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.

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  • http://twitter.com/stefamafone Mos Stef

    I pity anyone who has walked by this place without sampling their heavenly donuts. Unless you’ve got a valid medical reason, you have no excuse.

    Before Shaik’s Place, I didn’t know what a proper donut was supposed to taste like. Now I know, and I don’t care if I’ll never fit back into my size 6 jeans ever again. I’d rather have junk in the trunk than deprive myself of this rare treasure.

  • nolastname

    About time
    The oldfashions are just that. A dash of something…nutmeg? The owner is a sweetheart. Shaik offers a bakers dozen and the prices can’t be beat. The jelly and Boston creme OMG. I remember when the 61 was around the corner in the 60′s..to this day plenty of retired officers visit and people come back from other boroughs for his fresh on premises made goodies.  I also remember the bar right next door….anyone remember the name?I worked there in between jobs (in the late 70′s) and Shaik offered me hours recently when I became unemployed.  Did everything except make the doughnuts. Harriet, how the hell are you. LOLAll the best to him and his family both on and off the job.

    • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

      Is there anywhere in the neighborhood you DIDN’T work?

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        Now we know who has kept this neighborhood functioning all these years.,

        • nolastname

          Far from it, but thanks. I need a job in quality control or company security.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            I think you’ve picked up skills from every place you worked and figured out why some companies do well and others don’t. I think you’d do very well as a troubleshooter, even for companies that are doing pretty well for themselves. They probably don’t notice problems because it hasn’t affected their bottom line yet.

      • nolastname

        Yes, LOL. The good thing is I just move on because of circumstances. Not one employer can say I was lazy or stole goods or cash. I ate my share of supplies. 
        I said it before, I am going to hell for gluttony. 

        • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

          For some reason, I read “I ate my share of puppies”… 

          long day….

    • Dr Bob

      The name of the bar was the Ave U Bar

      • nolastname

        Duh, I should have thought of that. 
        I will go plant a ginkgo tree now. 
        Thanks Dr Bob.

  • SUPERHERO

    why is it called  shaiks place?

    • Anonymous

      It what’s printed on the boxes!

    • nolastname

      “S”haik.

    • Laurenlexxi

      SHEIK rhymes with bake…..I assume he bakes the donuts………TIME TO MAKE THE DONUTS,,,and is a very hard working man who makes every donut by hand, by himself, and it shows by all of his happy satisfied customers.  He is an extremely hard worker and takes pride in his donuts, and it shows by all the crowds that show up, some willing to stand when all the seats are taken,  just to have a great donut and coffee. The lunches are spectacular also, but for over 40 years breakfast time is like Grand Central Station.  Everytime I go into Sheiks Donut Shop, I never see anyone without a smile on their face.  His donuts are addicting!!!!  STANDING ROOM ONLY!!! CUDOS TO SHEIK!

  • Nyckat

    uuuuuuuuuuummmm, these are the closest doughnuts I can get to homemade without actually taking up the time and messing my entire kitchen up..yep a touch of nutmeg, and some more yumms!!

  • http://www.bigapplesewer.com/ Master Plumber

    They also have he best cinnamon donuts!

  • BONFUNNY

    THE GREATEST DONUT EVER

    • Laurenlexxi

      THE BEST ALL CHOCOLATE DONUTS AND BROWNIES, and if you are in the mood for a burger, 24/7 you can get one made to your preference,,,,not to mention the modest prices!!!!

  • MrArtTuro

    Thanks Robert, et al.
    Another splendidly written article – I would try to nominate SBites for a Pulitzer;if only I weren’t suddenly so dagg awfully hungry. Thanks for the reminder of this shopppe. (Would it be awful of me to proclaim that I’m typing from a waterfront/poolside in an amazing home on Florida that I’ve been luxuriating in since late December and will return in our Bay in a few more weeks?  That would be wrong to type, right?) 

  • GhostGuest

    I, too, remember the days of the 61st Precinct on the other side of E. 15th, and the always ethereally delicious donuts. The name of the bar in question was simply the Avenue U Bar & Grill. Pop’s and Lenny’s candy store was a couple of doors down, too. Barton’s near the corner of E. 16th, with Rite Aid anchoring the corner.

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