The mini-doughnut shop Doughnuttery opened in Chelsea Market last December, and though they've moved to a new space in the market, their menu is unchanged. That is they're still frying fresh doughnuts to order ($6 for six or $10 for 12) right in front of you with their stainless steel doughnut robot.
The robot reminds me of a "lazy river" water ride for doughnuts. The whole process, from loading the fresh batter into the mixer, to frying and flipping the doughnuts out of the oil, happens right in front of you.
Doughnuttery offers more than a dozen fun-sounding "specialty sugars" and four classic toppings such as cinnamon and powdered sugar, which are all added just after frying. Purists may decide to forego the toppings; if so, I recommend the classic cinnamon sugar.
The Cacaoboy coating contains cocoa, mesquite and sea salt. I found this to be a winning combination. It takes well to the oils that stick to the doughnuts, moistening the cocoa and tangy mesquite.
The Speckled Strawberry Sugar with lemon thyme is tangier and saltier than the cacaoboy. I'd imagine this is about as savory as a doughnut without bacon can get. The flavor of strawberries in the mix is unmistakable; since December they've added sprinkles to this mix.
Other specialty sugars include the Purple Pig, which has an interesting maple and bacon flavor profile.