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Nov 28, 2010 01:18 PM

Donut Plant – 6th Time Is a Charm

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Historically, I’ve been a huge hater of Donut Plant. I kept trying it and every time I came away feeling that it was overhyped garbage and that people just kept listening to media outlets telling them it was amazing because it was different and then feeling like they had to say it was awesome. I dislike when restaurants either live off a reputation built a long time ago (Veniero’s, 2nd Ave Deli etc) or are all hype, but are not very good and live off media hype. That is how I felt about Donut Plant for a very long time.

Someone on chowhound said that I really needed to try the tres leches donut and it would change my mind. So a month or so ago, I decided to go for the 6th time to try this donut (I’ve literally been there 5 times previously; I love donuts so I was really trying to like this place), fully expecting to be disappointed again. Luckily, that donut changed my views on Donut Plant and I’ll admit that I was wrong on Donut Plant.

- Tres Leches: this is a take on tres leches cake, tres leches in Spanish literally means “three milk” and is a cake that is soaked in evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. The donut here is a cake donut that has a white frosting on it and has pockets of what I believe is condensed milk in it. The result is amazing, the cake is good, but the pockets of condensed milk really make it amazing. It’s sort of hard to explain and I’m sure it sounds like some overly sweet mess from the way I’m describing it (I don’t like really sweet stuff generally), but you really have to try it to understand why it’s so good. By the way get some milk with it, goes so well. 4.5/5
- Pumpkin: I believe this was a seasonal special, it was another cake donut that with a light brown / orange frosting that had bits of nuts sprinkled on it. It was okay, the flavor was sort of pumpkin spicy-y type of flavor, but neither me or my gf were particularly enthralled with it. 3.5/5
- Crème Brulee: this looked interesting, so I decided to try one. It was a really small donut that has carmelized sugar on top (similar to actual crème brulee) and then a custard inside (again similar to actual crème brulee). It was really good and the contrast between the slightly bitter carmelized sugar on top and the sweet creamy custard in the inside was great. 4.25/5

While I still dislike most of their donuts, the 6th time was a charm for me. Now I like Donut Plant and have been coming here pretty regularly. I’d recommend coming here for the tres leches and crème brulee donuts, they are very good.

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  1. These would be the 2 donuts that I would try if I ever make it back to Donut Plant. My sister and I went downtown during the Labor Day weekend, and it was closed for the holiday weekend.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ellenost

      they are both really good, btw i recommend coming on the early side, i usually try to get there by 11 at the latest as the place really starts getting crowded with a pretty long line

    2. They also have a peanut butter and jelly doughnut that really surprised me. I would say they're very distinctive doughnuts though, and many of them will be either love em or hate em.

      1. Can I ask what donuts you tried on the other five visits which were so disappointing? I've had a few that seemed underwhelming, usually seasonal specials like rose petal or ginger, but I think most of their regular lineup is superb. In addition to the tres leches and the creme brulee, the PB&J, chocolate blackout, and coconut cream are all amazing and decadent. In general I would say that their fillings and toppings are more important than the quality of the donut cake/pastry itself.

        5 Replies
        1. re: bworm42

          jelly donut, blackout, glazed (both cake and yeast) and maybe one or two others (the 5 other visits were spread over a few years, so my memory of some of the visits is pretty hazy)....i particularly do not like the yeast donuts, they were greasy and just not very good (although the creme brulee is a yeast donut, but much smaller than most of the huge square ones). The jelly was probably the most disappointing as i'm normally a big fan of jelly donuts

          1. re: Lau

            The carrot cake donut is a must try.

            1. re: RedVelvet

              hmm i like carrot cake alot, so ill try it soon

            2. re: Lau

              Was the texture of the creme brulee donut similar to the other yeast donuts? Or was it just more tolerable as there was less of it with a greater ratio of custard to round it out?

              1. re: Miss Needle

                well its way smaller than the regular yeast donuts, so i didnt think it was as greasy and sort of as lead like as i had found their other yeast donuts, but it's probably b/c it just uses way less dough. So the answer is that its probably b/c its smaller and there is custard in it

          2. Thanks for the report. The only time we made it out there they had sold out of all of the varieties like Tres Leches so we ended up with forgettable ordinary varieties. Maybe we'll give it another shot too.

            1. BTW: Another Donut Plant is opening soon on W 23rd St near the Chelsea Hotel.