THE BITE: Let’s get the children out of the room before reading this week’s bite. No, I’m not going to be spouting any NSFW words or posting any obscene pictures, but this review they just won’t understand. To them, I’m going to come off as a curmudgeonly old man, but our readers over 50 will understand.
The plain glazed doughnut at The Doughnut Shoppe (a.k.a. Shaikh’s Place) at 1503 Avenue U is one of those foods that immediately transport you to another era. One bite of Shaikh’s Place’s doughnut is a trip back in time to when there were doughnut shoppes, coffee shops, luncheonettes and diners lining the streets of the neighborhood. It was a time when a doughnut shop was different from a coffee shop and would never be confused with a luncheonette or diner. A time when coffee was a dime and there was only one cup size.
This 70 cent glazed doughnut is fluffy, almost ethereally light and just sweet enough. The dough collapses to the touch and almost melts in your mouth at each bite. This doughnut is not round, it’s oddly shaped. Its imperfections in shape only add to its perfection. This is a handmade doughnut made by a man, not some pimply-faced corporate shill. This is artisanal food at its finest.
Do you remember what a doughnut tasted like before they became mass produced lumps of dry thick heavy flour coated with unimaginable concoctions of corn syrup? That doughnut of yore is what you’ll find here. These doughnuts bear no resemblance to what you’ll find at Dunkin’ and the other corporate chains. It’s almost an insult to call a Shaikh doughnut by the same name.
The Donut Shoppe a.k.a. Shaikh’s Place is one of our neighborhood’s greatest food destinations, and yet it remains largely undiscovered by the foodie community. It has gotten raves from The Village Voice and on Yelp, but the hipster foodies haven’t arrived yet. Maybe doughnuts just are too plebeian for our friends from Wisconsin. Let’s hope it stays that way.
And you can let the kids back in now.
Donut Shoppe (Shaikh’s Place), 1503 Avenue U, (718) 375-2572.
The Bite is Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.