Flatiron Lunch: I’m Afraid I Might Be Addicted to Doughnut Plant
Every Friday our man UltraClay goes south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.
Most people wouldn’t consider doughnuts to be lunch, but we here at Midtown Lunch understand wanting nothing more than to scarf down a half dozen of the treats from Doughnut Plant in one sitting. Honestly, I can’t stop going there. After a lifetime of the faux-nuts at Dunkin, I was actually angry when I discovered what real doughnuts tasted like. Bob’s Donuts in San Francisco and Randy’s in Los Angeles more or less ruined me for the mass-market variety.
Over the years, I’d heard about Doughnut Plant, but the one time I’d tried it (at an out of town location) it was stale and disappointing, so I gave up on having a good, proper doughnut in New York. Then they opened up a Chelsea location a few weeks ago and I had to give it a try.
The space inside leads with its strength. Right up front the doughnuts lay on racks that take up the main counter. Being unfamiliar with the set up, I was a bit confused about what and how to order.
Foolishly, the entire back wall is filled with a video display about seemingly everything but what doughnuts are available, what the differences were and where to order. Instead, the stack of menus and the small paper signs with pictures of each of the items available were located right next to the ordering station – just past the collection of people waiting to order.
It didn’t matter. The doughnuts on display had already hypnotized me, each looking more delicious than the last. I sucked it up and had to be ‘that guy’ at the register with no idea what I wanted.
It turns out that the doughnuts are broken down between the soft, chewy yeast variety (above) and the firmer, thicker, cake options. There are a number of each type available everyday from glazed to filled.
On that first visit, I picked the most interesting one I saw: The PB&J. Crusted with peanuts and coated with a peanut buttery glaze, it was pretty amazing.
The jelly inside was blackberry, I believe and it was probably the best PB&J I’ve ever had. In fact, I think I’m going to stop over there right after I’m done writing this.
After telling my wife about it, she insisted that I bring some home. I stopped by again and ordered a couple more – and one to eat before I left. This is the Creme Brulee. It’s custard filled and topped with a hard candy shell that, though messy, is exactly as satisfying and cracking the top of the real dessert.
I ordered her a Valrhona Chocolate cake doughnut and for myself, I got the Tres Leches, which I’d been hearing about for ages.
The Tres Leches is also of the cake variety with bubbles of sweet custard inserted throughout.
If I had to choose, I’ll have to go with the yeast doughnuts as my favorite, but that may just be because I didn’t have any milk to dunk the cakey ones into. Regardless, it’s a dangerous thing for me to have Doughnut Plant so close to my office. I’ve been there three times in the last week and really do plan to stop by again shortly.
Doughnut Plant @ The Chelsea Hotel, 220 West 23rd Street (btw. 7+8th)