A couple weeks ago I was on Facebook, and saw that someone had commented about a place in DC called Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken. I like doughnuts, but don’t eat them very often because I don’t want to look like one. I do, however, have an unhealthy obsession with fried chicken. And when I looked further, I saw that it was owned by Jeff Halpern and another former Washington Capitals player. Jeff’s mom and my parents worked together at Montgomery College for years, and my mom and I went to go watch him play hockey a few times when he played at Princeton.
I knew I had to find my way to this place. The perfect solution was last week, when Kara and I took her kids to DC sightseeing for the day. We packed a whole lot into the day. Our first planned stop was National Archives, to just run in and look at the Declaration of Independence. The line was halfway around the building at 10:30AM. So that was out. But we did hit National History, the White House, Air & Space, World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. I usually give Kara grief for walking so fast, but it sure came in handy so we could fit everything in. We probably covered about 5 miles.
The boys were really hungry after National History, and Astro is on the way to the White House, on G St between 13th and 14th. So it timed out really well. I knew it was small, but had no idea quite how small. It’s literally a cubby hole. No more than 10 customers can stand in there at one time, and if all 10 are in there, it’s packed. There are a couple of tables just outside the door to eat, so I’m guessing most of their business is locals who live or work nearby. It was chilly and windy, but the tall buildings blocked the wind and so it was actually very comfortable to sit outside. Good thing, because that was our only option. They also have a food truck, which is probably more popular than the building. And they’re getting ready to open another brick and mortar location in Virginia.
The menu is very limited, but I like that. Pick a few things, and do them well. And they do 2 things… fried chicken and doughnuts. The chicken options are leg/thigh, sandwich, or tenders. I really like that everything is served in recyclable materials. As I was deciding, I noticed they have a dumbwaiter to either upstairs or downstairs where they cook the food. And there are about a dozen varieties of doughnuts that rotate from day to day. I really like that they have the different doughnuts displayed on the counter so you can see them up close to help you decide.
Kara got chicken tenders for the boys. She got a chicken sandwich, which of course is served on a doughnut instead of bread. With the sandwiches you can get your choice of a couple different sauces. The one thing I did think was weird is that they don’t have ketchup. They probably should have it available, since kids usually want it. And that’s what Liam and Spencer had asked for. I failed miserably on the pictures, so I had to borrow these from online
Of course I got leg/thigh. I’m always going to take that option when it’s available. There’s no fries or other sides, but they did have chips. And Mexican Coke.
The chicken was fantastic. Think there’s a little Old Bay in the seasoning. Whatever it is, it adds wonderful flavor. It wasn’t screaming hot like I usually like it, but it hadn’t been sitting for more than a couple of minutes so it was still hot. The meat was tender and juicy. Of course it was a little greasy because it’s fried chicken. But not bad at all. At first I was a little disappointed they don’t serve fries. But with doughnuts on the menu who needs fries? And besides, the chips were delicious. I’m really a fan of the kettle cooked.
I went with the nutella doughnut. And of course as I was waiting, the lady behind me asked which one to get and the cashier said crème brulee was the most popular. I didn’t even see that one. Fail on my part. But I didn’t want to be the creep changing my mind, so I stuck with nutella.
I started pulling it apart before I realized I had forgotten to take a picture, which is why it’s smoothed on one end. These doughnuts are so good. Very light and airy. I was kind of hoping it would be filled with nutella, but that would have been overkill. The frosting was more than enough.
I will definitely be back to this place. Even if all I do is get a doughnut. It will be well worth it to support Jeff.