“Doughnut Plant” is the creation of Mark Israel, son of a baker from North Carolina. His father taught him their unique recipe for making doughnuts, starting Mark at a young age by glazing the circular treats. Mark took the family recipe and began to add his own personal flair to it, which included using fresh fruit jams and seasonal nuts for the toppings. Originally delivering his baked goods to larger stores in Manhattan, Mark opened his first store in 2000, and the rest is history. Today, we take a peek into the store on 23rd street.
This is a haven for donut-lovers, as everything in here is shaped like one. Willy Wonka would be jealous of these decorations, mostly because they remain tasteful in spite of the fact that the decorations are based on a dessert. The tables, chairs, wall-paper, anything that you can furnish an eatery with has been given the doughnut treatment.
It grows on you quickly and never feels like it is going too far with this theme, thanks to the color palate implemented next to the monotone wallpaper. Whoever the interior decorator was deserves a medal, because this place feels fun and chic at the same time, and never contrived or cheesy (since, once again, this is a place that is decorated with donuts).
There are a good amount of donuts to choose from, the above picture a small sampling. The options include yeast donuts and cake donuts, with today’s review taking a look at two of those cake donuts, one of which is filled (another option that is in both yeast and cake form, depending on what flavor you order).
Sprinkled with toasted oats and what tastes like a drizzle of honey, the Oatmeal donut is one of their weekly specials. This had a subtle oat flavor, heavily sweetened by the frosting on the outside, along with some cranberries on the inside that add a nice tartness to the snack. It’s hard to describe the taste of this donut, since there is not much of one besides the taste of oats and the sugary glaze. It’s basically oatmeal with cranberries, squeezed into a cake donut. Think of it like if an oatmeal cookie mated with a cake, and this was their love-child, and what a tasty bastard it was.
This particular doughnut is only available on Wednesday and Saturday. Other weekly specials include Matcha Green Tea on Monday and Saturday, Salted Peanut on Tuesday and Friday, and Chocolate Chip cookie on Thursday and Sunday.
The Carrot Cake doughnut tasted exactly like the real thing, just shaped as a ring. Topped with crystallized carrot pieces and crushed walnuts, the big surprise with this donut is that it is actually filled with cream cheese frosting inside it. Yes, a ring-shaped doughnut with a hole in the center WITH something inside it. It was at this point that my head began to violently shake, because my mind was about to blow!
The filling was plentiful, considering that you can not stuff a ton of it into this shape. Overall, a very good take on this classic dessert with a wonderful sweetness and well-balance all around.
“Doughnut Plant” (whose neighbors are currently renovating at the time of this review, so please excuse their appearance) takes donuts to a new place. Keeping classic traditions in place and making new ones, the donut is really a NY dessert to me. Something for people on the go, the treats at this store remind you that there is a world of ring-shaped snacks beyond the store whose prefix is “Dunkin”. You should hope so, at a store that charges three times as much for a donut, but they definitely deliver on the goods, and if price is a factor, you absolutely get what you pay for, and then some.
“Doughnut Plant” is located on 220 West 23rd Street, between 7th and 8th avenue. They also have a location on 379 Grand Street (between Essex and Norfolk), as well as spots in Japan (where they have nine locations) and Korea.