Doughnut Plant | 379 Grand St. (at Norfolk St.) | 212.505.3700 |

THERE IS A "National Day" or "National Week" for just about everything. Especially food. I use to think this practice was unnecessarily extracurricular. Why do we need a day to celebrate hamburgers when we eat hundreds of thousands of them every day, regardless of calendar date.

Recently, however, during International Pizza, I found the occasion a nice reminder to explore enjoy a particular food with a more academic frame of mind. Whether it was to explore new innovations or revisit culinary points of nostalgia, I discovered that paying special to something I'm sued to eating without a second thought eventually gave me a greater appreciation not just of the food, but of the food's importance in regards to its history, creation, a cultural evolution in the average person's way of life.

So, when I read, somewhere on my Twitter account this morning, that today was International Doughnut Day, I became excited to re-explore the pleasures of one of the preeminent comfort food desserts.

Both Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme were offering some kind of all day FREE DONUT special; I decided, instead, to do a wee bit a research to find a bakery, in the greatest foodie city in the world, which had earned accolades for elevating the otherwise pedestrian doughnut to peoverbially new heights.

Some quick Googling and mass transit commuting led me to a place called Doughnut Plant, located down on Grand Street, on the outskirts of Chinatown. The place was small, almost quaintly modest, and already buzzing with customers.

The place smelled nicely of sweet baked goods, and if that didn't weht my appetite enough, there were plenty common and signature variations of doughnut on display, some behind glass, some on cooling racks, having just come out of the oven.

My research had informed me of which fan favorite doughnuts I would order: the Creme Brulée doughnut, the Tres Leches doughnut, and the Blackout doughnut.

Yes, they looked glorious, and smelled just as pleasing. I started with the Creme Brulée doughnut.

The crystallized sugar glaze around the doughnut's exterior was cleverly evocative of the the top of an actual creme brulée, if not completely "crackly", but my mouth quickly picked up on its intended similarities. The inside cream, likewise, not exactly its inspiration's custard, but none of that mattered. This was extremely delightful, the airy and aromatic yeast-based a cloud-like cushion for sweet, vanilla-tinged, velvety cream, a complimentary finish to the sugary layer of each initial bite.

Next up was a treasure that is the Tres Leches.

There is a slight miracle that occurs within this cream-glazed ring. Somehow, the cake part of the doughnut melted in my mouth so smoothly I kept looking for an inner ring of light cream, but found none. I don't ever go on record on saying something is "the best", but I can honestly say I will never forget how incredible this puppy was. I was so impressed that I shared over half of it with other people who were still on line to back me up impression. Not only did they agree, they each wound up ordering one for themselves.

(And for those of you who are always asking how is it that I don't weigh 400 pounds, the trick is to share the food with others!)

Lastly, the clever and mysterious Blackout doughnut.

Blackout Cake Doughnut

This rich chocolate extravaganza had a few tricks up its sleeve. Not only was it dressed with chocolate cake crumbs on the side opposite from where it wore white frosting, but this doughnut actually did have a fudge-y chocolate pudding cream running through its rich and cakey tube.

Doughnut Plant has a sizable list of featured flavors, such as Valrhona Chocalate, Sunflower, Coconut Glaze and Mango, as well as a rotating selection others. And as I fortunately found out by the time I started writing this post, their doughnuts are also available at other stores and store chains, such as Dean & Deluca, Zabar's, Citarella, and Agata & Valentina, the last two within a five minute walk from my apartment.

Now if only I could get as motivated for National Exercise Week.... :/

Bun Apple Tea!


Doughnut Plant | 379 Grand St. (at Norfolk St.) | 212.505.3700 |