Archive for the ‘Doughnuts’ Category

Festivals and Farmers Markets

June 3, 2017

Spring may have come late to Seattle, but this year’s food truck festival and farmers markets are right on time. If you’ve never checked out Fremont’s glorious Food Truck Rodeo, put it on your bucket list – it’s one of Seattle best foodie events. After thoroughly scoping out all the offerings available, I had lunch at It’s Bao Time and dessert at Street Donuts. Not only are the donuts fresh out of the fryer, they have all sorts of clever topping combinations.

I wanted the Dulce de Leche but they were out, so we went with Nutella and powdered sugar.

These were seriously addictive – some of the best minis I’ve ever had. This is a truck worth seeking out if you can track it down.

Several weekends later I lucked out again at the Madrona Farmers Market with a new stand – Sweet Season Bakery. They are actually based in Arlington but should be at the Madrona market all summer and I can safely say you will love anything you buy. I can say it safely because I bought everything.

Okay, maybe not everything, but you can see homemade “oreos,” fudge, peanut butter sandwich cookies, pretzel cookies, and shortbread cookies. They freeze really well so I was able to stop myself from eating everything in one sitting and instead allow myself one or five treats a day. Get thee to the Madrona market next Friday afternoon!


Pike Place Bakery

February 5, 2017

This old-school bakery has staying power – it’s been at The Market since the 80s and draws in the tourists thanks to a solid location close to the fish-throwing action.  They get mixed reviews on Yelp, and the sign could probably use an update, but I can’t deny the attraction of their “Texas Donuts” – literally a donut the size of a small child.


I doubted my ability to eat a Texas Donut, so I asked the saleslady for her recommendations (okay, I WAS confident in my ability, which is why I didn’t get one). I was told to try the buttermilk bar, a sort of donut/pastry with a sweet buttermilk-flavored filling:


It turned out to be quite tasty. A little too sweet, but it was fresh, buttermilky, and decadent. I ate half and dunked the other half in my coffee the next day – both experiences were highly enjoyable. I also got the Chinese Almond Cookie at the saleslady’s recommendation:


Now, I don’t love almond flavor so I wasn’t sure I’d like these. And truthfully, they were a little “almondy” for my taste, but I recognized that the buttery texture was on point, the chocolate filling was a nice counterpoint to the sugary almond cookie, and that the cookies were fresh and made with care. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised  – this bakery is not the tourist trap I was expecting.

General Porpoise Doughnuts

February 6, 2016

Doughnuts are the best. Not only are you deep-frying a little cake that comes in lots of flavors, you’re also eating it for breakfast. Capitol Hill (and Seattle in general) is suddenly blessed with a wealth of doughnut options beyond Top Pot (not that there’s anything wrong with Top Pot!). Now one can choose from Mighty-O, Rodeo Donuts (inside Cupcake Royale), and the newest contender, General Porpoise. I visited it on a recent rainy day (there was a long string of those, but this particular day was extra rainy) and the place was bright (note the pink espresso machine), busy, and dry.


I was able to share four doughnuts – three that my friend got (Plum, Lemon Curd, and Peaches and Cream) and one that I chose – the basic vanilla custard.


All the doughnuts at General Porpoise are filled, which I usually don’t prefer. But I was pleasantly surprised at the light dough and yeasty flavor, which balanced the dense, sweet filling. The plum filling was easily my favorite, and I ended up buying a jar of the plum jelly (they make all the fillings in-house). Also highly recommended was the standard vanilla custard:


There is everything to love about the creamy, fresh filling, and even a Boston-Cream distainer like myself has to acknowledge the greatness of General Porpoise.


Last Round of Market Treats

October 2, 2015

Saying goodbye to summer means saying goodbye to many of my favorite farmer’s market vendors, but I thought I’d squeeze in one more round of highlights. The first vendor, Hawaii’s Donut, can be a little hard to track down. They don’t have a website, and their brick and mortar location in Northgate is closed. But they do have a Facebook page, and they’re worth seeking out at one of the markets and festivals they attend.  Their specialty is a Portuguese donut called a malasada. They’re basically dense balls of fried dough filled with cream or jelly. They’re popular in Hawaii, but really they should be popular everywhere.


What I liked best about this place (which I found at the Fremont Sunday Market this summer) was the freshness of the dough. They fry it right in front of you so that the donut is still warm and moist, and the oil temperature seems pretty perfect.  No soggy or stale donuts here!

