Thursday, March 08, 2007

Moving Out

Blognut has moved! Please update your links and visit the new and improved

Monday, March 05, 2007

Donuts from a bread lady

Amy's Bread is best known for its artisanal breads, cakes and cookies. But hidden amongst the Rosemary Round Bread and Semolina with Golden Raisins and Fennel in Amy's display case sits an unassuming and often over-looked offering: the Lowfat Apple Sauce Donut.

This plump ball of dough tastes like a cinnamon-heavy spice cake dunked in a juice box full of Motts. The cake dough is dense but not too heavy, and while moist, leaves not a trace of oily residue on my hands. Some of you long-time Blognut readers may remember the Apple Sauce's earlier work - recreating the cover Bob Dylan's Freewheelin' album.

Amy's Bread Locations:

672 Ninth Avenue
(Between 46th & 47th Streets)
New York, NY 10036
Telephone: (212) 977-2670

75 Ninth Avenue
(Between 15th & 16th Streets)
New York, NY 10011
Telephone: (212) 462-4338

250 Bleecker Street
at Leroy Street
New York, NY 10014
Telephone: (212) 675-7802
Fax: (212) 675-7831

Donut Score:

Lowfat Apple Sauce -

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fractured Prunes

The Mid-Atlantic has in recent years become somewhat of a Donut gray zone - you've got DD moving in from the Northeast, and the KK influence from down South, but really no unique Donut identity of its own. Well thanks to a brightly-colored, wrinkly mini-chain, this Donut dearth appears to be quickly vanishing.

The Fractured Prune was started in 1976 in Ocean City, Maryland, and has been supplying hoards of sun screen-coated, fanny pack-toting board-walkers with customized Donut fare ever since. Founder Tom Parshall chose the name to honor a woman named Prunella who once owned much of the land around Ocean City, and who incidentally was the county ping-pong champion in 1895. She also had a penchant for more extreme sports, competing against men in ice skating, skiing and tennis. She was a brittle specimen and would often return from such events in a wheel chair or on crutches, earning her the moniker Fractured Prunella. Why Tom thought it would be a good idea to take this women's name, liken it to the fruit it most resembles and develop a horrifying purple mascot in its honor, I have no idea. Because seriously, could there be a worse name for a Donut shop? But evidently Tom knew what he was doing – his creation has since become a huge regional success, with 12 franchises in Maryland alone, 1 in Virginia, 1 in DC, and a sprinkling of others in places like Ohio, North Carolina and Florida.

What separates the FP from many of its peers is their customer-specific fare – if not happy with menu items patrons can instead chose their own glazes and toppings. It's kind of like the Prune is Wendy's and Dunkin and Krispy are McD's you know?

So over the weekend I was in DC visiting a slew of college/high school friends, many of whom remember me better for my "bagel consuming" tendencies rather than Donut ingestion. But happily I'm able to talk two buddies into accompanying me to the newly-opened Fractured Prune in Dupont Circle. First we've got ACB, a bearded cemetery historian who bears a striking resemblance in temperament and attire to The Dude. Then there's 4-beer Mikey, who earned this designation a few years back after a particularly hideous emetic episode and now enjoys positioning things on the global scale. While my companions only enjoy Donuts on a sporadic basis at best, both have well-groomed palates when it comes to unhealthy sources of energy and are more than helpful in assessing our order:

Now right off the bat I'll say that there's one major flaw in what the Prune has to offer, that being the dough. All of their Donuts are constructed of a simple cake dough with little flavor, save that generic "fried" taste generally reserved for homemade Donuts and Zeppole. But they make up for this lack with an eclectic array of mostly-satisfying toppings.

We start with the Strawberry Shortcake. The sweet and gooey strawberry glaze is a perfect representation of the macerated strawberries generally piled atop a shortcake, and is balanced in taste and texture by crumbled bits of graham cracker. The whole thing is dusted with an extra layer of sweetness in the form of powdered sugar. Our team of tasters is impressed.

Next up, the Morning Buzz. A flavorful mocha glaze covered in Oreo cookie crumbs makes for another fine Donut. But think about it, if you cake something in smashed Oreos, you really can't go wrong in terms of flavor.

The French Toast. I was anticipating this Donut most of all due to my love of both maple glaze and cinnamon-sugar mixtures – both of which smother the Fractured Prune's French Toast variety. All three of us agree it tastes nearly like the real thing.

Blueberry Hill. In true Fats style, the Prune invites diners to "Find Your Thrill" when munching on this one. But all we find is a mess of artificial tasting blueberry sludge and too much powdered sugar.

And for our final two, we create our own. First, the simple Raspberry Glazed echoes the artificiality found in the Blueberry Hill. We've now learned to avoid any unadulterated fruit varieties. And finally, the Honey Glazed with Graham Cracker Crumbs. A sweet, crunchy and wholly satisfying finish.

Before long ACB runs outside in the midst of a sugar fit in search of savory remediation at the Gyro shack next door. Mike and I are left to clean up the detritus of our feast, him gawking at the curvaceous Russian counter girl (sorry Suz) and me with a pant-load of dried glaze stuck to my camera lens.

The Fractured Prune Donut Shoppe
2153 P Street NW
Washington DC

Donut Scores:

Strawberry Shortcake -

Morning Buzz -

French Toast -

Blueberry Hill -

Raspberry Glazed -

Honey Glazed and Graham Crackers -

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

Blognut would like to wish Blognut a happy 1 year anniversary.

