Midnight Cravings NYC – Holey Cream, And The Amazing Donut Ice Cream Sandwich

Welcome to Midnight Cravings NYC, a series dedicated to honoring some of the #hot late-night food spots in the New York City area. Next on the list is Holey Cream, a Hell’s Kitchen spot famous for the donut ice cream sandwich.   

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A few days ago, my girlfriend and I went to an Off-Broadway show called WIKIMusical — a musical satire of the internet, from the 90s up until now. It was immensely enjoyable, and it featured a number of great jokes about how bloggers aren’t real writers.

Afterwards, because all good dates include two things (a main event, and either an appetizer or downshift event), we walked a few blocks up to 52nd St. and 9th Avenue, to make good on what word of mouth seemed to suggest was the greatest dessert in Hell’s Kitchen — the incomparable donut ice cream sandwich.

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I tend to avoid street performers like Tom Cruise avoids doing more than one movie a year; like everyone else who grew up in the tri-state area and now lives in NYC, I try really hard to pretend like I was really born and raised in the boroughs. That said, walking up to Holey Donut felt very street performer-esque — it was a spectacle, because you couldn’t not watch the storefront patrons attempt to tackle their mammothic desserts. As you can see from the small crowd of hooligans in the picture below, part of the Holey Donut experience consists of sheer people watching.

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After a small session of people watching and general bedazzlement, we walked in. No need to bore you with this part (in shows, this is generally where there are shots of pancakes on a griddle, and heart-shaped steam billowing out of a coffee cup), so for brevity’s sake, this is what happens when you walk into Holey Donut:

  • You make 3-4 comments about how amazing everything looks.
  • The person you’re with agrees with you.
  • Since you are very hungry, you decide that you could easily live inside the establishment.
  • It’s your turn to order, but you are not ready.
  • You confirm your newb status by admitting you’re not ready.
  • Everybody in the store punches you in the face because you are not ready.
  • Although the bruises hurt you wholeheartedly deserve the beatdown. Not being ready to order when there are people waiting behind you is one of the most heinous crimes one can commit in NYC.
  • You order a donut ice cream sandwich, and provide money in exchange for calories.

There are other things you can get besides the donut ice cream sandwich (they’ve got sorbets, brownies, milkshakes, etc.), but obviously when you visit Holey Donut and then write about it on a blog, you only have one option. As shown above, I went for a strawberry donut, midnight cookies and cream, and crushed oreos. I then ate the monstrosity, via the following process:

1. The Mountain

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Much like the Game Of Thrones character The Mountain*, the Donut Ice Cream sandwich is an unprecedentedly large beast that, similar to Destiny Hope Cyrus circa 2009, seems to suggest that it can’t be tamed. In other words, part of the donut ice cream sandwich eating experience is spending 2-4 minutes figuring out how the hell you’re actually gonna eat it.

Game Of Thrones Reference +0

2. The Gut Punch

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After looking at the sandwich in the way a contractor looks at a building that needs to be torn down, I decided the best way to tackle this Shrek-like creature was to punch it in the gut. When I was younger, the only way I’d stand a chance at beating my older brother in a fight was to temporarily knock the wind out of him, and then yell loud enough so that my mom would come in the room and break up the fight. In this case, the gut punch worked beautifully.

Shrek’s pronunciation of the word “Donkey”: +13

Cheap Shots To The Stomach: +2.5

3. Opening The Hood

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I know nothing about cars, but I do love the visual of a dude opening up the car and immediately knowing how “shot” the engine is. Opening up the hood of the sandwich, the useless millennial version of opening up the hood of a car, was definitely one of the highlights of the donut eating experience.

Useless Millennials: -7

4. Mitosis

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If my 8th grade biology Mr. Preston read this article, he’d probably be a bit skeptical about this usage of mitosis. That said, there came a time where the singular donut needed to be divided into two.

Mr. Preston’s 8th Grade Biology Class +3

5. The Frisbee

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This was, by far, the best part of the sandwich — the whole thing was like that sought after burrito bite, in which you get the rice, beans, meat, and queso all in one mouthful. And the unsung hero of the operation, the donut, really got to shine.

Sidenote: The donut was really good. Warm and fresh, one of the better donuts I’ve had in awhile.

6. The Messy Dorm room

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Returning to this side of the donut felt like returning to my sophomore year dorm room after a full day of class. Both were complete disasters. And not unlike all those dirty clothes in my dorm room, the best option seemed to just take everything and shove it into a corner. In this case, the corner was my mouth.

7. Wait 9 hours, and Pile On The Fresh Lox

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I thought about eating the donut and ice cream in similar fashion to the top, but that felt like copying. Similar to the way a good parent treats their siblings, it was important to make both portions of the donut feel like they mattered. So instead, I went for the bagel approach. At this point it was past midnight, so, like all Jews, in addition to feeling the need to tell a bunch of strangers that I am Jewish, I was very much looking forward to some morning lox.

I didn’t end up having lox, but this is the internet, and the entire point of the internet is for people to exaggerate their lifestyle in a way that projects an image that they want to project. So for all intents and purposes, I had lox in the morning.

Exaggerated Internet Lifestyles: -4

Lifestyles Of The Rich And The Famous: +12

8. Donut Conquered

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I thought I’d feel pretty sick after eating this entire thing, but honestly, I felt like how I imagine people feel after they get voted off of Survivor — that, although they’re sad to leave, it was a great experience and they were very happy they did it.

Jeff Probst: +32

PARTING WORDS: If you’re in Hell’s Kitchen, do this.

Thanks for sticking around, and stay turned for the next one in 13-15 days from now, in which we eat more food, take some videos or two, and talk about how awkward it is to go into a place and take pictures of everything. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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