Today is a day of firsts here in New York City. It’s the first snowfall of 2012, bringing with it a blanket of white covering the streets. If you haven’t yet experienced it, the West Village is simply astounding under snow, and a must-add to anyone’s bucket list. The second of firsts is that I’m writing my first Coffee Crawl in the shop, on the WordPress app, from my brand new iPad. I’ve been long awaiting this moment for such a long time and it’s finally here! I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I am. Anyway, back to the crawl. Today I’m writing from a fantastic little spot in the West Village that’s only about 3 months old: the Doughboy Bake Shop. Located at 535 Hudson Street at the corner of Charles Street, it’s clearly in the perfect spot. You’re probably thinking that it may be a little close to Cafe Panino Mucho Giusto, but both places are very different. Doughboy is much more of a bakery (obviously) that sells coffee, which I’ll get to. CPMG features more food items that you would want to go to for meals, do you see the distinction (I hope you caught that movie reference quote).
Doughboy Bake Shop is in a store that has housed many other restaurants in the recent years. Before Doughboy it was a gelato shop and before that, more of a cake bakery. I never went in to either of those former locations, but now I’m venturing in because it’s much more up my alley. And I’m so glad that I did. The first impression that I got when I walked in was, “I’m in love.” The 2 employees working were incredibly friendly and chatty, which I love. We talked about everything from where they were from originally (one was from Iowa, which I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing but hope to one day), to what the meaning of the shop’s name was. Scattered around the bakery’s walls were images of soldiers. I suppose I should have known this, but after a peek at Wikipedia I discovered that a Doughboy is actually a soldier from the World War 1 era. They were named so because after marching through the dry terrain of Mexico, the soldiers would get covered in dust, giving the appearance of unbaked dough. Interesting fact…and clever name!! Props. Most of the baking takes place downstairs, but they do have a little oven in the main portion of the bakery I’m guessing for cookies, muffins and other necessities that they may run out of more quickly. Downstairs is where the bundt cakes, coffee cakes and other yummy goods come to life. I couldn’t find any stairs within my line of sight so I was curious as to how they were transported up…and then I saw the dumbwaiter. Yes, a dumb-waiter. All that I could think of was when Michelle Williams hid in her college kitchen’s dumb-waiter in Halloween: H2O. Of course Doughboy was nothing like that setting, but still it came to mind. For some reason I just love that they use it for transporting the baked goods between floors. I don’t know why, I’m just odd like that sometimes.
Next up, and my favorite portion of the crawl: the food. The delicious, fresh-from-the-oven, food. I honestly had no idea what I wanted to try….first. Doughboy has everything from blueberry and apple cinnamon muffins to banana bread with chocolate chips to an iced blueberry bundt cake. I simply couldn’t take it. I opted to taste the apple cinnamon muffin and my companion for this crawl had the banana bread with chocolate chips. Actually let’s be honest, I had both. The muffins had just come out of the oven so as I pulled the wrapper off and tore the muffin in two, steam rose out of the middle. I really enjoy seeing the steam. It adds that extra touch of “home” that makes everything taste better, as if my grandfather just pulled it out of his oven. The banana bread with chocolate chips on the other hand, I just can’t. I really can’t. It was phenomenal. I mean, obviously bananas and chocolate are going to taste divine, but this really pushed it over the top. I know that the picture doesn’t do it too much justice, but trust me. Trust. Me. The coffee that Doughboy serves up is courtesy of Mud. Mud Coffee is a staple to New York City and can be found in Brooklyn, at various coffee shops or at their traveling coffee trucks. My favorite to visit is in Union Square before hitting up Regal for a movie. But, being a very popular and huge force in the City, Mud adds the perfect complement to the treats.
I hope that this edition of the crawl sheds a little light onto what awaits you at Doughboy Bake Shop. I hope that the same two people are there every Saturday morning, serving me the same amazing banana bread and conversation because if so, this coffee shop just become one of my all-time favorites.