10/17/17 11:07pm

Fruity pebbles and maple bacon, together at last.

A big shoutout to my pal Lisa—my go-to source for all things Whitestone and Bayside—for hipping me to Honey Pig Donut Company, which has been open just under two months.

The other day I stopped in and decided to try the shop’s signature confection, a maple bacon donut. I really wasn’t going to get a second donut until I noticed a pink glazed number showered with day-glo specks. Even though I knew full well that they were Fruity Pebbles I somehow couldn’t process that bit of visual information and found myself asking, “What’s that?” before promptly adding one to my order. (more…)

12/07/15 1:45pm
Whether in Krakow or in Queens a donut is a pączki.

Whether in Krakow or in Queens a donut is a pączki by any other name.

Sometimes you just really need a donut. And not just any donut, but a puffy Polish pączki. Filled with jelly or cream they’re a common pre-Lenten treat. I’d be lying if I said pączki were on my mind Friday morning as my business partner and I drove around Glendale trying to find Finback Brewery.

Beer and ticket sales were our primary concern. We needed two kegs of beer and we needed them fast, for a festival the following day. This urgency didn’t keep us from stopping in our tracks when we saw a hand-written sign that read “Bake Sale.”
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10/08/13 10:23am

CRONUTSIGN2

I have yet to consume a Cronut, but my friend Wendy Chan did, and she was kind enough to file this dispatch from the front lines of food faddery in Soho. Take it away Wendy . . .

While grocery shopping at Stew Leonard’s this summer, I walked past the bakery where samples were passed out for a taste of their new product, a croissant donut. The bakery team there claimed this new hybrid is made from 162 layers of butter and dough, deep-fried to golden perfection. I knew this “Cro Do” was a copycat product, but I would not miss a chance to try it.

It did taste pretty good, still piping hot. I was sold. Frankly, butter makes everything taste good! Deep fried? Darn it! Irresistible! It’s retailed at $3.99 for two. I bought half a dozen to share with friends that evening. No line, no fuss.

My daughter ,Veronica, had already introduced me to the original Cronut, created by Dominique Ansel, but it didn’t impress me. But then, it was frozen overnight, as a thoughtful gift of love, (well, she had to get up early to stand in line for it) so it was not a fair verdict. (more…)

08/13/13 10:24am
A Korean Cronut knockoff has landed in Flushing.

A Korean Cronut knockoff has landed in Flushing.

With all the time I spend in Flushing it’s hard to believe that it’s taken me this long to patronize Paris Baguette. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that it was the Korean bakery’s Cronut knockoff that finally lured me across the threshold.

“You can’t take pictures here,” said a beret wearing young man dressed in a striped shirt more commonly seen on French mimes. “Discover the dessert that’s taking over Manhattan,” read a sign above the croissant-doughnut hybrids. “Decadent and yummy,” it continued. I don’t often succumb to the lures of food faddery, but Cronut curiosity got the best of me. There is no way in hell I am waiting on line at 5 a.m. outside of Dominique Ansel for any pastry, no matter how hyperbolically delicious. So I considered getting one of Paris Baguette’s  Croissant Donuts ($3.50) to be the next best thing. It was indeed “decadent and yummy,” topped with lemon zest and filled with a vanilla cream. (more…)

07/03/13 11:55am
AGE-ICE

A Japanese spin on the ice cream sandwich.

As a habitué of Japanese eateries  I am familiar with the word age, meaning fried, as in kara age, or fried chicken. For about a year I’ve been meaning to try the age ice ($2.99) from Japadog, the Japanese hot dog shop on Saint Marks Place. Thankfully it is not the same thing as the fried ice cream one finds at certain South of the Border restaurant chains. It is instead “ice cream with fried buns,” which resemble hot dog rolls in their shape and size. Three scoops of your choice vanilla, green tea, strawberry or black sesame are cradled in the bread. You could call it a cold dog, but that’s not entirely accurate, so age ice it is.

“Think of it like a donut,” the kid behind the counter said as he made my age ice kurogoma, black sesame ice cream sandwich. After the requisite photo frenzy I dug in. The bun’s glaze had some texture to it thanks to a crunchy coating of sugar. The combination of the cool ice cream and the warm fluffy donut was simply delightful. It was way better than the donut sandwich I had last week. Fueled by a sugar rush I envisioned a warm pretzel bun cradling a savory meat-based frozen confection. Do you feel me OddFellows?

Japadog,  30 St. Marks Place, 646-476-2324

06/26/13 12:42pm
Is this the Cronut of breakfast sandwiches?

Is this the Cronut of breakfast sandwiches?

Sandwiches so large, so ungainly, so messy that I have to remove my watch are among my favorites. In all the time I’ve been writing about sandwiches I’ve rarely, if ever, had thought, “I am glad that sandwich was so small.”  Sadly that very thought crossed my mind this morning. It occurred moments after my last bite of the Dunkin’ Donuts Glazed Breakfast Sandwich.

Ever since I read about this purported breakfast treat breathlessly described  on the Dunkin’ Donuts web site as “pure deliciousness,” I’ve wanted to try it. Two days after its launch on National Donut Day I popped into my local Dunkin’ at around 9 p.m. to ask if they had the sandwich. “Yes, we have it,” the clerk said excitedly, “but we don’t have the donuts.” (more…)

01/07/13 10:39am
INDO-DONUTS

Just some of the dozen donuts on offer at at Zoom.

The bite-size donuts above come in a dozen flavors: cappuccino, coconut, M&M, cheese, green tea, and almond to name a few. Despite appearances the tiny treats come neither from a bake sale nor from a hipster pastry chef. Zoom Mini Donuts are the brainchild of Chef Dewi of Java Village, one of my favorite Indonesian restaurants. Her steam table joint at the northern end of Queens’ second smaller Chinatown in Elmhurst has tons of great grub, including bubur ayam, a kicked up fried chicken congee that makes for a great breakfast. Java Village has always had a staggering array of desserts, including  several cakes hued with the day-glo green of pandan. It was Dewi’s lineup of cakes, and yes donuts, including the cheese covered kue donat, that made me realize there’s so much more to Indonesian sweets than just shaved ice.

A few months ago Dewi added the Zoom Mini Donut window, which also sells coffee and tea, to the front of her shop. The dessert counter inside the restaurant no longer has the larger donuts. Some would see that as a loss, but I think it’s more fun to try several donuts rather than make the calorific commitment to one huge one. Like those cakes  each Lilliputian treat is also made with pandan  lending the innards a greenish hue and a subtle aroma and flavor. Think of Zoom as Javanese Java and donut pop-up. It’s only a matter of time before the cops show up for coffee and donuts.

Java Village, 86-10 Justice Ave., Elmhurst, 718-205-2166