Donut Shoppe on Avenue U: An Independent Survives in Brooklyn
Fork in the Road has bitched before about how Dunkin' Donuts has invaded Brooklyn, and the deleterious effects suffered by the borough as a result: independent coffee shops forestalling or even closing; the gobbling up of choice food-permitted retail property, resulting in a decline of such businesses as neighborhood pizza parlors and delis; and, of course, the propensity of national franchises for paying low wages, siphoning up local cash and sending it out of state. Well, there's another nasty Dunkin' Donuts effect, too: putting local donut makers out of business.
In fact, what was once a typical Brooklyn institution -- the independent donut shop, often making excellent donuts -- is now on the wane. As I propel around the borough, I see fewer and fewer of these places. The low-fat, low-carb craze has contributed to the dearth, too, but places like Peter Pan in Greenpoint have re-taught us to love the local donut.
Thus it was with some excitement that I stumbled on Donut Shoppe, an old-fashioned sort of place just under the B and Q tracks on Avenue U in Homecrest. The glazed donut -- bedrock of the menu at any of these places -- is superb, light as a single rolling paper and only partly shiny; in other words, it doesn't commit the cardinal sin of being too sweet. The cudgel-size cruller was similarly delectable and tasted freshly made. But my friend Mark, who brought his son Eli along, had one minor objection: "They forgot to twist the cruller; it's too straight." 1503 Avenue U, Brooklyn, no phone