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Donuts

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I have asked my co-workers this and no one seems to know. There is a guy in Manhattan who makes artisinal donuts--large and handmade. I saw him on Martha Stewart. Who and where is this guy? If there are others, who and where are they?

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  1. The Donut Plant, 379 Grand St. (Norfolk St.), 505-3700.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Donut Lover

      and lets not forget Joey Bag O' Donuts
      featured on last week's Sopranos.

      1. re: zim

        Thanks you guys. Man, I love Chowhound. You guys know so much more than the natives I've met here in the office.

        1. re: ECCG

          You could also try the Cupcake Cafe on 9th Av & 39 St. They have amazing old fashioned donuts...

          1. re: Sheena
            b
            Barrie Covington

            I second the recommendation for donuts at Cupcake Cafe. And I don't actually like their cupcakes.

      2. re: Donut Lover
        t
        Too Many Kooks

        I agree with the consensus that it's probably Donut Plant...

        But I have to disagree about the quality. Even if we allow for different "tastes" in donuts, Donut Plant donuts are very not very good. The mouth feel is ALL kinds of wrong, very "tough" and "leathery". Whatever limited charm they have comes from the unusual (for donuts) glazes; orange, stuff like that. I personally would rate them as "not even worth trying".

        NYC doughnuts overall are wretched, especially KK's.

        The best doughnuts in the country are available at Butler's Colonial Donuts, in Westport, Massachusetts. A crisp fried shell on the outside, soft, moist and velvety inside, with really excellent flavors and perfect sweetness.
        All their donuts are exceptional year round, but go between Labor and Memorial Days to get the over-the-top whipped cream filled Long John. Open Friday morning, Sat, and Sun. Don't take my word for it, click the link.

        Oh, and the photos do not do the shop justice: all the donuts are made from scratch right in front of you. It is a scene that belongs in the Smithsonian, a small exhausted crew all coated in flour, sugar, and dough, with the 'nuts piled everywhere in various stages of completion.

        Link: http://www.google.com/search?q=butler...

        1. re: Too Many Kooks

          fwiw Donut Plant's donuts are only tough and leathery when they're old. try them at the plant on the LES and you'll see a big difference - soft, warm and delicious. Having said that though, they still don't sound like the old fashioned type of donut you prefer. there used to a place in Armonk - Schultz's who made them like the way you prefer - right in front of you, crisp fried shell and soft and moist on the inside - only 3 choices - plain, dipped in cinnamon or sugar. But alas, it closed.

          1. re: wurstle
            t
            Too Many Kooks

            We're talking about the same thing, we just need to calibrate our yardsticks: I have had them fresh at the Plant itself, and what you call soft, I call tough and leathery. I'm sure we've had the same experience, I just have a different standard for pastry.

            With respect to raised/yeast vs. old fashioned/cake: I don't have a preference, I love both. I have noticed an interesting tendency though: the very best doughnut shops, like Butler's Colonial, make both of them well. (I'm not affiliated, but you can tell them you heard about them from that city slicker who came through and bribed the clerk 4x for the very last Long John of the season, the one she was going to bring home to Mom.)

            I'm also glad you raised another point: "warm" donuts. Here's more donut apostasy. Anything fresh from a fryolater tastes good. Fried dough at a carnival? Delicious. 2 minutes later? Greasy and inedible. So, my measure of an excellent doughnut is not only that it is great when fresh, but it should still be pretty good 8 hours later, still with a thin-shell crust, still tender inside, no soaked in grease.

            I'm not sure why Donut Plant makes them the way they do: industrial so they ship well? they actually like them like "chinese fried pastry"? cheaper ingredients? or maybe they just don't know?

            I'm not trying to convince you that you don't like Donut Plant donuts. If you like them, that's all the better for you. I'm just trying to be descriptive of another class of doughnut. Try them.

            1. re: Too Many Kooks
              d
              Dave Feldman

              I have yet to find an excellent donut anywhere in Manhattan. I love the cake donuts at Coffee 'An in Westport, CT, though, and think it's worth the trip just to go for donuts. I especially like the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and plain cake donuts -- I don't think the chocolates are up to the same standard.

              1. re: Too Many Kooks

                Couldnt agree more. Tough and leathery is exactly right, I thought it the first time I took a bite of one. I'm sure the reports about his scouting the planet for top flight ingredients is true, but frankly, texture trumps flavor when it comes to donuts in my book. And nothing beats Butler's, now sadly gone!

            2. re: Too Many Kooks

              the cream filled LONG JOHN sounds a little scary to me.....as for artisanal doughnuts..........good luck!

              1. re: Too Many Kooks

                Butlers! I'm originally from Fall River, MA and grew up with these donuts. Nothing in Manhattan can even come close.

              2. re: Donut Lover

                Donut Plant isn't very good at all. They do get points for devotion to the donut though.

                Moto in Williamsburg makes a nice one!

              3. The Donut Plant is more than likely what you are referring to. It is down on grand st. They are really good donuts.

                1. i've not been but a friend of mine spoke of a donut shop on 1st ave btw 13th and 14th (or in that general area).

                  not sure if they are handmade but any donut place outside of dunkin', krispy, or twin deserves to be checked out.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: margaret

                    your friend is probably speaking of the Donut Pub on 14th street just west of 7th avenue. the donuts are pretty good, but i'd prefer a fresh, warm glazed krispy kreme with a glass of whole milk any day.

                    1. re: gun

                      no, they're different. there is a new place on first ave (btwn 13th and 14th) home-made and well reviewed here. haven't tried them yet.

