379 Grand Street, NYC, NY
I visited the Doughnut Plant twice this year, One of the many recommended doughnut shops in NYC, this past spring, but revisited for a 2nd tasting this fall. They are located a few doors down from the Chelsea Hotel. Their hours are 6am till they sell out! Which you think would be early in the day since there is always a line out the door, if not near the door.
Doughnuts are a tiny bit pricey but well worth it.
they have daily flavors in both yeast and cake doughnuts, and a good variation of signature doughnuts like the Creme Brulee, Yup that's right a little round pocket filled yeast doughnut filled with Creme Brulee and coated and caramelized sugar! One of the most original flavors that I have run into and actually raved about on several occasions when the topic of doughnuts comes up this year.
I also tried the carrot cake and oatmeal ( cake version's ) doughnut, nice but didn't stay with me as far as experience. Though the Pistachio Yeast was quite nice, and subtle with hints of Vanilla.
My 2nd trip back I tried a Raspberry glazed (Yeast version ), which btw was big as my head and out of this fricking world, I also had a taste of a blackberry jelly filled (Yeast Version ), also just as Yummy! worth the cost too.
This time I was so pleased I made a U turn, got back in line and insisted I take 2 more for the road, they ran short on the Banana Cream filled Yeast, Not surprised, just the sound of that makes me salivate, so I substituted for a Valrhona Chocolate glazed Yeast, and grabbed another Raspberry Glazed Yeast. The Valrhona Chocolate was Amazing! like comforting and decadent with out being too heavy fantastic.
I would also like to add that, on both occasions this hip and hipster frequented spot, was surprisingly managed by delightful employees, they even serve hot & cold specialty beverages, with the volume they turn out in dough alone, and with indecisive, local and tourist ridden patrons, it can get really hectic, but hey always remain polite and even friendly! Yes it can be done!
I think I need a Frequent doughnut card for this place.
2 thumbs all the way UP!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Lancaster, PA 17602
I have decided that I need to slow down with my research for health and dietary reasons.
The Fractured Prune is a small franchise shop given the strange name after Prunella Shriek,Whom owned much of the land in Baltimore in the late 1800's. With locations in Maryland, Ohio, Delaware and PA.
We ventured about an hour outside of Philadelphia to a sleepy little neighborhood in Lancaster PA, The shop sits on a corner next to a head shop called Puff & Stuff, How convenient.
This isn't a typical overview of doughnuts, they specialize in custom made to order cake doughnuts.
With dips and sprinkles and glazes of variations for your hearts content.
You can chose from their custom specialty flavors that have been around since 1976, or the daily specials, Of course you can also make up your own concoctions.
I chose to pick a few off the old and new menu and make one of my own.
The frying and dipping station.. They seem to have a California surfers theme at this location.
Once you place your order you are given a card until they make your fresh hot masterpiece order.
Once your card is called, you are handed this bright purple little box with HOT DOUGHNUTS!
Of course after the drive and wait, the excitement is all I can stand.
Plain Jane - Standard Cake
Apple Cinnamon - Apple Dip, Cinnamon sugared
Blueberry Hill- Blueberry dip with powdered sugar
Sand - Glaze & Cinnamon sugar
Strawberry Shortcake- Strawberry dipped, gram cracker and powdered sugar.
Nutter Butter- Vanilla Glaze and peanut butter chips
Plain Jane, which is a just a Fresh Cake doughnut with nothing added. 4 Stars easily! batter, lard, flavor and yes temperature was awesome!
Apple Cinnamon - was not Apple tasting enough. *1 Star for average flavor
Blueberry Hill- Really nice, good blueberry flavor ***3 Stars for good Burst of flavor
Sand - Glaze & Cinnamon sugar *1 star, underwhelming
Strawberry Shortcake- Strawberry dipped, gram cracker and powdered sugar. My 2nd favorite of the flavored -*** 3 Stars, very original, good berry flavoring.
Nutter Butter- **2 1/2 stars for flavor, a bit messy when the heat from the doughnut melts the peanut butter chips make it a delightful gooey mess.
The doughnuts are small but scrumptious. after we finished the half dozen I purchased another half for take home. However it loses something special once they have cooled over a few hours.
I give The Prune 3 stars***
Monday, April 26, 2010
15 Haddon Ave
I have been dreaming of Doughnuts! I woke up at an unusual hour of 7 am Saturday morning, and all I could think of was, How fresh the doughnuts were going to be at my next bakery stop. I threw on some clothes, Yanked my guy out of bed and said " lets go get doughnuts while they are fresh".
We headed over the bridge from Philly about 15 mins and we arrived at McMillan's Bakery. Situated on it's own little lot in a cute and still dated/retro town of Haddon Township, This Bakery feels right at home.
The sign alone brings my mouth to salivate.
I walk in and the smell is almost indescribable. Nothing smells better than a bakery in the morning, It's when most of the work is done.
I grab a # and stand in like of about 4 people.
Of course no need for the #, but It tells a lot about the place. It tells me at some point and time this place can get so crowded that you would need it.
I seem to get a little frazzled in my head when I take notice of the selection of doughnuts, Even though in my head I am repeating, 1 glazed, 1 jelly, 1 cake and 1 specialty............
