Donut Debate: Bouchon Bakery v. Caffe Falai
There had been a recent quarrel about finding a good donut in New York City. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to the Doughnut Plant and if memory serves me well, it was inspiring that Mark Isreal (the guy who owns and created the place) created innovative, gourmetized flavors for a donut. But I didn’t like the texture too well. It was too chewy, a bit dense, and leathery. But that’s my opinion…
As most of you know, I frequent Bouchon Bakery and Caffe Falai pretty often as of recent. Last time when I visited Caffe Falai for breakfast I was deprived of donuts, or what they would call it, bomboloni. As for Bouchon, they don’t make donuts during the weekdays; only the weekends. Since I had the opportunity to have some before classes for the past week, I had my filling of (in the voice of Homer Simpson) “Mmmm….donuts.”
Starting with Caffe Falai’s bomboloni; they sell these by the pair for $4.
Don’t they look goood (and a bit adorable)?! The one on the left is filled with vanilla custard and the one on right is raspberry jelly. These deep fried, sugar coated balls of dough are delicious. They’re feathery-light, sweet, and slightly chewy but still tender. It’s about the size of a tennis ball.
The jelly one was a bit too gelatinous for me but I LOVE the custard, especially with the tiny specks of vanilla floating around it is a plus. To tell you honestly, I love a good Boston Cream donut but since it doesn’t have a chocolate glaze or coating it’s still good in my book. Here’s the innards shots…
When it comes to Bouchon, it’s a lot more expensive than your average donut for $4.25 each. Even though it’s about the same size as you would get from Dunkin’ Donuts it just tastes a lot better (If not, I think Thomas Keller needs to find a better pastry chef but he definitely needs to find a macaron chef trained by Pierre Herme.) and it feels heavier in weight. They only make two types here: Boston Cream and Raspberry Jam. Here’s the goods.
They are BIG, as the photos insinuate. The Boston Cream was tasty and not too sweet. My few gripes about this donut though is that it is too dense in texture, a bit too greasy, and I don’t know if my taste buds are going insane (or is it my mind?) but it tasted a bit…off. Hmmm…I don’t know about the latter but the first two was definite.
The raspberry jam fared so much better. Despite its immensity, it was light in texture, slightly chewy but tender, and it was sweet. For every bite, your lips (and clothes) would be coated with granulated sugar. The raspberry jam was tasty too; a vibrant, tart, and slightly sweet raspberry flavor.
So who has better donuts? I’m more for *gasps* Caffe Falai! It tastes good and it’s a lot more inexpensive. It also helps that you don’t feel like you ate sweet, fried dough bricks by the time you’re done eating them.
Addresses: (Not like you need them; you’ve probably memorized them by now if you read this blog so often)
265 Lafayette St New York, NY 10012-4035
10 Columbus Circle; 3rd Floor New York, NY 10019-1158