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Saturday
Apr042009

Top Pot Doughnuts – A Gem in the Emerald City 

By: Laura Sabo  On a recent drive to Seattle, I was pondering the old standbys of eating establishments that I’ve grown to love and where I’d find myself once I arrived in the Emerald City. While eating at these tried-but-true places are highlights I look forward to, I also seek out “new to me” restaurants, specialty food markets, bakeries and bars adding an element of adventure, and sometimes risk, to the journey.

One block from my hotel, I happened upon Top Pot Doughnuts where I could see the vast array of goods through the window. It was nighttime so I held out until morning. While I like doughnuts as much as the next gal, I told myself to only give in on one of the days. The next morning, in we walked. As I was sinking my teeth into a Frisbee-sized chocolate cake doughnut, I had one of those devil/angel shoulder moments where they argued back and forth about the virtues of doughnuts and whether I should order a second. The angel won, but on the second day’s visit, although I was going to watch my son devour two ginormous cake doughnuts and eat more healthful elsewhere, the devil in me took over and this time I tried the Bavarian crème doughnut accompanied by an Ovaltine latte. Doughnuts and coffee drinks on both occasions were TDF (to die for), even if it does mean a few more laps around the track.

Intrigued by the name Top Pot, I asked at the counter and they told me this story. Two of the co-founders bought a neon sign from a Chinese restaurant named Topspot. After leaving the sign idle for several years, they decided to refurbish the sign but on the way to get it restored, the “S” fell off leaving the words Top Pot.

Guess I’ll happily be adding this to my list of old standbys in Seattle. No risk this time.

5 Seattle locations - online

 

Thursday
Mar262009

Not just a cupcake... a cupcakery!

 Cupcakes have been a mainstay at traditional bakeries for decades. The current trend of the stand alone gourmet cupcake shop is something that seemingly swept from north to south over the past five years or so.

My first cupcake encounter came in Vancouver, Canada, some seven years back, when I stumbled upon Cupcakes by Heather & Lori on Denman Street. They offered minis, regular cupcakes and full size cakes…unique combinations, by the single or by the dozen. I still remember the chocolate cake filled with caramel, with a caramel butter cream topping sprinkled with praline on top. Yum.

And then, just the other day…I came across a new, cute as a button spot in downtown Napa named Sift: a cupcakery. Sift may be the world’s first wine country cupcake shop; and not only that, it shares space with a way cool dress shop called “Cake.” Located just off First Street, on Main, next to the Napa Opera House.

The combinations offered are to die for. How about, Pinking of You - moist vanilla cake, pink buttercream frosting. Or Snikerdoodle, with a cinnamon sugar cream cheese frosting. 15 different combinations including my favorite, The Sky Falling - chocolate cake, with a white chocolate mousse filling and rich chocolate frosting. $2.50 each, and worth it.

They are making a name for themselves in the wine industry as well, pairing the cakes at local tasting rooms and attending the ZAP Zinfandel festival in San Francisco. Open seven days a week. Again a big YUM!

Sift: a cupcakery
1000 Main Street – Suite 100
Napa, Ca
(707) 240-4004
online

 

Monday
Mar162009

Stylish Decanters and Glassware...

 Offering style and design simplicity; we found these wonderful hand blown decanters from the famous English designer William Yeoward. The decanters are priced from $75.00 to $160.00. Several styles are available.


 We also loved these colorful “Splash Glasses” in blue and green bottle glass; priced at $16.50 ea. Both are available through Vintage Home in the Napa Valley. Call the store for more information.

Vintage Home
1201 Main Street
St. Helena, Ca
(707) 963-7423

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