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Donuts from a Car Wash and Tapas for Brunch

March 16, 2015

Donuts from a car wash?  What have we come to in the city?

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Why must we trek all the way to the West Side highway to seek out a taste of freshly fried treats?

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There was only a single pane of glass that separated the Underwest Donuts Shop from the busy car wash and you can get a full view as cars file up to go through the wash, from a soak to suds.  I guess there’s no harm in a little multi-tasking right?

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But before we can dig into desserts, we must eat a normal meal.  For that, we ventured to Gotham West Market and sought out two seats at the counter at El Colmado.  

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We started brunch with a crisp and clean winter salad.  The beautiful plate of winter vegetables included watermelon radish, brussels sprouts, fennel and kohlrabi were all shaved paper thin, dressed with an anchovy dressing and Mahon cheese.  The mild sweetness of the vegetables were punctuated with vinegary bites of white anchovies, a lovely contrast of flavor.

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We complemented the salad with a nice healthy heaping plateful of patatas bravas.  Crispy nuggets of potatoes were drizzled a light garlic aioli, these disappeared in no time.

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Two more small plates of tapas included a few albondigas, juicy lamb meatballs in mojo picon and a sheep’s milk yogurt sauce and toasts with an eggplant jam, goat cheese and salty bites of black and white anchovies.

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Of course, we also need an egg dish because it was brunch after all right?  This plate of scrambled eggs might look deceivingly simple but it was one of the best dishes of the day.  Soft scrambled eggs were mixed with bites of salted cod and creamy chunks of avocado, a perfect Spanish twist on a breakfast staple.

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Now that we have had some food, it was time to dig into the donuts.  With three to sample, we went one by one.  The first was what Underwest was known for, an unusual donut topped with halva filigree.  Soft and sweet, the halva gave the sweet cake donut just the right amount of sesame flavor.  A great choice if you have a propensity for halva.

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Next up an old fashioned topped with espresso bean.  Still moist and unbelievably light, I was left craving a strong espresso flavor.

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And lastly, a maple brown butter donut with almonds.  Now this is worth the trek all the way out the West Side highway.  The donut was moist from a lovely brown butter glaze and the brown butter gave it depth, keeping it sweet but not cloyingly so.  The perfect bite to end another successful food excursion out west.  The west side of Manhattan that is.

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Underwest Donuts | 638 West 47th Street, New York, NY 10036 | http://www.underwestdonuts.com/

El Colmado | 600 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10036 | http://elcolmadonyc.com/

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