On the corner of 47th Street and 12th Avenue in Manhattan, New York, stands a nondescript car wash. All day long dirty cars go in one end and clean ones come out the other. You’ve seen hundreds just like it. But this car wash is different. Inside, there’s a tiny counter where they serve freshly made artisanal doughnuts. Welcome to Underwest Doughnuts.
If you didn’t know it was there you might walk right past it, not knowing about the deliciousness inside.
But once you enter and walk past the wiper fluid and air fresheners …
… you find the tiny counter of Underwest Doughnuts. Opened in October by former Chanterelle sous chef Scott Levine, the little operation specialises in delicious cake-like “sinkers.”
The counter is in the hallway, across from the glass windows of the car wash. Patrons and doughnut-makers can watch cars go by all day.
The shop offers a small assortment of homemade — or shall we say car-wash-made — doughnuts cooked fresh every day, with flavours like Coco Raspberry, Espresso Bean, and Cinnamon.
Each doughnut is cooked on-site using fresh ingredients and a classic doughnut-maker. Below, a fresh batch of Coconut Limes was being prepared with a sour-cream batter.
First we sampled the Maple Waffle, which came with a piece of waffle cone. It tasted fresh and delicious with a classic glaze.
Of course we couldn’t stop at one. We sampled the Brown Butter glazed doughnut, which stopped us in our tracks. It was seriously decadent, especially for a doughnut made in a car wash. Sweet and rich, this was the best doughnut we’d ever eaten and absolutely warranted a return trip to Underwest, regardless of its out-of-the-way location.
The shop serves coffee and espresso drinks, and in the summer it plans to have a window to serve customers walking by. We plan to come back to check it out.
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