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Category Archives: brooklyn

Doughnut Believe the Hype

Doughnut. Donut. Do-nut. However you spell it, it’s a ring of delicious that you can essentially enjoy any time of day. (Well, ok, maybe not later on in the day once they start getting kind of stale. Unless the place is making em 24/7.) You’ve got your chain donut shops: Dunkin Donuts, Twin Donut, Krispy Kreme – and then you’ve got a bunch of awesome regional places that you see on Food Network or the Travel Channel like Voodoo Doughnuts, Top Pot, Doughnut Plant, and even Philadelphia’s own Federal Donuts. Just like everything else in life, there are the good, the bad and the downright awful when it comes to donuts. Plus, the age old battle between Cake vs. Yeast. (I’m partial to yeast donuts myself.) Here’s a recap of some recent treats I’ve indulged in.

First up, Seattle’s Top Pot Doughnuts, which touts a menu of “hand forged”, primarily cake donuts and a few yeasty bars as well. We got a little over-zealous and just grabbed anything that looked good which included 3 different glazed old fashions and a chocolate covered with sprinkles (a classic fav!)

Maple glazed, original glazed & chocolate glazed.

I honestly found them to be way too sweet for my taste. Plus, there’s just something about cake donuts that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. They feel too dry, even with all the glaze on top. The maple one was almost tooth decaying, that’s how sugary it was. And while the chocolate one had the sweetness of the glaze, the chocolate cake part itself was kind of bland and un-chocolate like.

Then you’ve got Portland’s infamous Voodoo Doughnuts. Yes, there will be a line but if you’re not willing to wait with the crowds, they’re open 24/7. They’ve got a huge menu board plus some rotating displays if you need a more visual way to decide.

They’re most famous for the maple bacon bar (because DUH, bacon on a doughnut. HELLO ULTIMATE BREAKFAST), but I didn’t find it to be appetizing at all. The bacon just tasted bland and soggy and didn’t really add anything to the overall flavor of the doughnut. Then there was the little raspberry jelly stuffed voodoo guy doughnut. WAYYYYY too sweet. Like, disgustingly sweet to the point where I just spit it out. The doughnut that looks like a Bob-om from Super Mario was filled with a Bavarian Cream; not so bad but I’m not a big fan of cream filled donuts. The fruit loops one would probably have been better if the cereal didn’t taste super soft and stale. And the chocolate rice krispy one with the peanut butter drizzle was the best out of all 5. If I hadn’t already taken bites out of 4 other donuts, I would have just eaten that one alone and been satisfied. (Because let’s face it – anything with chocolate & peanut butter is amazing.)

I also recently wrote about an amazing Cafe Au Lait doughnut from Dough in Brooklyn that was out of this world. And I’ve been less than impressed with Federal Donuts since they only do cake donuts and the good ones are always out by the time I get there. However, I do love the fact that they do hot, fresh donuts all day long – and that they have a donut called the Apollonia! (Hello, Purple Rain!)

Long story short: I don’t need all the fancy toppings and fillings; just give me a plain old chocolate frosted with sprinkles any day.

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Smorgasburg!

A few weeks ago after a Friday night bender in NYC, my hangover left me with an insatiable hunger to eat ALL THE THINGS! But what did I want? (Making decisions when hungover is wayyyy hard, bro.) Enter – SMORGASBURG: An outdoor food flea market wonderland located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. You want a chicken pie pot with a corn on the cob on the side and a vegan, low-fat, organic smoothie, plus some s’more macaroons for dessert? Well, your wish has been granted because you can find pretty much anything and everything your palate desires in this lot located down by the East River which houses several dozen vendors every Saturday. 

 Yummy-ness awaits just past these chain-link gates!
With so many options to choose from, we were unsure just where to begin. We did a lap around first so that we didn’t choose one place and then walk 5 feet, see an awesome-r place and then go “SHIT! I shoulda went there instead! 
Obviously I was tempted to go for a burger first, especially when DuMont was serving up 6 oz mini sliders. Since we were sharing, it was kind of a one-bite deal, but still pretty juicy & tasty! I loved the tiny brioche bun, but the bread & butter pickles were kind of meh. (Those are my dad’s favorite, not mine.)

Our next stop was Lumpia Shack. If you’re not familiar with lumpia, they are delicious Filipino spring rolls – and I’m a giant sucker for them. 

They had a special roll of the day, which was Kaldereta – a short rib filled spring roll – so we got an order of those, as well as their “vegetarian option” consisting of a fresh veggie and tofu salad on a crepe, almost like an inside-out spring roll. The Kaldereta rolls were good, but the salad was a little bit lacking. I was kind of unsure what to even do with the crepe since it was soft and mushy from the salad, so it was too hard to eat. I think maybe if they kind of rolled the crepe around the salad like a wrap, it would be a little easier to eat. 

Kaldereta lumpia!
“Fresh Lumpia” salad – tasted good, but not well executed.
Just shortly down the walk from Lumpia Shack we found Brooklyn Piggies, where they were serving up fat little pups in puff pastry. Too awesome to pass up, and at only $2 a pop, we just had to get one. My only complaint is that the puff pastry crumbles as soon as you take a bite, so you’re kind of like, grasping at these bits of dough falling out of your mouth. Still yummy, though!

What food adventure would be complete without dessert? We stopped at Dough, whose slogan is “We Fry in Bed-Stuy”. These doughnuts are probably the best thing to come out of that part of Brooklyn since Biggie Smalls! They’re big and yeasty and delicious – and they blow Federal Doughnuts right out of the water.
I ordered a Cafe Au Lait doughnut and it was so friggin good that I was greedy and didn’t even share with my dining buddy. (Sorry! But c’mon, look at that thing! You wouldn’t share either.)
And finally, just when we thought we had eaten everything we could and we were going to explode, we decided we just had to get a little bit crazy and try out fried anchovies at Bon Chovie. With an awesome, rockin’ name like that, how could we not check them out??
 For those about to Nom, we salute you. 
(Yes, I know that is AC/DC and not Bon Jovi, but just go with it.)
So, I’d never had an anchovy before. I have never had a desire to have an anchovy. But I’ll try anything once. Because hey, you never know – you might like it. 
 And… yeah, that’s it. I took one bite and I did not like it. Anchovies are not for me.
(This was also probably the worst thing to eat when it was 97 degrees out.)
Smorgasburg has something for every one, so pack up your shit and head over there some Saturday afternoon already! (And if you can’t find anything you like there, then you’re the pickiest eater alive and I have no respect for you.)
 
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