Best Doughnut Flavors at the New Chelsea Doughnut Plant
All the flavors...
The Doughnut Plant's long, long-awaited second New York location opened yesterday morning to lines out the door; in honor of Valentine's, rose petal and passionfruit doughnuts waited on the racks. It's a good-looking space, a bit less stripped-down industrial than their Grand Street location, with a wrought-iron cage (modeled after the Hotel Chelsea's flower-patterned balconies) enclosing the cashiers and the La Marzocco and racks and racks of doughnuts. And unlike at the Lower East Side Doughnut Plant, tables line the walls—great news for tourists whipping out cameraphones to document their Tres Leches and Blackouts.
But let's cut to the chase: which are the best new doughnuts?
Owner Mark Isreal described the oatmeal doughnut as "heart-healthy"—he says it's more than half oatmeal; though "healthy" may be a bit of a stretch, it's delicious, easily one of our favorites. The outside of the cake doughnut is coated with oat bits that taste as if they could've fallen from a Nature Valley bar; cashews, sunflower seeds, cranberries, and apricot all work their way in, but in tiny flecks, so that it's very clearly an oatmeal doughnut. The edges are a little crispy-oily, but in a good way, like the edges of a bran muffin that you know is far less virtuous than it looks.
Our other favorite doughnut was on the other end of the "virtue" spectrum—the chocolate chip, which tasted like its namesake even more than the oatmeal doughnut did. The soft cake doughnut is studded with pecans and chocolate chips, then coated in a chocolate glaze and rolled in cookie dust. Taken together, it really does taste like equal parts cookie and doughnut; this is one you'd probably want mid-afternoon, not first thing in the morning.
Also new, and also recommendable, was the salted peanut, crunchy and peanutty and in no way too salty.
The first few days may be a bit slow, owner Mark Isreal told a doughnut-hungry crowd yesterday afternoon; the gas hasn't yet been turned on, so in the meantime, all the goods are being shuttled over from Grand Street (8 or 9 trips in the first half-day of operation). In the meantime, it's certainly worth a stop by, but don't get your heart too set on a particular flavor; selection right now is dependent on traffic in Lower Manhattan. He hopes for the Chelsea kitchen to be fully up and running by next week.