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Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken Coming to Downtown DC

by Prince Of Petworth November 1, 2012 at 10:30 am 17 Comments

Maybe Eatmore Chicken will change their name back…

From a press release:

This coming winter, Washingtonians can look forward to the opening of Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, a casual yet refined take on two comfort food classics – fried chicken and doughnuts. Founded by childhood friends Elliot Spaisman and Jeff Halpern, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken will open its first location in Downtown Washington near Metro Center. Pastry Chef Jason Gehring, most recently overseeing the pastry program at Fiola, will helm the kitchen and menu development. Astro plans to serve a rotating variety of doughnuts and fried chicken daily, during the breakfast, lunch and late afternoon rush.

The name Astro was inspired by the desire to provide a stellar product and experience to Washingtonians. In this case, sweet and savory all-American favorites – fried chicken and doughnuts – come together with an inventive and whimsical take on flavors and offerings. Sourcing some of the finest ingredients available, Chef Gehring will offer a variety of doughnuts with familiar flavors like glazed, chocolate and sugar. Customers can also expect nostalgic renditions like peanut butter and jelly, crème brulee, and riffs on iconic desserts like the black and white cookie. “One of my greatest culinary inspirations was my grandmother, and I plan on honoring her fried chicken recipe at Astro, with regular and spicy varieties” said Gehring. Astro is finalizing partners now, but plans to serve premium coffee from artisan roasters.

Combining their culinary and service backgrounds, Gehring and Spaisman will lead the back and front of the house respectively. While opening is expected later this winter, Astro plans on hosting pop-up tastings throughout late fall and early winter.

Astro has been a project in the making for the past three years. Raising funds during a downturn economy, while finding an attractive location that was appropriately ventilated for deep-frying, was a long-standing challenge. “In the early planning stages, we worked with Valerie Hill of Johnny’s Half Shell to help with recipe development,” said Spaisman. “We also looked to long-time friends John Fulchino and Chef Ann Cashion for some very insightful industry advice,” he continued. “Three years later, we’re so happy to have found a great talent in Jason, who has been adding to those first recipes and putting his own personal stamp on the flavor varieties.”

Co-founders, Elliot Spaisman and Jeff Halpern, the first native Washingtonian to play for the Washington Capitals, grew up playing hockey together in Montgomery County, Md. Doughnuts were the reward of choice after games, particularly those from the recently reopened Montgomery Doughnuts. Spaisman, with a long-standing career in antiques, was always a lover of food, having worked at Balducci’s (formerly Sutton Place Gourmet) throughout his high school and college years. He and Halpern both have a passion for food and were inspired by a fond childhood memory, to offer Washingtonians a fun interpretation on two comfort food favorites.

  • Anonymous

    Just keep the oil for the doughnuts and the fried chicken separate, please!

    • I think the idea is to purposely use the same grease.

    • monkeyrotica

      You’ve clearly never had frenchfries that have been fried in the oil used for chicken, springrolls, and eggrolls. It’s like there’s a party in your mouth and everyone’s coming!

    • anon

      I’m guessing that Anonymous 10:49 a.m. is a vegetarian.

      • Anonymous

        Then you’re pretty bad at guessing. Please understand that not everybody can be as awesome as me.

  • AnononThursday

    If this is done well, it could make me a very happy, very fat woman. Praying for reasonable prices (not $15 per plate).

    • “Inspired, organic, trans-fat free fried chicken-donut small plates!”

      [/PR babble]

    • I don’t know… that press release makes me think the prices will be on the high side.

  • anon

    sounds kitschy…

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like one of Homer Simpson’s dreams came true.

  • kj

    Fat America Rejoice!!!

  • Anonymous

    Hmm, color me questioning. “A casual yet refined” – it’s looking to be leaning towards the casual more heavily, I’d say. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I don’t get how Astro inspires the desire to provide a stellar experience. Astro makes me think of astro turf and the Astro Cyclone. Anyway, this could be good, I suppose, and I hardly ever turn down a doughnut!

    • “Casual” as in greasy, gut-busting American slop, I mean, food and “refined” as in $$$$.

  • Anonymous

    I’m fat enough

  • pcat

    I love fried chicken. I love glazed donuts. I have absolutely no interest in eating them together — or eating chicken and waffles for that matter.

    • ctk

      Chicken + waffles = awesomeness. I am looking forward to trying chicken + donuts.

  • Rich

    So where is the recently revived Montgomery Donuts?

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