The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

French crullers

French cruller
I ate this and you did not!

Yesterday was a massive solitary, impulsive fooding day--if you don't believe me, look at my walking route outlined on this map. I wouldn't have eaten the above had I not walked along 1st Ave and ranomly spotted the Old Fashion Donut shop near 14th St. By this time I don't remember what it tasted like but when I held the ridiculously huge cruller (for $0.80) in my palm, I could feel the sweet vibes of fried dough seem into my veins. How? Take a closer look:

French cruller mountain
cruller close up

Actually, that tells you nothing. A donut is sweet, fried dough, while a cruller is a different kind of sweet fried dough with RIDGES! I want to climb the cruller mountain ranges and then destroy it by chomping it away, bit by bit. Or gluttonous mouthful by mouthful.

Thursday was a gluttonous day. I woke up at 6:30 AM, 30 minutes earlier than my usual rise-and-shine time on a Thursday, so I could go back to the Doughnut Plant for my second donut of the year (and the week). The glommy weather and slush-covered sidewalks told me to stay inside but I plodded on in my sneakers (later resulting in sock soak-age) for a mile or so and got a glazed donut with walnut bits, or something like that.

glazed doughnut with walnuts
donut sitting safely in the bag

Even though there are walnut bits on the donut, I could hardly taste them. CUE DISAPPONTMENT. :( It wasn't as good of a donut experience as the Valrhona chocolate one I had earlier this week and since it was cold outside, my donut was also cold. And my shoes were wet. And it wasn't good donuting weather. And it costed $2. And I couldn't taste the walnut. The walnuts had no purpose but to add extra calories to my already calorie-saturated body. Sorry to say that the Doughnut Plant semi-failed me, not that it's a bad place but eating a donut while walking in slush isn't a good idea (my other donut experience occured while sitting with a friend in nice sunny weather). Also, as was the most expensive thing I bought all day it put a slight damper on my spirits.

Ah well. Onward to school. So I went to school and had an uneventful recitation where, as usual, I didn't know what was going on despite being awake and vaguely following what the teacher was saying. After that was over I went to Pearl Paint on Canal to buy some crafty supplies. But what else lies on Canal besides cheap vendors/tourist traps, Starbucks, and a population equivalent to that of Kansas (if you're from Kansas then pardon me for thinking your state hardly has any people for being so large...oh hell, no one from Kansas is reading this)?

BAKERIES! BAKERIES ARE EVERYWHERE! WHY? HOW! Honestly, why? I mean, it's great but I find it funny how from a culture that developed without ovens (er, I think that's what my mum told me; traditional Chinese breads and cakes are steamed?) sprouted the tendency to place a bakery every 20 feet. If you trip out of one bakery, you'll land in another that will look slightly different but essentially have the same choices.

pretty cakes
hellooo cakes!

I love Chinatown bakeries. That should be apparent by now. Besides that everything in them is delicious, everything is also cheap. If it's because the ingredients suck, I'd rather stay blissfully ignorant while biting into a soft, airy bun.

I haven't bitten into a soft, airy bun in a long time. I always get something sweet at a bakery, but since it was lunch time and I ate a donut for breakfast (which actually killed my appetite, but I can eat whenever assuming I haven't eaten a full course meal) I opted for a curry beef pocket ($0.60):

go inside the pastry!
mm, flaky

Good lord, how do they get those things so perfectly flaky? There wasn't much filling but the pastry was great and the filling was satisfying enough for me, someone who doesn't eat a lot of meat anyway. I walked for about a minute or less and stumbled upon another bakery, resulting in the consumption of a rolled up rice noodle thing ($0.70). Nothing like the pastry but another dim sum-esque savory food item. So for $1.30 I had a good lunch.

On the way back to school I went into Ceci-Cela since I was on a fooding kick. The warm, wooden interior of the European-style bakery also had a seating area in the back and looked like a comfy place to eat yet there wasn't anything in particular that I wanted. Everything looked good so I'll have to try something some other day.

After a meeting with my advisor I headed up 1st Ave for some Filter-ing, thus leading to the cruller fanaticism. However, before that I stumbled upon the bakery Something Sweet on the corner of 11th St, right by Veniero's. Actually, I didn't as much stumble as look for it due to this cupcake takes the cake post. I've passed this bakery in the past yet was never interested enough to go in. Why? Perhaps I was insane.

ahh damn bakery windows
commence drooling

The bakery is adorable (in other words, small) and is absolutely stuffed with goodies both homey and artisinal (photo set here). Besides the basic cupcakes (vanilla and chocolate although they have an Easter basket one for the holidays) and black & whites (which I want to go back and try) they have almond macaroon sandwich cookies (one of my favorite cookies but unfortunately hard to find) and beautiful tarts with fruit, cream, chocolate, basically whatever you'd want in a tart. Oh, and they specialize in cakes, methinks. I bought a cupcake ($1) and a vanilla macaroon ($0.75) after taking photos of ...everything. You know, so I could continue drooling later.

After that was when I stumbled upon the donut shop. I got a cruller since I never had one before and I figured anything from a donut shop must be good. The cruller was incredibly airy, soft, and moist inside. It was the moistness that really caught me off guard, not that I expected a dry pastry but it GLISTENED! I SWEAR!

the cruller's insides!
inside the cruller

You can't really see the moistness but it's there, trust me. I ate some of it while out and heated the rest when I got back to my dorm, which made for a cruller that I had to eat off a plate as the glaze melted and was running everywhere. It changes the experience when you can't eat it with your hand, but a warm pastry is a happy pastry. And any cruller is a happy pastry.

Good lord, this is way too long. Fast forward to dinner--I went to Fried Dumpling to continue my cheap eats spree and plopped down $2 for a plate of basic Chinese fare:

cheap Chinatown dinner
Damn, this is all fried

Two vegetable spring rolls and four pork buns = a happy Robyn. It doesn't take much to make me happy, eh?

When I got back to my dorm I warmed the cruller and the cupcake in the oven. I've rarely had warm cupcakes in my life as I've never made one nor have been in a kitchen popping out cupcakes (cupcake hospital? cupcake garden?). The warmed cupcake wasn't as happiness inducing as the cruller but it was damn good with chocolate chips in the cake and a slightly melted gooey icing.

Some stats to round out this entry:

Expenditure: $6.10
Calorie consumption: heart attack inducing
Miles walked: a lot (my guess is more than five...god, I hope more than 5)

  1. Doughnut Plant (Grand St/Norfolk)
  2. NYU Tisch Hall computer lab (4th St/Greene)
  3. NYU Silver Center (Washington Pl/Wash Sq E)
  4. NYU expository writing center (4th St/Mercer)
  5. Pearl Paint (Canal St/Bway)
  6. two bakeries around Canal St
  7. Bobst Library (4th St/Wash Sq E)
  8. Steinhardt Building (4th St/Greene)
  9. Something Sweet (11th St/1st Ave)
  10. Old Fashion Donut (13th St/1st Ave)
  11. Filter office (30th St/1st Ave)
  12. Fried Dumpling (Allen St/Delancey)
  13. BACK TO DORM (Water St/Fulton)


Erin / March 24, 2006 12:14 PM

I just found out the French Cruller at Dunkin Donuts is the lowest calorie donut they have, 150 rather than the usual 300 calorie sort, so maybe you don't have to feel so bad.

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