Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken – Washington, DC

Holyyyyyyy. Guys, this is as good as it sounds. Doughnuts AND fried chicken. Seriously, what a phenomenon.

If you’re in DC this is an absolute must. Their small shop downtown on G Street is in such a prime location that most of the time I just so happen to be walking around in the area when I decide yup, a doughnut and some chicken is a great idea. It doesn’t matter what time of the day, or whether or not you just finished a rather large breakfast/brunch/lunch, there is always room for one of these doughnuts and a piece of this deliciously crispy fried chicken.

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There are a lot of great tag team duos out there, but I would argue that 20x more heroic than Batman and Robin is Astro’s creme brulee doughnut and fried chicken breast. First, the fried chicken: !@#%&*#!#@! (Yeah, that good.) I can’t emphasize enough how amazing crispy and moist this stuff is. And you know a chicken joint is legit when you don’t even have to ask for hot sauce. It’s the type of chicken you buy to take home for dinner later but end up eating half of everything on the car ride home because it smells and tastes that damn good.

Aaaaand the creme brulee.

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There are many good creme brulee doughnuts out there, but unlike the others, this doughnut is filled around the exterior of the yeast dough rather than stuffed and filled in the center. It makes for a much more evenly distributed cream filling and less ooze and gooze than what you get from a filled doughnut. It’s perfectly sweet and not too intense making it great for any occasion and a treat any time of the day.

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The flamed sugar glazed exterior is just straight sexy. Crispy, sweet, and creamy, this texture and flavor party is something you don’t want to miss out on. There are tons of other great doughnuts on the menu but it’s so hard to get anything but this classic tried and true piece of heaven.

Now, I am typically a yeast doughnut type of girl but every now and then a good cake doughnut pops up and takes me by surprise. That’s exactly what happened with this toasted coconut chocolate cake.

This was probably the most moist thing I have ever had the pleasure of eating. The coconut wasn’t too overpowering and the chocolate cake was so smooth and soft and delicious. Just a testament for how amazing their cake doughnuts are.

Whether you’re visiting and taking a detour from the White House or you’re in need a break from your busy work day or weekend in the city, Astro will be there for you with open arms: a doughnut in one hand and a drumstick in the other.

 

Dedicating this post to one of my most inspiring patients. Because anytime I can talk about food and doughnuts in the office, it’s a great day.

 

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Donut Tuesdays with Twin DO-Nuts

Sure, working for the VA Boston Healthcare System is great because we get the opportunity to serve the veterans that served our country. What is also great about working here is having co-workers down for some dough. It all started a few months ago when I brought in a dozen from Twin DO-Nuts in Allston, MA.

Retro Storefront
Retro Storefront

This isn’t exactly on my way to work, but since when does that matter when chasing doughnuts. Twin is everything I love about a small family owned donut shop. It’s no corporate, mundane chain **cough, Dunkin, cough** and as  you can see from the storefront is has it’s own unique character. The sign is as iconic in Allston as Randy’s huge donut is in LA (see Hole in the Sky).

And obviously the donuts are freaking great. Classic flavors: glazed, chocolate glazed, chocolate frosted, lemon, jelly, powered, sugar raised, old fashioned. Can’t ever go wrong with the fluffy yeast donuts and traditional cake pairings. And for $8 for a dozen, it’s hard not to make everyday a donut day.

Dozen ❤

Since this first introduction, a weekly tradition has begun and Donut Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays have emerged thanks to generous contributions from some awesome co-workers. Thanks to this movement, we have also sampled masterpieces from the lots of Blackbird Doughnuts in the South End, Mike’s Donuts in Mission Hill, and Doughboy Donuts & Deli in Southie. And of course this is New England, so it’s impossible to get away without having a few Dunkins as well. So this proves that it’s not just me; these guys are also suckers for donuts any day of the week.

Blackbird Doughnuts

Boston’s South End is home to some of the city’s best food. One of it’s most recent additions is Blackbird Doughnuts down on Tremont Street. New England and Boston in particular is home to the infamous, mediocre Dunkin Donut so I was beyond thrilled to learn that there was a new shop making fresh doughnuts in the Town.

Blackbird makes gourmet doughnuts with some very fun, very delicious flavor. On my first visit a few weeks into their grand opening, I tried a few of these bad boys:

Starting from the top right working clockwise: Wild Berry Bismark, Buffalo Frito, Pineapple Habanero, and Dark Chocolate Pomegranate. Amazing flavors. The most unique and my favorite was the Buffalo Frito. With the sweet and savory combination topped with that drizzle of Frank’s hot sauce, my taste buds died and went to heaven. The doughnut itself is a dense yeast doughnut that is heavier than most I’ve had. These guys are jacked with dough. Similar to that guy at the gym that keeps hogging the weight bench, think solid, packing some real muscle.

The shop is open Thursdays-Sundays 7am to 3pm. It’s a small space with standing room only so be prepared to congregate in the corner or take them outside to enjoy. Another great option is walking down the street to the Starbucks or the park a few blocks down for some more seating.

I was very excited to share the experience with my good friends Jenny and Norm a few weeks ago during their visit to Boston. Among all of the seafood (in particular the 5 dozen oysters) we enjoyed, we also spent a Sunday with a few of these little guys.

Admiration
Admiration
Clockwise from top right: salted toffee, cinnamon stack, peanut butter, french roast, chocolate gnash, dark chocolate pomagranate
Clockwise from top right: salted toffee, cinnamon stack, peanut butter, french roast, chocolate ganache, dark chocolate pomegranate

What keeps me coming back are the crazy good flavors and thick glazed coating on each of these guys. The salted toffee is however by far my favorite. Salt and sweet and perfectly balanced. This salted toffee is the Blackbird poster child and it’s impossible to leave without devouring one.

They will usually have a few daily specials depending on the season so there is always something new to try. Last Sunday I stopped by with a few friends and made out with this pepperoni pizza, s’mores, and of course a salted toffee.

Pepperoni pizza, S'mores, Salted Toffee
Pepperoni pizza, S’mores, Salted Toffee

As always the salted toffee was phenomenal, the pepperoni pizza was a savory treat, and the s’mores with fluff and chocolate ganache did not disappoint.

If you are lucky enough to find yourself in the South End, Blackbird is a must!

Peter Pan Bakery

If I lived in Brooklyn this would definitely be my local donut spot.

Peter Pan Bakery has the small town shop feel going on, and I love the old school bar and stools they have for seating inside.

The donuts are great, soft and fluffy just like they should be. I got my chocolate glazed with some very festive red, white, and blue sprinkles and had a grand ol’ time with it. The sprinkles were only on half of the donut which I thought was a wonderful concept, some fun little embellishments with the balance of a good solid classic.

All American
All American

The only down side is unless you live out there it’s quite a trek to get to. I took about a 50 min trip in on the train from Manhattan, and while I would do anything for a good donut I’m not sure that’s the norm for most people. That being said, all the hipsters in Greenpoint should be rejoicing over having this place in the neighborhood.

I recently came across this short film by Keif Roberts & Peter J. Haas, and it just makes me so happy. It’s hard to really capture the charm and atmosphere of a small locally run donut shop, but this documentary definitely does Peter Pan justice.

Enjoy!