This idiotic Donut blog has come a long way since its humble beginnings at the Formica tables of the Donut House. From a Tang-flavored Donut in Portland, to a buttermilk high atop a 10,000 foot Hawaiian volcano, to rock-hard Parisian atrocities on the streets of the Left Bank, over the past 12 months I've tried my hardest to provide you, the readers, with the most objective, practical and flavorful Donut commentary I could manage. Hopefully I've convinced some of you of the limitless potential in a wad a fried dough, or at very least helped reinforce your previously existing Donut appreciation. And thanks to all of you who've provided support, recipes, and most importanly, Donut shop recommendations - I owe each and every one of you a coffee and a Donut.

So in honor of Blognut's year anniversary, I've compiled a list of the top ten Donuts I consumed over the past year. Enjoy, and thanks for reading.

#10) The Doughnut Plant - Peanut Butter Glazed with Banana Cream Filling

An Elvis-inspired banana cream-stuffed ring coated in a peanut-y glaze.

#9) Banbury Cross - Cinnamon

Cinnamon crumb goodness in Morman country.

#8) The Donut Pub - Black and White Boston Creme

A donut-y twist on the classic NYC black and white cookie stuffed with Boston's finest.

#7) Yummies Donuts - Honey-Glazed Blossom

Honey-infused cake dough shaped like a boomerang.

#6) Spudnuts - Cherry Cinnamon

A bumpy take on the classic cinnamon bun with cherry-infused glaze.

#5) Voodoo Doughnut - Butter-fingering

Devil's food cake dough dowsed with vanilla frosted and shattered Butterfinger.

#4) Mike's Donuts - Plain Glazed

Simple, sweet and satisfying.

#3) The Doughnut Plant - Tres Leches

Mark Israel's finest creation: butter cake soaked in evaporated milk, condensed milk, and cream, just like the traditional Mexican cake.

#2) Voodoo Doughnut - Dominic the Cat

A one-of-a-kind Voodoo creation modeled after my big-boned feline Dominic.

#1) Spudnuts - Plain Glazed

A cinnamon-spiked, potato flour dough, coated with a subtle glaze straight out of Charlottesville, Virginia. Simply the finest Donut of all. Please disregard the cows.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


In the wake of middle-finger flashing Aqua Teen Moon Men, Boston's security forces are on the look out for any and all sources of potential threat, no matter how soft, sweet and satisfying.

Over the weekend, before departing on a Costa Rican excursion, Sister-in-Law-Blognut spotted tray after tray of Donuts being sent through the X-ray machine at Logan Airport. And though it was a weary-eyed 4:45 in the morning, she was able to snap a pic of the suspect pastries (thanks Al). The incident reminds me of the time my BBQ sandwich had to go through security at Richmond International.

Donut Security.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Automatic for the Donut

This establishment is now closed.

Edward Hopper's 1927 oil-on-canvas Automat depicts a forlorn looking girl sipping coffee by herself in an automat, which, in case you didn't know, is essentially a room full of coin-operated fast food vending machines. Hopper's work is said to depict the urban alienation that occurs when once-social practices like going out for a bite become completely automatic, rendering human-to-human interaction unnecessary. While a plausible interpretation, Blognut has an alternate theory to explain the girl's woes –simply that the automat she's chosen doesn't offer Donuts. Too bad us New Yorker's can't relate, because thanks to BAMN! we have automatic Donut access 24 hours a day.

BAMN! with icicles.

Founded by NYU Business School grad David Leong, and another guy named Nobu who writes Haikus, BAMN! opened just last year on St. Mark's Place in the East Village. The place is a sort of homage to the classic Horn & Hardart automats which once pervaded our Northeastern cities. The first H & H opened in Philly in 1902 as a knock-off of the Quisiana Automat in Berlin , while the first NYC location popped up in 1912. By the 50s and 60s the automatic format was gradually snuffed out by America's growing fascination with fast-food, cars and golden arches – and probably also something to do with the fact that inflation made buying food with coins a pain in the ass (automats were not equipped to accept paper money).

Automatic foods.

BAMN!'s fare is based in classic, over-processed American comfort food with an "Asian twist." Sliders. Hot dogs. Pizza, Mac & cheese. PB & J croquettes. Hawaiian-inspired Spam sushi. Pork buns. And like I said, Donuts. (Oh yeah, and they've got Belgian frites with 39 different sauces too).

BAMN! Donuts.

BAMN! refers to their Donuts as "Japanese." I assume this label stems from their resemblance to the classic ball of Okinawian fried dough, the Sata Andagi. But for us Westerners, all you really need to know is that they cost $1.00 American (like their ancestors, change only) and look and taste like zeppole. Basically just straight-foward, unflavored, yeast-raised dough covered in powdered sugar, BAMN!'s Donuts certainly don't have much in the way a flavor. But having flavor isn't the point, right? They're instead meant to sponge up booze from the stomachs of East Village all-nighters, while providing the kitsch and nostalgia of automatic food retrieval, which they do wonderfully.

"Japanese" Donuts.

So if you're in the market for a fast and super-cheap late-night sugar fix, but have absolutely no requirement that your Donuts actually taste good, then definitely hit up BAMN!. Otherwise, I'd stick with the more corporate all-night alternative.

BAMN! Donut Scores:

Flavor -

Practicality -