Anyone who knows me will tell you that there’s little I love more than a good doughnut – just look at the title of my blog – it’s the FIRST WORD…….
They will also tell you that, when I read about or hear of a place that has “the best” doughnuts, there is little that will stop me from getting there to see (and taste) for myself.
Doughnut Plant has the best doughnuts. Ever.
Mark Isreal opened Doughnut Plant in 2000 in New York City’s Lower East Side. The “store” is not much more than an industrial looking storefront (albeit one with a window seat covered in multi-colored “doughnut” tiles made by Mark’s father – creativity runs in the family).
But the doughnuts – oh, the doughnuts.
I had read about the signature jelly doughnut – square, not the traditional round, so that it is jelly-filled on all 4 sides. I’m not much for jelly doughnuts but this one was sublime – as were all of the doughnuts I’ve had there. The reason is simple – Mark uses only the freshest, high-quality ingredients. Valrhona chocolate, Tahitian vanilla and fresh fruit for his glazes and preserves are what make his doughnuts nothing less than transcendent. In addition, he uses no eggs, trans-fats, artificial colors or preservatives.
Then, in 2009 I read about a new doughnut Mark had created – a creme brulee doughnut, filled with house-made vanilla cream and topped with sugar that he blowtorches to create a burnt, crackling glaze.
I spent an entire year thinking about this doughnut and on a frigid day last January Chelsea, 13-month-old Noah and I trekked down. Here’s Noah eating his first doughnut:
Fast forward to today. Mark just opened his 2ndlocation, in New York’s iconic Chelsea Hotel. My Chelsea was home for spring break last week and a visit to the new shop was tops on our list. The store is charming, with iron-work that evokes the famous balconies of the hotel above, doughnut-shaped pillows hanging on the walls and more of those doughnut tiles on the benches. This is a proper sit-down establishment, with delicious coffee as well as juices, water and Ronnybrook Farm milks to go with your treats.
As Mark prides himself on using fresh, seasonal ingredients (organic wherever possible), the menu has a rotating list of specials. Chelsea and I had the crème brulee and jelly (of course) but also sampled the salted peanut butter (a dense, delicious peanut butter glaze studded with freshly roasted chopped salted peanuts) and a strawberry glazed.
It was a rainy spring morning and we sat and enjoyed the cozy atmosphere along with our delicious doughnuts (with some to bring home for the rest of the gang).
If you live in the New York area put this on your list of must-eats. And if you live out of town but are planning a trip to the city – put this on your list of must-eats!
This place is the real deal.
379 Grand Street; (212) 505-3700
220 West 23rd Street; (212) 675-9100.