When I first saw the signs that a local commercial space would be converted into a vegan doughnut joint, I was skeptical. Even for Brooklyn, it seems naïve for a business to bank success on some niche allure. Plus, there’s already a Dunkin Donuts, like, less than a mile away. So I didn’t immediately follow up when Dun-Well Doughnuts opened a few months ago. I only noticed it when I accidentally exited the wrong side of my subway stop (Montrose L) a few weeks ago; and there it was, in all it’s delectable splendor.
When it comes to doughnut joints, Dun-Well is indeed the real deal. It’s a startup of Christopher Hollowell and Dan Dunbar, two young men who seem dedicated to two main things: American culture from the first half of the twentieth century and vegan cuisine.
They’ve put in a lot of effort to convey an old-timey aura, while still reminding you that you’re in 2012 Brooklyn. When you first enter, you’ll notice the wall on the right is adorned with old whisks, rolling pins, and other miscellaneous traditional bakery utensils; on the left hang paintings from a local artist.
The vintage floor radio - which Christopher and Dan took in off the street - sits in front of the counter and gratefully hums the classic hits of Jazz and Swing; yet meanwhile, their point-of-sale technology is an iPad. (Nota bene: cash only for now.) This atmosphere may sound kitchy or ironic, but it comes off more genuine to me than anything else.
Traditional Glazed & Chocolate Frosted: boringly addicting.
And anyway, you’re not there for the atmosphere. You go for the doughnuts. Dun-Well bakes batches every morning six days a week. They offer a handful of flavors everyday, pulling from a list of about 50 recipes. I recommend going as early in the day as possible to maximize freshness and availability of product.
My personal favorite, Blueberry. Not even Homer Simpson in his wildest dreams could have come up with these doughnuts.
Peanut Butter & Jelly. Lunch is served.
Pastel Pastries: Peach Mango & Raspberry.
After you painstakingly select your doughnut(s), you might complement your dish with a spot of tea or cup of joe. And staying true to form, Dunwell offers a solid selection of vegan-friendly creamers, including soy and almond milks. On top of it all, they take orders for pick up - by the mixed or specified dozens - through their website. Sugar rush, here I come!
Vanilla Chai. Yes, really.
These toroidal delicacies transcend vegan cuisine. They are unmitigated deliciousness. Also, word on the street is that, just as beer is replacing wine as the hip libation on which to be savvy, so doughnuts are usurping cupcakes on the trendy pastry front. Salivate over the full flavor list, find other locations where they're offered, or make an order for a dozen at their website.
222 Montrose Avenue (at Bushwick Ave)
This post was contributed by Mike Brun- a musician and Brooklyn resident. You can listen to his music on SoundCloud and follow him on Twitter.