A sweet beacon
Story and photos by Robin Elisabeth Kilmer
Inwood’s Twin Donut stands as a sentry at the crossroads of 218th Street and Broadway. For the past 18 years, the luncheonette with the large parking lot has served local regulars and itinerant passerby in equal measure.
Patrons for the last two decades have known they can rely on the same satisfyingly dense Boston Crème doughnuts, fresh coffee, and quick, hot meals.
Since late last year, they have been able to enjoy their fare on new, bright red countertops and tables which extend to a small outdoor café. In November, Twin Donut completed a remodeling and grand re-opening. The kitchen was relocated to the back of the establishment, making more room for seating. There is new wood paneling and a small television. Look up, and you’ll see new red rafters on the ceiling – and there is also a new doughnut cabinet.
There are also two notable changes on the menu.
In addition to the omelettes and the burgers, Twin Donut now offers a new pancake combo containing bananas, blueberries and chocolate chips, as well as a flounder fish with rice special.
Jim Crowe lives in Buffalo, New York and was in the city for work, repairing old telephone cables for Verizon Wireless.
While Twin Donut has established a presence in New York City since 1959—with 18 locations in four out of five boroughs, the franchise has not moved north of New Rochelle, its most extreme outpost.
Prior to his early afternoon visit to Inwood’s Twin Donut this week, Crowe explained, “I’ve never been to one in my life.”
But he was impressed.
“It’s good stuff. Everything’s fresh, with friendly service,” he said, as he sipped a coffee.
He and his partner, Larry Turner, shared jelly and vanilla cream doughnuts as they waited for their eggs and pancakes.
José Rowe was also enjoying Twin Donut for the first time. Rowe works for an energy supplier upstate, and was preparing to spend the day surveying residents about their oil and gas suppliers.
But first, he needed to have a bagel with cream cheese.
Fortunately for him, Twin Donut beckoned, a beacon to hungry commuters driving on Broadway. To a driver needing to park for a snack, it is an oasis in the middle of the desert.
“It’s next to nothing,” Rowe observed, happily.
Camilo and Gloria López had made their way on foot from Marble Hill. The two retirees like to go on walks—often visiting Inwood Hill Park. But the arctic weather had gotten to them, they explained, and they stepped into Twin Donut to escape the cold, ordering a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich to share as they cradled hot coffees.
“We like to exercise,” said Camilo. “But it’s too cold to be outside.”
Gloria concurred as she sipped her coffee.
“This, this is good,” she said with a smile.