess the doughnut I had already decided I wanted to sample: the Blackout.

This chocolate cake doughnut (bottom left corner in the top photo) was covered in a chocolate glaze and topped with chocolate cake crumbs. A few bites in I noticed it was also filled with chocolate pudding -- the first time I'd ever had a filled doughnut that also had a hole in the center.

Paul opted for a vanilla yeast donut, and the bite I begged off him convinced me it was a high-end Krispy Kreme.

Judge's marks: Three doughnut holes (out of a maximum of five). The doughnuts were by far the best I've had in New York, but it doesn't match the ones I've had in Ohio -- particularly the vanilla frosting-filled selections at Schuler's in Springfield, or even the bismarcks at Buckeye Donuts on a good night. And at $3 a pop, you won't be seeing me bring in a dozen for my coworkers anytime soon. Still, the Doughnut Plant offers delicious treats, albeit more for dessert than for breakfast.

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