I am not a Sweets-at-Breakfast kind of girl.
Nine times out of 10, if given the option, I’ll opt for eggs, meat, veggie hash or a breakfast sandwich without a second glance at the French Toast. It takes a rare type of pastry to draw me in; one that is so good it surpasses the cinnamon rolls and danishes of the breakfast menu and settles into a rarer category indeed–something sweet to be eaten at any time of the day.
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, Chef Jason Gehring’s soon-to-open (and much awaited) pastry/poultry restaurant, does exactly that. Fortunately for all of us (though unfortunately for all of those weight-loss New Year’s resolutions), the casual yet refined take on comfort food opens next month in Metro Center but is available for catering now.
To even compare Astro doughnuts to your everyday doughnut/donut option is unfair; the confections are exquisite and the flavors rotate daily, with seasonal options like Eggnog (a delectable nutmeg butter cake with vanilla custard and rum glaze) and Panettone doughnut (yeast-raised fruitcake with rum glaze and toasted almonds) both available through December 31st.
The menu mainstays like the Maple Bacon doughnut and Bourbon Vanilla are classic flavors with a gourmet twist providing the moisture and artisan ingredients you never got as a child. The smoked, candied pork sitting atop the moist cake is Benton’s Bacon, just as the cocoa accents are Valrhona Chocolate and the inner workings are crafted from King Arthur Flour, Plugra Butter, and seasonal fruit and produce from local farmers. These are doughnuts for grownups.
Standard flavors per day include the Vanilla Glazed (vanilla cake with a vanilla bean glaze), Brooklyn Blackout (devil’s food cake, chocolate glaze, cookie crumbs), Maple Bacon, Peanut Butter & Jelly (a square cake stuffed beyond reason with strawberry jelly and topped with a peanut butter glaze) and Crème Brulee (filled with vanilla custard, finished with a bruleed vanilla glaze). In addition to the standard daily selection, five rotating flavors will be offered Monday through Friday, with a full offering of 10 doughnuts per day.
Not being a doughnut connoisseur–and admitting my shortcomings fully–I brought along two taste testers (self-proclaimed lovers of doughnuts and sugar aficionados). We each gravitated to certain flavors (Taster 1 enjoyed the seasonal Eggnog proclaiming loudly “It’s like giving Santa a delicious rim job,” though that’s neither here nor there) while Taster 2 favored the Oatmeal Rasin and Bourbon Vanilla. I personally couldn’t get enough of the Peanut Butter & Jelly, though I’ll admit the Eggnog ran a close second.
One thing we could all agree on was that each doughnut was flavorful and unique; every batch is prepared daily on-site by Gehring himself, crafting unique, whimsical flavor profiles that keep you reaching for more (it’s dangerous; don’t say we didn’t warn you). And with a daily rotating schedule and weekly options like Salted Caramel (caramel glaze, almonds, fleur de sel), Creamsicle (made with orange curd and topped with a blood orange glaze), or the Gianduia (chocolate dough, chocolate custard, hazelnut glaze), there’s no way they can keep us away.
Gone are the days of dry, uniform doughnuts that arrive on your palette tasting just like the last. Astro doughnuts provide the gourmet twist our breakfasts deserve and with prices as cheap as $2.25 to $2.85 per piece, there’s no reason not to dive in. It’s worth that workout, we promise.
Orders can be placed by calling 202-809-5565 or by emailing [email protected]
Need further proof? Just look at this ecstasy: