I hate people who are not serious about their meals. -- Oscar Wilde

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Donut Quest: Ray's Candy Store and Bouchon

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Never had doughnuts served to me by a lady in power suit, thanks Bouchon for giving me that experience

Ray's Candy Store- Don't know if they really have candy

The Donut quest has been lacking for a bit, and took a bit of a hiatus due to over consumption of other sweet confections. However, this weekend I had the opportunity to go and chow down on some more donuts. On this leg of the donut quest, I went to Ray’s Candy Store in the East Village and then to Bouchon Bakery at Columbus Circle. These two places are complete polar opposites from each other. The only thing that they have in common is that they both have some kind of doughnut on the menu and they have coffee and the coffee at Rays is less than desirable. 

Ray’s Candy Store has been around for years (according to via internet, 1974) and reminds me of the non-alcoholic and I am hoping less debauchery ridden Mars Bar (RIP). It is in short a dive: there is no sign for the place, indications of food being served in this hole is the early 90s retro sign for soft serve with the words "NYC ICY" and “BELGIAN FRIES” hand painted on the wooden awing. Stepping inside, there is just a counter, a soda machine, ice cream freezer with tubs of unnatural colored ice cream and saran wrapped pastries abandoned in a wicker basket. This is the kind of place that I have a nostalgic like for. Opened in 1974 and closed multiple times either by rent issues or health code violations, Ray’s Candy Store is no doubt an East Village staple here especially for those that have experienced a boozy grease craving after much libations. Though you can get the Obama burger and there fries, I was there for their beignets which is a fancy Frenchie word for doughnuts and for ½ dozen for 3 bucks, it is a downright bargain. Food after the jump!

beignets with liberal amount of sugar

The beignets are made fresh to order and are covered generously with powdered sugar. When I say generous, there was enough powdered sugar to reenact the Pacino Mountain of blow scene in Scarface. The beignets were chewy and had that welcomed greasiness that you get from fried food. They were not as light as you would expect from a typical beignet, these are more like zeppoles but nonetheless, fried dough= doughnuts and these were damn good donuts. 

Fancpants doughnuts
Now to go to the complete opposite side of the spectrum, is to Bouchon Bakery located at the Time Warner Center and newly opened location at Rockefeller Center. Part of the Thomas Keller Empire, Bouchon Bakery and anything associated with Thomas Keller is ran just as efficiently and neatly as a dinner service at Per Se or the Laundry. Though Bouchon Bakery does a lot of “high brow” baking such as macarons, croissants and other classic French treats, he also does elevated versions of good ol’ American confections like his TKO (think really big Oreo) and his Nutter Butter cookie which is a must get every time I am there and on the weekends, they are making donuts. 

Creme Doughnut
They are making 2 doughnuts and they are quite good. The first is a crème filled doughnut that is topped with chocolate and dark and white chocolate crispy tiny balls or I like to call them, spider eggs. Tender and exploding with crème filling it is reminiscent of my go to Dunkin Donut Boston Crème but obviously better. The Second donut they offer is a powder donut filled with raspberry jam fill. They do not skimp on the filling and you can see the raspberry jam pushing against the walls of the doughnut swollen with raspberry fill. The donuts do not even seem like they kiss the fryer at all and lack any greasiness at all, which almost miss and something that I almost want from the donut. 

abundantly filled raspberry jam doughnut

Both these places, although they are different from each other in every possible way do have a thing in common in which they are producing tasty doughnuts. Wither you want to spend the a little extra for an elevated doughnut or satisfy the alcoholic sweet crave both these places will satisfy your needs. As usual, to be continued….

Bouchon Bakery
10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019-1158

Ray’s Candy Store
113 Ave A
New York, NY 10009

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