Next up is the easier-to-find Honest Biscuits, which also has a new, permanent spot in Pike’s Place Market. Most of their biscuit options are savory, but I went salty-sweet by pairing a warm “Pike’s Place Biscuit” (biscuit with Beecher’s cheese cubes in it) with their jam.


I was really impressed – biscuit was the proper texture and the cheese chunks added a nice complexity to the whole concoction. Next I’ll be trying some of the savory sandwich options. So yes, I’m sad summer’s over, but on a positive note it means I’ll be checking out some of the many new bakeries that have popped up all over the city!

Rodeo Donut

June 24, 2015

Doughnuts have always been one of my (many) guilty food pleasures – growing up, my dad would treat me to a doughnut from Dunkin’ Donuts every Sunday. I decided to treat myself a couple Sundays ago to a more gourmet treat of the fried dough persuasion a doughnut from the Cupcake Royale “pop-up” Rodeo Donut. I love Cupcake Royale – not only do they do excellent cupcakes and ice cream, now they do craft, small batch doughnuts even non-hipsters can love. Because what’s not to like about a whiskey maple bacon doughnut??


I’ve had less-awesome versions of bacon desserts – the bacon is mushy or the proportions are off. This one was just right – bacon was the correct texture and lended flavor without being gimmicky. Perfect if you love the sweet and salty combo… or the doughnut bacon combo. For something a little different, I got the Rodeo Queen:


This was a filled doughnut, the inside being their homemade blueberry jam. The doughnut had a lovely, bright lemon flavor that livened up the blueberry filling. These people know their way around a doughnut… I’ll be back for more flavors (go different days for different kinds of doughnuts).


July 12, 2014

There is no shortage of lunch spots in Pike Place Market, and Michou Deli stands out as being one of the best. It’s one of my favorite places to grab a sandwich or salad or sample some unique fare (you’ll find prepared salads using farro, quinoa, or couscous as a base). So I was a little surprised when I finally tried their desserts and found them to be less than I expected. Sure, they’re unusual (where else, other than the Mediterranean, can you find a Tunisian Doughnut?), and maybe my American sweet tooth couldn’t discern the more subtle textures and tastes of international sweets, but I found the snacks I tried to be dry and not terribly flavorful.



The big circle is the Tunisian Doughnut, which was harder and more breadlike than I was hoping. I thought it also could have used a little more sugar. The little circle is a zeppole, which is an Italian doughnut hole. Again, a lighter texture and more spice and/or sugar would have helped me love this (or maybe I am meant to dip it in coffee?). Finally, the bar cookie (chocolate with a vanilla crust) was actually a little too sweet for me.

Definitely try Michou for a take-out lunch, but I’d say get your desserts elsewhere… and there’s lots of places to choose from!


Issaquah Farmers Market

July 7, 2013

Continuing my quest to explore as many Seattle-area farmers markets as possible this summer, I stopped by the Issaquah market to check out my friend’s ice cream stand – one of the few I’ve encountered at any market. First off, let me say that I was overwhelmed by the size and scope of this market. There were a dozen lunch stands, and more produce and flower booths than I could count. And pony rides. But I took some deep breaths and dove in, buying meats, salad greens, cherries… and an apron (I had always wanted one). Finally I took a time out for ice cream:


That’s Kelly, scooping her homemade Cosmic Creamery ice cream – today’s flavors were cherry-chocolate, vanilla, raspberry-rhubarb sorbet, and something called breakfast ice cream. Curious, I sampled the latter. Turns out it’s a coffee base with bits of bacon… and it’s surprisingly enjoyable! But I went for something a little tamer – a mix of the vanilla and the sorbet – heaven in a cup!


Naturally, I couldn’t stop with just one dessert, especially since Kelly’s stand was just a few feet away from Sun Spot Mini Donuts. Drawn by the aroma of fried dough (one thing I could never resist), I stopped to watch the donut-making process:


There wasn’t even a choice – I had to have them. The donuts come in bags of seven, and I could have eaten 10 bags (but held myself to one, which I even shared with a friend). Served up crispy and so hot you have to let them cool down, they shake powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar over the bag. For sure the best fried dough I have EVER had the pleasure to scarf down. Mmmmmm. Respect the mini donut!

