There has been a surge in the number of newfangled donut shops lately, which means that somebody, somewhere is about to proclaim that donuts are the new cupcakes. That’s all well and good, but if there’s anything we’ve learned from the Bluebird Coffee Shop’s pistachio-cardamom donut, it’s that truly good donuts are timeless, and blessedly impervious to trends.
Adam Baumgart, Bluebird’s talented baker, has been making the donut for the past couple of months. After a friend of Fork in the Road dropped us a line to enthuse over its “light and sublime dough” and “perfect coating of sugar crystals and cardamon,” we got ourselves to the East 1st Street café to try one.
And we weren’t disappointed. Our friend’s assessment prophesied our own: The crumb was indeed light and airy, almost more similar in texture to a brioche than a traditional donut — if anything, it was a perfect cake-yeast hybrid. Barely sweetened save for its exterior coating of sugar, it was redolent of cardamom but not overwhelmed by it. Toasted pistachios provided crunch and savory, nutty body.
Between its complex flavor and plus-sized curves, the $3.50 donut was one of the more satisfying we’ve eaten in a long while, robust enough to count as breakfast but light enough to seem almost, sort of wholesome. Also, it’s almost completely greaseless, which nudges it toward the Skinny Jeans end of the spectrum. Although we may just be saying that to make ourselves feel better about wanting to eat it every morning for the foreseeable future — except for Tuesdays and Thursdays, when Baumgart has his days off.
Bluebird Coffee Shop
72 East 1st Street