Sunday, March 19, 2006
The Doughnut Plant
379 Grand Street
New York, NY
Blognut enters Doughnut Plant Sunday afternoon after subsisting on coffee all morning in anticipation for the now somewhat legendary NYC donut purveyor. Existing somewhere in between Lower East Side hipness and the dried scallop bins of Chinatown, Doughnut Plant sits quietly on Grand Street (between Essex and Norfolk), cooking up some of New York's most intriguing baked goods.
A chalkboard sign on the sidewalk advertises The Plant's daily special, a peanut butter glazed with banana cream filling. Although Blognut enjoyed a similar flavor combination while visiting Graceland in Memphis, Tennesee (Elvis's favorite sandwich: fried peanut butter and banana on bread), we've never experienced such a gustatory combination in the form of a doughnut. Without apprehension we order The Doughnut Plant's Nut-of-the-day.
The peanut butter glazed with banana cream filling defies Donut-convention in many ways. First of all, it's one of The Doughnut Plant's many square varieties, a shape which takes some getting used when sitting down to enjoy a Nut. Second, it's a filled-donut which maintains a ring shape. The concept of a filling coexisting with a donut-hole was previouly unimaginable to Blognut. Initially skeptical of a peanut butter-flavored Nut, Blognut was pleasantly suprised at the subtleness of the peanut taste; a simple accent to the sweet glaze. Still in awe of the creamy banana filling oozing from a square, ringed Nut, we finish our purchase, happy and perplexed. While not the best doughnut we've had, the uniqueness of the flavor combinations offered at The Plant justifies many return visits to sample the wide array of abstract flavors. The cashier was extremely friendly while serving our Nut and seemed genuinely apologetic when breaking the news that they were out of raspberry (a Nut-flavor we had been looking foward to experiencing).
The Doughnut Plant has grown out of a rich, family doughnut tradition tracing back to pre-World War II Greensboro, North Carolina. This has Blognut thinking; what is it about North Carolina that generates such Donut-excellence (see Blognut entry for March 13, 2006)? We will definitely return to The Plant and look foward to trying the many unique flavors, just some of which include poppy-seed, malted milk, and rosewater.
Donut Score: 9.1
If you're looking to cut the sweetness of your Plant experience, step over to The Pickle Guys on Essex between Grand and Hester Streets, and pick up a quart of half sours.
Barrels full of pickles at The Pickle Guys.