Sunday, March 15, 2015

Zombie Coffee & Donuts Food Review

Powdered Sugar (top) Chocolate Icing and Vanilla Icing

Zombie Coffee & Donuts opened under the radar about a month ago. To be honest, I would have missed it myself... had it not been for a group of almost 100 raucous teenagers on the other side of Irving Street (right by the entrance to Columbia Heights Metro station.) Why risk your life and well-being, when you can have a doughnut instead?

For the record, I highly recommend visiting Zombie Coffee & Donuts during daylight hours (they stay open until 10 PM daily... Go earlier.) Although they're pricier than Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme, Zombie's doughnuts are custom-made and for the most part... tastier. Price is a concern: Singles cost $1.20, ½ Dozen costs $6.75 and a full dozen runs you $11.95. They're available with nine different coatings (in addition to specials, such as yesterday's... Caramel with chocolate drizzle and peanuts) and five assorted toppings, such as crushed Oreo and shredded coconut. Note: There's no extra charge for toppings, which is cool.

Cinnamon Sugar, Glazed and Strawberry Glazed

Ordering for the first time is confusing; but hats off to my cashier for asking if this was my first visit. You're given an "order sheet," which is remarkably difficult to understand (and I went to college) and allows you to customize your order. Needless to say, my finished form had lots of cross-outs, etc. To their credit, Zombie processed my order perfectly (and without error.) They're pretty quick as well, although I passed on toppings. Service was pretty friendly, and they call your name when your order is ready. One minor flub... No receipt, but that seems to be more of an industry trend than an oversight.

Six doughnuts were placed in a box meant for a dozen, which caused a moment of disappointment upon opening (plenty of room.) All was forgiven however, after my first bite of Chocolate Icing, hands down their best doughnut. It was so good, I actually plucked the remaining icing off the box. Grade: A. Next up, Powdered Sugar (Grade: B) a surprisingly delicate disc with a light coating of sugar. Sadly, that was followed by Vanilla Icing (Grade: D) the largest of the lot, and the driest. Too much frosting as well, which tasted fake.

From there, it was time for a traditional Glazed; but truth be told, there was nothing traditional about it. Overall, it had an unusual taste, but scored well thanks to its big surprise... crunch. Grade: B-. After that, I moved on to the Cinnamon Sugar (Grade: B+) which was delicate, sweet and delicious. Last and definitely least, Strawberry Glazed (Grade: D-) a messy, dry dud, which reminded me of chicken wings slathered with BBQ sauce at the last minute. Lazy, tasteless and unworthy of a valuable spot on the menu. Speaking of, where's the jelly? My favorite type of doughnut doesn't even make it to the big dance, for reasons unbeknownst to me. Perhaps it's too difficult? Too time consuming? Let's hope they add them soon.

All in all, there are enough positives to warrant another look. Can't say I like the area; but at least they know enough, not to charge boutique prices (a la Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken.) Zombie is part of FroZenYo; and judging from their still-unfinished website, appear intent on franchising. Hmm... Perhaps you should wait to see if this one works out first?