Small bites: The Underground Café with DoughP Doughnuts gets set to open

YEAST ON THE RISE: Jay Medford, former head chef of Bone and Broth, readies to open The Underground Café with DoughP Doughnuts in the basement of the Jackson Building.
YEAST ON THE RISE: Jay Medford, former head chef of Bone and Broth, readies to open The Underground Café with DoughP Doughnuts in the basement of the Jackson Building. Photo by Thomas Calder

ASHEVILLE, N.C.— “Everyone loves a doughnut,” says Jay Medford, owner of The Underground Café with DoughP Doughnuts. Located inside the Jackson Building on Pack Square — the former home of the Jackson Underground Cafe — the new shop is set to open the last week of October, although no official date was available at press time.

Medford, who grew up in Asheville, recently returned to the mountains after six years in New York City “training and learning and getting all the knowledge I could [about the food industry],” he explains. This included enrollment at the French Culinary Institute, as well as managing Dough Loco, a doughnut shop on the Upper East Side. “My whole task [at Dough Loco] was to figure out how to make a superfluffy, yeast-raised doughnut that lasted all day long,” Medford says.

This same type of yeast-based treat will be front and center at Medford’s new shop on Pack Square. Classic glazed, chocolate glazed and powdered sugar will be among DoughP’s staple doughnuts. There will also be the signature DoughP doughnut — a buttermilk glazed variety with raspberry and blueberry drizzles. Along with these four flagship doughnuts, the shop will feature an ongoing rotation of less traditional flavors: strawberry basil, blueberry rosemary and pistachio wasabi are among the possibilities.

In addition to sweets, the new café will serve breakfast and lunch options, with a menu of paninis, sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs. Highlights include a jalapeño pimento panini with bacon and avocado; a pork belly Cuban sandwich with crispy pork belly, ham, pickles and Lusty Monk mustard; and the brisket torta with braised beef brisket, black bean spread, jalapeño relish, avocado, tortillas, lettuce and chipotle mayo.

The eatery will also carry a limited selection of local beers on tap as well as wine and regional soda options. The shop can seat up to 22 guests with downtown delivery and takeout available. Prices were not available at press time.

Medford says he hopes folks come for the food and stay for the easygoing atmosphere. “I think we’re going to have a good advantage of being smack-dab in the middle of downtown,” he says. “I want people to know it’s going to be a fun spot.”

The Underground Café with DoughP Doughnuts is in the basement of the Jackson Building, 22 S. Pack Square. Hours will be 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit avl.mx/47m.

Free doughnuts at Hole

In other doughnut-related news, Hole Doughnuts will host a Halloween celebration 4:30-8 p.m. (or while supplies last) on Monday, Oct. 30. Guests who show up in costume will get a free doughnut of choice. Flavor options will include vanilla, hard apple-cider glazed and pumpkin sorghum.

Hole Doughnut is at 168 Haywood Road. For more information, visit avl.mx/47n.

Strange new menu at Sunshine Sammies

On Oct. 13 — Friday the 13th — Sunshine Sammies rolled out a new menu and decorated its downtown space as “Stranger Sammies” in anticipation of the upcoming second season of the Netflix original series “Stranger Things.” Fans of the show will find familiar flavor names like the Demogorgon, Purple Nurple and Barb, Poolside. “We are always looking for ways to have fun with our menu,” says co-owner Susie Pearson in a press release. “We all love the show, so everyone came up with ideas, and we went with it.” For those unfamiliar with the series, not to worry; the new menu features recognizable ingredients, such as devil’s food cake, graham cracker cookies and (because doughnuts seem to be this week’s theme) doughnut ice cream made with local Hole doughnuts. Prices are $5-$6. The shop plans to “keep the theme going into November,” says the press release.

Sunshine Sammies is at 99 S. Lexington Ave. Store hours vary. For details, look for Sunshine Sammies on Facebook or visit sunshinesammies.com.

Edible Musings vegan Thanksgiving cooking class

In preparation for the holidays, Edible Musings will host a cooking workshop that offers ideas for festive plant-based appetizers and sides. “We’ll be creating several dishes, including a sweet potato bruschetta and Thanksgiving stuffing fritters,” says Lauren Vaught, Edible Musings’ founder and plant-based nutrition certified instructor. Space is limited to eight people. Participants will be provided food as well as take-home recipes. The event is BYOB.

Edible Musings’ holiday cooking class runs 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1. Cost is $35 in advance via Paypal at lvaught702@gmail.com. The class is hosted at Vaught’s home in South Asheville. To preregister, contact Vaught at lauren@ediblemusings.com. For more information, visit avl.mx/47p.

Farmer’s Bounty Dinner

Intentional Swine and Yesterday Spaces event venue will celebrate the fall season with a four-course communal farm dinner to benefit the River Arts District Farmers Market. Local produce and meats will be prepared by chef Jeremiah DeBrie of Intentional Swine. The event will also include wine and live music. Vegan and vegetarian options are available.

The Farmer’s Bounty Dinner begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, at Yesterday Spaces Dairy Barn, 305 Sluder Branch Road, Leicester. Tickets are $70 (gratuity not included) and are available at avl.mx/47q.

South Asheville Pie Contest

Ivory Road Cafe & Kitchen will host its inaugural South Asheville Pie Contest on Saturday, Nov. 4. A press release about the competition notes that the “just-for-fun event … will highlight the best home and professional bakers in the greater Asheville area.” Awards will include Best Home Pie Baker, Best Professional Pie Baker, People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice. Judging the event are Mike Moore, founder and executive director of The Blind Pig Supper Club; Shannon Ginn, head pastry chef of French Broad Chocolate Lounge; and Ashley English, author of A Year of Pies. A silent auction will be held with proceeds benefiting FEAST Asheville, a nonprofit that seeks to empower youths and families to grow, prepare and enjoy fruits and vegetables through hands-on cooking and garden education.

The South Asheville Pie Contest begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at Ivory Road Cafe & Kitchen, 1854 Brevard Road. Entry into the competition is closed, but the event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit avl.mx/47o.

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist. For his weekly #tuesdayhistory tidbits on Asheville, follow him on Instagram @tcalder.

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3 thoughts on “Small bites: The Underground Café with DoughP Doughnuts gets set to open

  1. Shannon Gill

    The head pastry chef’s name at FBCL is Shannon Ginn. I, Shannon Gill, am entering the pie contest, as a home baker. Not judging it. I wish I had Ms. Ginn’s job though!

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