Mighty-O Donuts

November 12, 2012

I’m an ardent supporter of Top-Pot doughnuts and have always considered Mighty-O to be the ugly stepsister in the Seattle Doughnut dance.  Turns out Mighty-O wears that glass slipper pretty well.


Located in Greenlake, Mighty-O prides itself on vegan, organic ingredients (yes, you can make a vegan doughnut, and yes, it’s just as bad for you as a doughnut made with animal products) and on being an ethical company with strong ties to the Seattle community.  On my visit, I wasn’t sure what to expect – the doughnuts I had bought in stores that carried Mighty-O had been lacking in flavor and slightly stale. I hoped for a better experience on their home turf… and I got it.

I chose the “French Toast” flavor (on the left) and the lemon poppyseed.  The joy upon scarfing down the lemon poppyseed was absolute. Moist, cakey inside with a strong lemon flavor, and a glaze that was just the right amounts of sweet/tart.  The girl at the counter told me the French Toast doughnut would still taste great tomorrow, and although I was skeptical I just couldn’t justify eating two doughnuts in one afternoon (I had just had brunch!). So the next day I popped my French Toast in the microwave for just a few seconds, and sure enough, it tasted completely fresh, not to mention amazing. Great flavor, and I’m pretty impressed they nailed the essence of French Toast without using eggs!
Mighty-O, I’m your new biggest fan and I will be back… but I wish you’d open a few more locations (Cap Hill would be perfect).

Top Pot Doughnuts

February 22, 2010

My dentist (in Wedgewood) really has the perfect location: it’s across the street from The Grateful Bread Baking Company (which I’ll try to review sometime soon) and Top Pot Doughnuts.  Top Pot has locations in several neighborhoods, including Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, and Downtown, but I often go to the Wedgewood location because there’s parking (and a dentist nearby).

Top Pot, which has been around since 2002, specializes in gourmet doughnuts that come in two categories: old fashioned or cake doughnut. There are over forty types of doughnuts to choose from, so needless to say I took my sweet time at the counter. Luckily, Top Pot doesn’t believe in rushing it’s customers or blinding them with ugly fluorescent lighting. Instead, their cafes are styled along the pattern of traditional Seattle coffee shops (and the coffee itself measures up!).

I finally chose six flavors (pictured below): Upper row from left to right: Raspberry Old Fashioned, Chocolate Sand Castle Cake Doughnut, Chocolate Glazed Cake Doughnut. Lower row from left to right: Maple Old Fashioned, Cinnamon Cake Doughnut, Plain Old Fashioned.

Overall, I preferred the Old Fashioned over the Cake Doughnuts. They were more moist and crispy, while the Cake Doughnuts were drier and more chewy. Next time I think I would just get Old Fashions.  That being said, my favorites for flavor were the Sandcastle and the Chocolate Glazed.  And, in case you’re wondering, the Sandcastle is a chocolate cake doughnut with granulated sugar covering the outside. It tastes much better than a sandcastle. Don’t ask how I know that.

Madison Park Bakery

February 6, 2010

Encouraged by the unusually warm weather these past few weeks, I ventured out to Madison Park, where the winds blowing off Lake Washington were not as icy as they usually are this time of year. I hadn’t planned on stopping for a snack, but the location of Madison Park Bakery was too good to pass up after a sweaty yoga class. What caught my eye immediately upon entry were the bright colors and quirky shapes of the goodies:

Obviously a great place to take kids, but also perfect for any Marzipan lovers out there:

MPB has been around for a long time – 80 years in fact. They pride themselves on making everything from scratch – pretty impressive when you consider their large selection of bread, doughnuts, cookies, cakes, and pastries. I limited myself to three items at first: the scone with jam, a mini cinnamon roll, and a cinnamon sugar doughnut.

My favorite by far out of the three was the cinnamon roll. It was the perfect size – not sickeningly big, but not pathetically small. It was very cinnamon-y (just the way I like it) and quite sweet. The best cinnamon bun I’ve eaten a quite a while, actually. The cinnamon doughnut was also good – perfect for finger-licking afterward.  I was not quite as impressed with the scone. It was a little too cakey and the “jam” was too gelatinous.  But I wouldn’t want to end on that note, so…

allow me to finish with the chocolate ganache cupcake! Even though I would have preferred a vanilla cupcake with ganache frosting, this was a more-than-adequate substitute. I bit off the very bottom, and then ate the top in three bites. Chocolate ganache is, to me, always a winner (and a perfect way to finish this post!).