Thursday, March 17, 2011

The true value of a doughnut (Doughnut Plant)

Outside storefront

In case I you haven't heard the news (you NEVER listen to me *cries*), I'll be working for Google next year. This is awesome to me for several reasons: Duh, winning... it's Google, I never have to pay for food ever (ice cream sandwiches -, I get to move back to NYC where 99% of my friends are, and as icing on the cake, the office is just a few blocks away from the new Doughnut Plant location, the happiest place on earth not filled with pedophiles dressed in mouse costumes. But wait, this doesn't make sense. "Aren't you a champion of mid-quality and questionably low priced food products" you say? Why certainly. I love my Wawa's doughnuts with a fiery passion that burns like gonorrhea, and yes... I can buy half a dozen doughnuts there for little more than the price of a single creme brulee doughnut from "the plant," but it's just not the same. Doughnut plant makes doughnuts that break my value function in ways I can't explain.

But I'll try anyway! Dunkin' Donuts and Wawa both sell doughnuts by the half-dozen for $3.99 on a fairly consistent basis. That's six generic doughnuts at a cost of roughly 67 cents each. I have a fairly sizable appetite and that proves to be a pretty decent meal. My utility curve probably peaks at around the third one, flattens by the fourth, starts going down at five, and is borderline regrettable at six. Now the alternative is say... a place like Donuts Plus, where the curve broadens and only starts diminishing at the sixth doughnut (based on quality). But doughnut plant is like crack. After the first doughnut at $2.25-3.00 my pleasure vs. cost ratio actually gets steeper. I MUST HAVE MOAR. So I buy another one... and curiously enough, I feel the need to consume more. In the case of Doughnut Plant, my pleasure never plateaus, I'm simply limited by the amount of cash in my wallet or vacant real estate in my stomach. While I do end up spending upwards of $10 on four doughnuts, my mind doesn't think of it that way. Pleasure to cost ratio is basically asymptotic. While I would never spend more than 75 cents on a doughnut from DD or Wawa, I would spend ungodly amounts at Doughnut Plant.

Blackboard specials

Last time I went was actually around Chinese New Year w/Robyn and Tia (to give you an idea of how slow I am at blogging), hence the existence of the crystallized ginger doughnut on the menu. I guess they were trying to attract Asian people to the store, but it kind of failed (except for us). Most of them were several blocks West at the parade.


Also the standard menu in case you've never seen it. I know... doughnuts should not cost $1.50 per bite (as is the case with the creme brulee one), but if a poor cheapskate idiot like me is willing to pay that, then you know you probably should pony up too.

Crystallized ginger doughnut

I am Chinese. I am obligated to get the Asian doughnut. Despite my aversion to ALL THINGS GINGER, this wasn't bad, but it was pretty forgettable. It really is just a standard glazed doughnut that has a coating of ginger syrup and specks of candied ginger instead of the traditional glaze. Like I said, it was okay, but I'm glad it's not on the regular menu wasting oven space that could be reserved for shit like...

Blackout doughnut

The blackout cake doughnut. Imagine a super dense chocolate cake doughnut thats glazed with chocolate, sprinkled with chocolate crumbs, and filled with chocolate cream. It's the most sensual ring of dough I'll ever insert into my mouth. Truth. What's weird is that I didn't used to like it. I thought it was too chocolate-y if that makes sense. This time it was spot on. A slight bitterness from the cake balanced by a smooth sweetness from the cream led to a nice evenness to the flavor, while simultaneously providing three differing layers of texture from outside to center. It's like layers of happiness made with chocolate.

Creme brulee

Fucking $3 doughnut. It is all of two bites. I actually split this with Tia, which was an awful idea since, well... it is all of two bites. I assure you that those brief moments of chewing are of pure ecstasy. From crunching through the thin outer crust of sugar all the way through to the delicate and cream filled center, the entirety of the cross-section is pleasing in one way or another. Do I feel bad that I basically shoveled a dollar bill and two quarters in my mouth? Yeah, a little bit. Is there buyer's remorse? Not at all! The creme brulee doughnut is the bees knees when it comes to the selection. It is hedonism at its finest.

There's not really much left for me to say about how awesome doughnut plant is that isn't already obvious. Basically, their doughnuts are fantastic and worth every penny. Even to a poor graduate student like myself. I think everyone should go there and get fat?

