Underwest Donuts

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I love donuts. Like, so much. I tried to go to Underwest Donuts about a year ago, when they first opened. However, I made the mistake of arriving a little tardy for the party, and they were all sold out of donuts. Saddest day. And while it’s taken me an eternity to get back there, I finally made it (cue the noise makers and confetti). 

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So, one of the things that makes them unique and noteworthy is their location. They’re right inside a carwash, so, you know, get your car washed and snag an artisanal cake donut while you’re at it.

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I tried four of their flavors (clockwise from upper left), Halva, Maple Waffle, Carwash Donut, Brown Butter.

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First up, we’ve got the Carwash Donut, paying homage to it’s location. It has a light flavor, the simplest of the bunch, and a nice texture, a balance of airiness and density from the cake consistency.

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Up next is the Maple Waffle. You immediately smell the warm maple scent. The maple flavor itself is subtle, and I enjoyed the addition of texture from the crumble on top, along with the Stroopwafel, topping it off like a little angel on a Christmas tree. 

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Then, I had the Brown Butter. I really liked this one, you get the brown butter flavors, and the shaved almonds on top add a nice contrast of texture and added flavor. 

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Finally, I had the Halva, which was my favorite of the bunch. Topped with halva itself, the sweet sesame flavor is on point, delivering one delicious cake donut. 

The Shorts:
Name: Underwest Donuts
Location: 638 West 47th Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Even though I don’t have a car, I’d come back for the donuts. Grab a little bag of them and head across the street to the Intrepid to snack with a view.
Would I recommend it? While the location isn’t the easiest to get to (if you’re not driving), it’s definitely worth the trip. 

by CHLOE.

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Vegan food. People either cringe at the thought, or, they love it because they feel like they’re eating healthy (Debbie Downer moment, but, just eating “vegan” doesn’t mean it’s healthy, you need to watch out for “fake” ingredients. Just because it’s free of dairy, meat, and animal byproducts, doesn’t mean it’s not full of ingredients that you can’t pronounce and has lots of chemical additives. Ok, sorry, PSA over now). Anyway, I’m not vegan, but I do primarily have a veggie diet, so, I’m always game to check out a new vegan restaurant, especially one gaining lots of popularity for their veggie burger. So, I had to check out by CHLOE. in Greenwich Village. 

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First off, the branding and look of this place is super cool. Good job, guys. It’s basically quick-serve, with first-come-first-serve seating, which means, good luck finding a seat during peak hours. They also have a small outdoor patio, which is lovely, but, seats there get scooped up very quickly too. If you go at a busier time (early evening was jumping when I went), I recommend ordering your food to-go, that way, if something opens up, take a seat. If not, you end up like me and my dining buddy and sit on the stoop next to the restaurant. Which, luckily, has no affect on the taste of the food. It also helped me to avoid looking like one of the girls inside the restaurant waiting for a table (ie, awkwardly hovering over other diners holding her tray of food…I wonder if her arms gave out at any point, since, she was probably waiting for a while). I ordered The Guac Burger and a side of Air Baked Sweet Potato French Fries.

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Let’s start with the Air Baked Sweet Potato French Fries (you actually get a choice of original or sweet potato). What I loved was the fact that they weren’t full of grease, and you really tasted the sweet potato. What I didn’t love, was, because they’re air baked, and not fried, you don’t get that nice crunch on the outside, and they kind of stay limp if you don’t eat them right away. But, what completely saves the entire situation is this miracle known as Beet Ketchup. Sweet baby Jesus, it’s amazing. So, here’s the thing though, if I tried this with a blind fold, and wasn’t told what it was, I would have said it was pureed onion ring sauce. I know that sounds strange, but it tastes like a sauce made out of onion rings. As confusing as that might be, it’s delicious. Don’t ask questions or overthink it, just dunk your fries in it, bathe in it, and be happy. 

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Then, there’s the The Guac Burger (black bean-quinoa-sweet potato patty, corn salsa, onion, guac, tortilla strips, chipotle aioli, whole grain bun). Again, I’ve had my fair share of veggie burgers, so, I can be sort of a tough one. However, this was a great veggie burger, and I really enjoyed it. I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of the patties that are firmer and, no offense, rubbery in texture (I prefer a softer, cakier (not a word) consistency), but this patty had excellent flavor, and was accompanied by such wonderful ingredients and toppings, that it really was delicious. The bun was something that I especially enjoyed. A lot of times, quick-serve places that serve a veggie burger will just slap on a store bought, soft bun. I’m not a complete food snob, so, I generally have no problem with that. But, it makes the biggest difference when you have a hearty, delicious bun to hold in all the ingredients. The level of complexity that’s actually in this burger is really impressive, in terms of flavors and textures, which, I really appreciated and loved. And, if you’re ready to make the best decision of your day with this burger, add the Beet Ketchup to it. Game over. 

The Shorts:
Name: by CHLOE.
Location: 185 Bleecker Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure. I really enjoyed this veggie burger, especially that sauce, holy shit. And for quality, fresh food, it’s really affordably priced too. 
Would I recommend it? Yes, vegans and non vegans can really enjoy the food. They also make their sweets in house, daily, so, I’d like to check those out next time I go.