Saturday, February 2, 2013

Zeke's Donutz Makes Soft Opening

There's no such thing as an easy opening; but local restaurateur Aaron Gordon has had a very busy week launching Zeke's DC Donutz at 2029 P Street, NW, just west of Dupont Circle. The owner of Drafting Table, Rabbit Grill, Red Velvet Cupcakery and TangySweet (whew, what a list) had to change names literally hours before yesterday's soft open. The graffiti themed doughnut shop was originally going to be called Cool Disco Donut, but an uproar from fans of Cool "Disco" Dan (who knew he was still popular?) forced Gordon to switch gears... and names.

Cool Disco or Zeke's, the vibe is the same... graffiti laced walls, giant boombox and friendly cashiers fill the small space, formerly home to tasti D-lite and Gordon's TangySweet. It's a quirky look that should resonate with Dupont Circle locals (although they're not as colorful as they used to be.) Hours are up in the air until Zeke's official grand opening later this month. Today, they were open for business from 11 to 3.

Creme Brûlée doughnut

After an enthusiastic greeting from the young lady behind the counter, I opted for two giant doughnuts... Creme Brûlée and Lemon Curd. Given their humongous stature, expect to pay a little more than you're probably used to. Glazed doughnuts run $2.30 while speciality offerings cost $2.70. When you see how big they are, I doubt you'll complain. Don't ask me how they do it, but Zeke's offers a good amount of seating (I grabbed one of the tall tables by the wall.) There's definitely an urban feel to the place, although I can't imagine spending much time inside. After all, it's a doughnut shop.

Lemon Curd doughnut

Speaking of doughnuts, mine were a tale of two cities. First, the bad: The lemon curd was dense, and stingy on the curd. It had a nice powdered-sugar top, but that couldn't mask its disappointing contents. As for the good (or in this case, great) the Creme Brûlée was a thing of beauty. Oozing with cream, my new favorite doughnut had a great texture and a delicious char on top. Where as, I couldn't finish my lemon curd... I devoured the Creme Brûlée. You could literally stop by after dinner and have this for dessert.

If I were a braver soul, I'd have tried the savory offerings (bacon and peanut butter?) or the cereal milk (milk mixed with cereal... Corn Flakes, Fruit Loops.) Actually, I don't think I'll ever try the latter... I'm 44, not 14; but I can't wait to come back and try something a little less different once they're settled in.