Monday, February 9, 2015

Currently Eating: Donut Edition.

I have a sweet tooth. If I'm being honest with myself, I have a full set of molars, canines, and incisors that would happily spend eternity rotting in the acid-laden minefield that is the sugar-drop zone I call my mouth.

Sure, I have tried to "detox" my body from the (purportedly) carcinogenic substance of the gods, but I have failed with greater regularity than Sisyphus. I have since accepted my body's ravenous demands, and instead of cutting the beast off at the head, I feed it in smaller increments. In The Stand, Stephen King writes that a character is a "little bit preggers." I am, "a little bit of a sugaraholic." 

On weekend mornings, after I go on a very long run--often upwards of 15 miles--there is nothing more I want than something so heavy with sugar and fat that it would startle Willy Wonka. Thankfully, my route takes me right to the doorstep of Mike's Donuts in Bay Ridge, on 5th and Bay Ridge Avenue.

The donuts at Mike's are the siren's song leading me to indigestion and the death of my milage. According to the sign pictured above, they also have muffins. Who wants a muffin when there are creamsticks? Seriously. Mine is a mind untrammeled by notions of breakfast superiority, but...donuts.
Donuts by the dozen--for under eight dollars. 

Frequently cited as a hidden gem in ours, the best of boroughs. Mikes has been a stalwart home of the fried confections for almost forty years. This is not some inchoate hipster bakery that is trying too hard to discover the next big flavor, ("Let's make a stuffed sausage and pumpkin donut with maple creme anglaise!") This is a no-frills native bakery with simple food done simply right. 

When one first arrives at Mikes, they're greeted by a veritable bevy of smiling faces and warm hearts. The same men occupy the same seats every day, and their presence is as inevitable as the sunrise. The fragrance of strong, diner coffee and fry oil lays heavy in the air, a specific musk of bakery allure.  There's a battered tip box sitting beside a stack of New York City papers. It's the sort of place you imagine was filled with cigarette smoke some fifteen years ago, and you can almost see the ghost of it in the faces of the older patrons. 

Choosing a dozen donuts seems an easy enough task until they take in the baskets upon baskets of old-fashioned donuts, marble sticks, coconut cake, and apple-filled. How does one choose between a Bavarian and a Boston creme? It's overwhelming. In the end, it's just easier to gesture vaguely and say "just a good mix, please." The attendant smiles a genuine smile because he hears this all morning. He's accustomed to plight of the undecided, and like a good bartender, he sizes up his customer and provides just the right mix. 

The box is wrapped with the red and white twine that is so ubiquitous of NYC bakeries. It is the bow on the gift one buys for themselves. Money is exchanged, and then...


But where to start?


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