Lower East Side #7 – The Doughnut Plant
October 6, 2010 § 1 Comment
I have managed to delay this particular post for as long as I possibly could, afraid that once I’d gone there, there would be no going back. I was right. There’s a reason for the queue snaking out the door of the Doughnut Plant every Saturday and Sunday. This is a Lower East Side institution.
In 1994, Mark Israel began making doughnuts in the converted basement of a Lower East Side tenement, using his grandfather, Herman’s, recipe. Mark would bake all night and, in the morning, he would ride his bicycle, delivering the doughnuts to the likes of Dean & Deluca and Balducci’s. Eventually, he developed his own techniques for doughnut making and had the brilliant idea to add fresh roasted nuts and fresh seasonal fruits to his glazes. After a trip to Mexico in 1999, he added Mexican churros to his offering. In 2000, the 379 Grand Street location (at Norfolk) was opened.
The Doughnut Plant serves two kinds of doughnuts: yeast and cake. I’ve been told that the cake is a bit heavier, and it’s also a bit smaller. I opted for the Toasted Almond yeast doughnut. It was huge and it was delicious: the dough was had a nice consistency – substantial without being heavy – and the glaze was seriously flavorful, filled with almond pieces, and sweet, but not too sweet. When I go back, I’ll give the cake version a try. I am hoping for orange … I’m certain that I’ve smelled the aroma of orange, flowing strategically out of the plant vent, and onto the sidewalk, as I pass by.
You can also get your fix at Dean & Deluca, Zabars, Citarella, Joes Art of Coffee, Orens Daily Roast, and Agata & Valentina.