Friday, January 29, 2010
Northern Border Edition: Fractured Prune in Silver Spring, Maryland
8512 Fenton Street
Silver Spring, MD 20910
I hate chains. Just putting that out there. I hate large corporations whose sustainment depends on their brand's recognition that is so pervasive in every facet of the world outside my front door. I understand it: someone knows she can get the same damned Chipotle burrito in Boston as she can in Washington DC. They sell consistency. But at what price do we seek this consistency based on a specific formula produced in a chemical plant in New Jersey (read "Fast Food Nation")? Our Health? $1.99? The loss of our dignity from being seen in a fast food joint? Our souls? All the above? Yes.
The Fractured Prune is a chain. But it isn't a big evil entity like most...not yet...I don't think. It's a chain that is based in Maryland, and most of the stores are there. The HQ is in Ocean City where the first restaurant opened. There are a few others scattered around the country, mostly this side of the Mississippi. The Fractured Prune (you wouldn't guess this from the name) is a doughnut shop...that is annoyingly spelled "Donut Shoppe". They also have bagels, sandwiches, and other such breakfast and lunch items.
I feel like they haven't gotten corporate to the point they've lost touch with their patrons' needs. The Silver Spring restaurant has reacted warmly to the request from VegDC/Compassion Over Killing to the idea that they offer vegan items on their menu. For this, they deserve some thanks, support, and patronage. It's great that such a chain gives an individual shoppe...shop the latitude to make changes to their own menu. I just hope this doesn't mean the Lancaster Pennsylvania store won't take it upon themselves to serve a sandwich that has 3 lbs of bacon in it.
Their vegan menu is available here.
The Silver Spring Fracture Prune does have somewhat a chain feel to it when you first walk in. But something unexpected was happening here - something very pleasant. All of the employees were happy. They were really nice. Never heard a groan about their jobs. That's a good sign they're being well taken care of by their employer. Either that or they took loads of happy pills before punching in. Or...they are the owners.
We first decided to try the (vegan) pumpkin mini donuts. A neat thing here is that you can order your donuts and they'll make them fresh and add the toppings. We just settled on two plain. The guy taking our order insisted that we must try them with some toppings too, so he threw in another two with cinnamon and sugar. Awesome! You don't get that sort of generosity at McDonalds. Both the plain and topped donuts were fantastic. I haven't been much into donuts lately, so I was surprised how much I enjoyed these. There was a thin layer of crispiness on the outside while fluffy on the inside, and tasty.
Marya got the Vegan Breakfast Plate with bagel and (vegan) cream cheese, veggie bacon, and tofu scramble. The bacon was crunchy, and I know Marya enjoyed it. The scramble is made with what seemed like taco seasoning - an interesting take on tofu scramble. It worked.
It probably worked better for my breakfast burrito, which had the scramble soy chorizo, sausage, spinach, salsa, and cheese in it. A good combination.
I don't know if it was a coincidence or if the vegan items are just very popular here, but the couple who sat next to us ordered the donuts, breakfast burrito, and the Veggie BLT. Let this be a lesson to all those restaurants on the fence about offering vegan items - serve them and they will come.
Again, my thanks to the Sunday morning staff at the Silver Spring Fractured Prune. You brightened my day.