L at First Ave.
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Even though Jeremy Spector is happily ensconced at his East Village restaurant, the Brindle Room, he hasn’t forsaken his hobby of creating fast-food concepts. First there was haute hot-doggery Dogmatic Dogs; now, there’s Wonder City Coffee & Donuts, a breakfast prototype in his dining room. Inspired in part by the proliferation of Dunkin’ Donuts shops in the hood (five within a six-block radius!), Spector and partner Tiffany Dorman tossed out their espresso machine, built a pour-over coffee bar, and schooled themselves in the art and science of single-cup filter-drip brewing.
The Plowshares and Gimme! coffee is bright, fresh, and nicely balanced, but it’s the old-fashioned sinkers that really stand out. They’re slightly crisp on the outside and light and airy within. In homage to the old Spudnuts chain, Spector achieves this exquisitely springy texture by adding mashed potatoes to the dough, and offers three toppings: caramel, chocolate-hazelnut, and powdered sugar. Taking a page out of Totonno’s playbook, he plans to serve them hot each morning until the dough runs out.