Thursday, April 21, 2011

It Tastes Like a Sandwich

PB&J Doughnut – Doughnut Plant
Doughnut Plant

We have a tragic history with Doughnut Plant.

Long before we had embarked on this Best Thing I Ever Ate tour, Ginger had seen Doughnut Plant featured on the Food Network, and, having never met a doughnut she didn’t like, wanted to go there.  So one Saturday morning, we embarked bright and early to Doughnut Plant, which, let it be known, is really far away.  Granted, it was really far away from our respective neighborhoods at the time, but unless one lives on the Lower East Side, Doughnut Plant is out of the way of just about everyone.

Anyway, after getting lost at least fourteen times and wandering way too far down Grand Street in the wrong direction, we finally found Doughnut Plant.  And they were closed.


What kind of bakery is closed on a Saturday?!  Apparently, the kind of bakery that gives their staff an “employee vacation” over Labor Day weekend.

Needless to say, we were bitter.

So this time, heading to Doughnut Plant in search of Pat and Gina Neely’s favorite SWEET TOOTH item – the PB&J doughnut – we were skeptical.  Not so much that the doughnut wouldn’t be good, but that Doughnut Plant would be closed.

It was, after all, a Saturday.

Once again, it takes us ten times longer than it should have to get to Doughnut Plant due to the unplowed streets and sidewalks (Vodka is growing more and more grateful that she lives uptown where people believe in such newfangled inventions as shovels).  Thankfully, Doughnut Plant is open.  And the PB&J doughnut is on the daily menu posted outside.  Thank goodness for small miracles.
Wonder of Wonders
Now, Doughnut Plant is not exactly Dunkin’ Donuts.  There are not rows of donuts on display.  While there is a posted menu, you pretty much have to know what you want.  And we do.

We receive our doughnut and stand by a wire rack contraption to consume it (we are nothing if not classy).  The doughnut is square with the standard hole in the middle, and it is coated with what appears to be a peanut glaze and real peanuts.  Chunky peanut butter, if you will.
It's Hip to Be Square
Biting in, we eventually find blackberry jam in the crevices of the dough – not squirting out on our faces like a standard jelly doughnut, for which we are grateful.  That said, the thing could stand for slightly more jelly.

Chewing for a few moments, we say the same thing: “It tastes like a sandwich.”  Now, this comparison is not necessarily a bad thing – we love us a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – but this doughnut tastes exactly like one.  Even the texture of the dough is bread-like.
PB&J "Sandwich," Hold the Crust
And let’s be honest – peanut butter and jelly by any other name is still peanut butter and jelly.  “Doughnut” or not, the taste is the same as what a five-year-old could have slapped together in his kitchen with jars of Skippy and Smuckers.

Vodka Stinger pockets half the doughnut in her handbag for later, and we head off, smelling of smoked fish and fried dough, in search of a beverage (and not even a spiked one).

(Note: Ginger has been to the Doughnut Plant on two other occasions: once it was also closed -- lesson learned, call ahead -- and once she indulged in at least four different doughnuts, including the Tres Leches and the Blackout, both of which would easily have earned 5 stars).

Doughnut Plant's PB&J Doughnut: 3 stars

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