Oh, and this is a note to all my female friends... ladies, please stop referring to Doughnut Plant as DP (I know they do, but I swear they're trolling everyone). I am insanely childish, and while I know what you're talking about, there is a very inappropriate second abbreviation that should never be associated with baked goods.


Robyn said...

Oh jebus, I just had to google DP to see what it means. I wish I hadn't. Anyhoo, I've never abbreviated Doughnut Plant as far as I remember, so..yay!

AND YAY WELCOME BACK TO NYC, the ice cream sandwiches await!

Barrett said...

your masters was only one year? waaaah :( im stuck here until 2012 at least.

Anonymous said...

Free food at Google and close proximity to Doughnut Plant? You may have to change your blog's name to "My Outer Fatty".

Sue said...

^lol. I'm jealous, congrats on Google and moving back to NYC!

Kevin said...

My brother brought me back a Pistachio and Blackout doughnut last weekend, and they were both amazing. To my surprise, I was actually more blown away by the Pistachio doughut, which was studded with pistachios both in the glaze and in the doughnut itself. So, so good. I've gotta try the Tres Leches and PB&J next time.

And for me, DP always meant either Double Play or Daily Pennsylvanian. If my friends ever meant it the way you are referring to, we'd just say it outright instead of abbreviating it...not that we talked about this all the time or anything like that. Okay, I think I've said enough.

Rodzilla said...

I would love for you to become the first google employee to have a restriction put on his cafeteria privileges.

I would also love one of those damned donuts, no matter how wierd Mark Isreal is.

kim said...

Finally! I can taste the food your write about in your posts now that you're in NYC! :)

Congrats on your new job!

I'm thinking of hitting the new DP in Chelsea today, but so afraid of the crowd...

Nicholas said...

Robyn - shhhh, I will hold true to my promise and bring ice cream sandwiches every week. Sorry about the second definition haha, I JUST WANT ALL MY FRIENDS TO STOP ABBREVIATING IT THAT WAY. It's really weird when I open my email and see "what time are we going to DP?"

Barrett - what can I say, I'm kinda gifted :p haha. No, seriously though, my Penn account actually says expected date of grad is Spring 2012... I just finished all my reqs is all. I'll be out by July!

Anonymous - I shall make the change when the time comes... I hope that never happens though.

Sue - I was actually offered the choice of sunny Cali or NYC. My head wasn't on quite right for that decision. I turned down great burritoes, In-N-Out, and constant sun. WHAT A DUMBASS.

Kevin - I liked the pistachio (yeah I went again like last week), but not so much the oatmeal which is of similar construction. Tres Leches is mad good too, I just kinda took pictures of the new ones/favorite ones.

... and suuuuure. I completely forgot DP also stood for double play (although that could be inappropriate in itself) and Daily Pennsylvanian.

Rodzilla - WHY WOULD YOU WISH THAT ON ME? I couldn't care less if Mark Isreal was the uni-bomber, his shit is legit when it comes to doughnuts.

kim - not quite yet. It'll be another solid 4 months before I transition from Philly to NYC. Btw, there's no real crowd at the Chelsea DP, so feel free.

Danny said...

oh man, DP. love it. haha. congrats on Google btw, now your value proposition on food can change! (since you never have to pay for it!)

Robert said...

Congrats on the job and donut proximity, both sound pretty tasty... Ah four months sounds good, give Philly a bit more attention before you leave!

Shirley said...

I think its awesome that you're working for google, but sadly, the only thing I think NYC has going for it is the food. I hate the fact that the city is packed like sardines in a tin can.

I also think you will miss paesanos. Come back for a visit when Federal Donuts is opening!

James said...

To think that those cooks used to simply fill punch holes into their dough. Now they DP it.

Nicholas said...

Danny - mind = blown right? I kept seeing it DP in my email and I kept thinking of how inappropriate that was. Btw, I don't really think my value proposition on food has changed, despite the availability of free food, I'll likely still eat out quite a bit just out of curiosity.

Robert - thanks! I'm showin' Philly as much love as I can, but I'm only one guy!

Shirley - I like that packed in feeling. Philly feels too... lethargic (if that makes any sense). I will indeed miss Paesano's (which I have yet to write about), and for sure I'll revisit once Federal Donuts opens :)

James - damn... now I no longer want doughnut holes. I have this awful visual where workers are in the back kitchen laughing merrily while DP'ing the crap out of doughnuts. Uber-inappropriate.

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