This time I was thrown a curve ball, I knew from doing my research that this place was famous for their Creme Filled Doughnut, but I didn't expect them to carry Cider Doughnuts as well, Not only did they carry Cider Doughnuts but they had them in 2 different styles, Sugared and Glazed.
What's a Cider Doughnut? A cake Doughnut that contains Apple Cider, usually coated with cinnamon and sugar, And mostly found at Farm Stands or Orchards.
So what did I leave with...
A nice neat tied up bakery box of,
1 Cream filled specialty
1 Glazed Cider
1 Sugar raised twist
1 Vanilla Frosted Cruller
1 Jelly Filled
Glazed***, Nice clean batter, cooked just right, good air, didn't stop my heart but still deserves 3 stars.
Glazed cider***, Ridiculous moister, and in a good way, though I didn't taste the cider as strong as I would have hoped, and I am comparing that to all the other Cider doughnuts I have had in NJ & PA. I think I would have enjoyed the Sugared version more than the glazed, it just made it a tad too sweet. It also leads me to wonder about the moisture in one of their classic cake doughnuts, which i need to go back and try another time.
Jelly * This was one of the most underwhelming of the half dozen, the raspberry jelly filling was too clumpy, the dough was not stretchy,and a little dry. Sometimes even when I don't like the filling, i find happiness in the dough, neither was the case here.
Sugar Raised Twist* a little dry and a lacking in the air department. One star as well.
Vanilla frosted Cruller *** Wonderful! very eggy, almost like had a doughnut and an omelette at once, Ok not really, but it reminded me of a Popover flavor, I think the Chocolate frosted version of this would have left me on cloud 9. 3 stars!
Creme filled Specialty.***
This is the one that people are making all the "Hoopla" about.
Let me say first the filling is a direct throwback to old fashioned frosting with granular sugar bits, not that new whipped cream that is made with confectioners sugar. BTW they also have a powdered sugar version of this beauty.
Dough is nice and clean, filling so sweet it would make your teeth fall out, Also if your looking for a major sugar rush this is the guy for you. It's definitely worth a try. I give this one 3 stars, especially if your looking to try something different.
I think I need a 2nd trip back to try some more of the alternate ones I didn't get.
Over all McMillans was a lovely bakery with way more than doughnuts to offer. I give this local gem 3 stars.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Third and Fairfax
This isn't a local spot, It's nestled in the Farmers Market in Los Angeles, CA.
I was there last May. I only got one item but it was so delicious that I went back for the same item the next day.
60 cents will get you the freshest Doughnut you ever sank your teeth into.
I was drawn to the Beignet for it's simplicity.
If your not sure what a Beignet is, It's a fried piece of dough, with out the hole, sometimes filled. this one was not. and it was heavenly. Tasting doughnuts from the West Coast makes me wonder if Philadelphia isn't really a "Doughnut Town".
Not that Philly does not have good doughnuts, but they are far and few. That makes this experiment that much more of a challenge.
I give the one Beignet 4 stars **** for air, density, flavor,
and Bob's Doughnuts 4 Stars overall on price and freshness, and an awesome experience.
I aspire to find a doughnut on the East coast worthy of the same rating.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Philadelphia, PA 19148-3747
First off I would like to start off saying I learned a few lessons after my 1st round of doughnut tasting.
1. Get a picture of the bakery and the staff to add to the entry.
2. Only test the doughnuts in small tasting proportions, not full bites then powering through the entire doughnut after deciding which are most tasty, resulting in the feeling of wanting to toss my doughnuts afterward.
Frangelli's is located in deep South Philadelphia, on a corner property, I have had their strawberry shortcake and rum cake that they are so famous for, but never their little round pillows of dough.
I did a tasting of Glazed, Cream filled, Jelly Filled ,2 cake frosted and one sugar twist.
Based on a 4 star rating
Glazed : ** Good flavor batter, Clean lard flavor, A little dense, not as airy as I would have liked.
Cake/frosted * Nothing to write home about, lacked in moisture.
Jelly ** flavor and dough were nice, esp the filling, but the inside was a little undercooked, i got a mouthful of raw dough toward the center.
Cream filled* very heavy, very dense dough, and heavy cream, my least favorite.
Sugar*** The sugared twist was my favorite one of all. nice stretchy chewy dough, not overly sweet. Not over cooked or undercooked. I would definitely go back for this one.
Over all the batter's were good in flavor, the lard was clean, no filmy residue left on the roof of your mouth, like cheap low cost lards that are often overused. Density was fair, Air could have been lighter.
I give the over all experience 2 and a half stars.
If you have the time to stop by Frangelli's for a tasting of your own, I highly recommend it over a chain doughnut spot.
Friday, April 16, 2010
While waiting for Krispy Kreme to open in PA, Once again after closing all of their stores in the tri state area, I plan to do a doughnut tasting, Mostly in PA, NJ and where ever else my travels of dough take me.
I plan on testing at least 3 types of doughnuts from each vendor.
Cake, Glazed, and Filled.
I will be scoring these delectable delights on 5 categories,
Flavor of batter
Flavor of lard
And over all on a 4 star rating system.
Please recommend if you have a vendor/Bakery you would like me to test.