In New York, you can drink cocktails above a Five Guys Burgers, eat Momofuku Milk Bar ice cream while shopping at Band of Outsiders and sip java in the basement of midtown office buildings. Soon, you can eat doughnuts at the car wash. Though most Gothamites don’t own cars, there’s something nostalgic and supremely Americana about the concept. Or at least that’s why former Chanterelle sous chef Scott Levine chose the locale. That, and to satisfy his constant cravings for sweets. “I took this turn because I have a massive sweet tooth,” he says. “When the opportunity to open my place in a car wash came up, I couldn't have thought of a more perfect food experience: getting your car washed, eating doughnuts and drinking a cup of coffee.”
Underwest Donuts, the tiny doughnut den, is tucked alongside the tunnel inside West Side Car Wash. Slated to open Monday, Dec 1, the pocket-sized bakery churns out old-fashioned, cake-style coffee dunkers that are pulled from an automated Donut Robot frying and cooling them. The rings are served glazed, sugared and plain in flavors like brown-butter, cocoa-raspberry, lime-coconut and halvah-tahini. Dip them in a cup of Brooklyn Roasting Company coffee or espresso, take a seat at one of six counter seats—parked under shelves of anti-freeze, air fresheners and beaded seat covers—and then watch through the glass wall as cars roll by for a scrub and buff. If you’re not up for the show, there’s also a walk-up take-out window facing Twelfth Ave.
638 W 47th St at Twelfth Ave (212-317-2359, underwestdonuts.com)
Check out the full menu and more photos below: