Brooklyn New York City Out and About

Doughnut Plant Comes to Brooklyn

Doughnut Plant opened its first Brooklyn branch yesterday and there was definitely no shortage of people, doughnuts, or baby carriages as I entered its doors at 245 Flatbush Avenue that morning.  No longer will the simple glazed doughnut with rainbow sprinkles be enough to satiate the ever-growing appetites (and “foodie” Instagram accounts) of doughnut junkies far and wide. The new norm seems to have shifted towards unique fillings, gourmet glazes, and Frankenstein mishmashes of our favorite childhood desserts (donnoli, anyone?), and Doughnut Plant surely does not disappoint.

Photo Credit: Paolo Bevilacqua

Starting in a basement-turned-bakery in a LES tenement back in 1994, Doughnut Plant chef and owner, Mark Israel, began making doughnuts as an homage to his grandfather, Herman Isreal, WWI Army baker and founder of the Greensboro, North Carolina bakery, The College Pastry Shop. Since then, Doughnut Plant has evolved into a kind of doughnut empire that includes jelly filled square doughnuts, one-of-a-kind flavors like Crème brûlée, mole, and pomegranate, as well as nine shops in Japan and one in the Chelsea Hotel.

I’ve actually had the chance to visit their LES shop once or twice, but it was always towards the end of the day, which by that point I was left with slim pickings. Not wanting to settle on just any doughnut, I left empty handed, only to find myself going to my favorite dumpling shop across the street (a girl’s gotta eat!) Nevertheless, I soon discovered, as I walked past what was the former Yummy Taco, that I wouldn’t have to travel as far to finally give them a try because Doughnut Plant, like so many of its predecessors, had finally made its jump across the East River.

Walking into its new Brooklyn digs, I was instantly met with a crowd of people all eager to get their hands on one of these treats – each prepared at the LES kitchen and delivered to the Brooklyn location 5-6 times a day – with me wanting to see if they lived up to the hype. Each person working behind the counter seemed to be moving at super speed trying to keep up with the overwhelming demand and even I felt the pressure when it came to choosing what I wanted because there were just so many options! From cake to yeast to jelly filled (even though I stayed away from those), I had one hell of a time making a final decision.

I finally settled on the Marzipan Holiday Doughnut but, overall, I ended up not being its biggest fan. While pretty to look at and fluffy to the touch, the almond flavor was too prominent for my taste and it was just a little too cloying. Something about its texture also threw me off because it was both soft and chewy all at once and towards the end I had a difficult time finishing the last few bites. Maybe there are other flavors I would enjoy, but this one just didn’t take the cake. I’ve yet to find a New York City shop where I go to bed dreaming about the next time I can have one of their doughnuts. So until that day comes, I’ll just to stick to making my own – like my Apple Cider Donuts or these Glazed Yeast Donuts – because after all, homemade is always best, right? 😉

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    apuginthekitchen
    December 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I’ve had the doughnuts from Doughnut Plant and they are good but no one IMHO can hold a candle to Dough doughnuts. They are totally dreamy and drool worthy. Have you had Dough?

    • Reply
      Justine
      December 5, 2014 at 10:06 am

      I agree 🙂 I definitely prefer the Dough doughnuts that I’ve had the chance to try.

  • Reply
    Hari Qhuang
    December 5, 2014 at 2:42 am

    I wish they had a branch here in Indonesia, my fondness for donuts can only be rivaled by Homer Simpson. LOL!

    • Reply
      Justine
      December 5, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Haha! I know what you mean. But I bet that Indonesia has some really delicious donut places too 😀

      • Reply
        Hari Qhuang
        December 6, 2014 at 6:47 am

        Yes, we do, in the big cities (mostly in the capital); but they are dunkin-donuts-types. (How do i explain this?) very “generic” and “not much personality”.
        😀

        • Reply
          Justine
          December 6, 2014 at 10:58 am

          I definitely know what you mean. Have you ever tried making your own donuts at home?

          • Hari Qhuang
            December 7, 2014 at 5:10 am

            oh yes i have, using alternative ingredients too!
            potato , yam, sweet potato and pumpkin! 😀

          • Justine
            December 7, 2014 at 11:01 am

            Ohh that does sound good! 😀 I would love to try those flavors.

          • Hari Qhuang
            December 7, 2014 at 7:34 pm

            Oh, those are not the “main” flavors. LOL

            It’s like people are in this “mood” or “trend” to find alternatives for wheat flour.
            Using these ingredients give the donuts unusual textures, etc.

            My favorite is the potato donuts glazed with sweet mayo caramel and then it is roll into chicken floss. Now, that is a flavor! L-O-L!!!

          • Justine
            December 7, 2014 at 8:56 pm

            Potato donuts with sweet mayo caramel and chicken floss?? That can’t be real! Haha. That sounds awesome, though!

          • Hari Qhuang
            December 11, 2014 at 3:27 am

            Oh it is real! hahaha
            and it was sold by dunkin’s rival company (called J-co, also a franchise donuts).

            They sell many “savory’ type donuts with various toppings and filings such as smoked ham, floss, et.
            :))

          • Justine
            December 12, 2014 at 8:50 am

            How awesome! I would love to visit that shop (and so many more) when I visit Indonesia one day.

  • Reply
    lydiawarren
    December 5, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Ahh I love the Doughnut Plant in the LES. It’s a shame you didn’t love the one you picked… but I think I’d be tempted to choose the same one anyway, just because it’s so pretty!!

    • Reply
      Justine
      December 5, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      It really was pretty, but not my favorite. You may love it, so I would definitely recommend still giving it a try! 🙂

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