                      1. re: freddie

                        oyyyy I wish I woulda noticed the date on this thread before I replied....oh well

                        The donut shop that you are thinking of (on 1st Ave @13th St) closed awhile back. There's now a Dunkin Donuts in that space.

                        I can't recall the exact name but it had a yellow and black sign and carried the same name as another (also closed) donut shop that was on the SE corner of E86th (and Lex or 3rd)

                        fwiw, I've yet to have a Donut Plant donut that I've liked.

                        My vote goes to the Donut Pub on 14th & 7th.

                        1. re: was_bk

                          that place on 86th and 3rd closed??? that stinks...i thought they had one of the better doughnuts around and fresh too. their kreullers were good too.

                      2. re: gun

                        >but i'd prefer a fresh, warm glazed krispy kreme

                        But then what do you do about that awful grease taste in your mouth for the next half hour?

                        1. re: gun

                          emmmm.... donut grease taste in my mouth...
                          ahhhhhhhhhh

                      3. I assume you mean The Doughnut Plant. It is on the Lower East Side and it is great. Each doughnut is expensive ~$2 but they are made with gourmet ingredients and are large enough to share. Their donuts are also sold at some other stores -- I know Citarella on 6th Ave and 9th ST sells them.

                        Link: http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile...

                        1. Dean & Deluca sells them too, if that's closer to you...

                          1. This thread is reminding me of a failed quest I was on a few years ago. It was right around the time that KK came to town in the first store on 23rd St., one of the papers (NYT?) did an article on the best donuts. They claimed that a donut shop on 125th St. was the only place to rival KK. I went looking for it but every time I found it it was closed. I think they were only open in the a.m. or something like that.
                            Any way, do any of the hounds know this place?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: david tineo

                              The place in Harlem was almost certainly Georgie's Pastry Shop on 125th. Now closed, I fear. (I haven't been by the location to verify this but I just looked them up in my rolodex and tried to call them, found that their phone was disconnected.)

                              - er

                            2. A few months ago, I saw Francois Payard make pastry cream-filled doughnuts on a Martha Stewart rerun--boule de berlin, he called them. They looked amazing, and I'm still waiting to try one! Francois even bent down to take a bite out of the doughnut in Martha's hand. It was pretty funny to see.

                              His pastry shop is located at 1032 Lexington Avenue (between 73rd and 74th Streets). Enjoy!

                              1. Good heavens. Donut Plant's donuts are chewy and tough in a good way, like the tough crust on good French bread vs. the soft squishy crumb on Wonder Bread. It's a brand new kind of donut. An artisinal donut. I love them, especially the pumpkin glaze in the fall, which tastes like caramel.

                                1. Okay, I have to chime in on the donut thread. I wasn't crazy about the Donut Plant donuts. I found that the grease gathered on the roof of my mouth.

                                  The BEST donuts I've found are Dreesen's in East Hampton. If you've had one, you know.

                                  1. I've heard a lot about Dreesen's in East Hampton and would love to try it. Is there any way to get there without a car?

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: KateC.

                                      You can take a train or in the summer they have the Hampton Jitney.

                                      BTW, the Dreesen's donuts are, as they say in EH, "tah die for". They are made in batches right in the window.

                                      1. re: jfood

                                        Kewl! I'll take a trip out there this summer to eat a donut. Thank you!

                                        1. re: jfood

                                          FYI...the Jitney runs all year, but I would not recommend that bus. too much attitude

                                        2. re: KateC.

                                          I believe Dreesen's are sold somewhere in Manhattan now. Other chows might know where.

                                        3. Also very good is the donut sold at Balthazar Bakery: a simple cinnamon sugar cake donut that, while maybe not so amazing as a fresh Dreesen's, is an excellent NYC fix. I also like a spot - don't remember the name - just off the Avenue U Q stop. I've had some uneven experiences there, but when it's on it deserves to be part of the conversation.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: sadie

                                            sadie, the place on avenue u in brooklyn is none other than shaikh's, right?

                                            as for manhattan, just wanted to third the rec for donuts and cupcake cafe. better than their cupcakes and a much more pleasant place to hang out and sip some coffee with your desserts since they moved across the street.

                                          2. Was it the nearby hardware store that bought the Dreesen's donut making business? The donuts at Craft are good too.

                                            1. Though not strictly a donut shop, the mini-donut dessert at Taralucci e Vino on 19th st, with the chantilly cream and warm chocolate dipping sauce are mighty mighty good...

                                              1. Hey kids, most of you seem to agree that donuts are nature's most perfect food. There is nothing better than a sweet hot lava old fashioned buttermilk bar and a cup of coffee. I spent 2 days and a pair of Nikes trying to find a decent donut in Manhattan and was amazed how few (if any) there are. KKs and Dunkin D don't count.
                                                I live in California and once took the "Glaze of Glory" taste tour of LA's best doughnut shops. Stan's in Westwood is the best, if you don't mind standing in line behind all the doctors and nurses from UCLA Med Center. Try the peanut butter chocolate bismark if you're in town.
                                                As for Manhattan, I will be back in May and will certainly try The Donut Pub. From all the comments, it reads the best. Thanks for the tip.

                                                1. How about Caffe Falai's bomboloni? It's just an Italian version of the donut. It's soft, chewy, feather-light. It's delicious. They sell you a pair of donuts: one filled with vanilla custard and the other is filled with raspberry jam.

                                                  Tina
                                                  http://thewanderingeater.wordpress.com

                                                  2 Replies
                                                    1. re: chocokitty

                                                      i had two about a week ago... 1 rasberry jelly 1 cream... actually didnt find them special at all,,, tasted ok but nothing really beyond a slightly higher class and slightly larger munchkin. they also have a chantilly cream bomboloni available.