Lately it’s been raining a bit around here. I’ve fallen asleep to the pitter-patter of rain, woken up to the pitter-patter of rain, scooted down the freeway with the pitter-patter of rain on the windshield, and dashed from car to building to escape the pitter-patter of rain on my head. I’ve also gone to sleep to rain that sounded like hail & woken up to rain that sounded like there was a river outside my house instead of a road. I’ve driven with the wipers on fast-forward while barely being able to see through the rain-drenched windshield, and arrived at the office looking like a drowned rat. We’ve had every kind of rain you can imagine. All of it has been wet. We’re feeling a bit soggy round the edges. The upside – because there is always an upside – is that it’s not snow, and it’s not cold. Spring is just around the corner. I am convinced of it.
Which reminds me. A few months back, almost longer ago than I care to remember, I determined that a Maple Bar was a most fitting morsel to herald the arrival of Fall. I had heard it said that Top Pot make Maple Bars that would stop you caring about any kind of weather. I felt compelled to discover if this was, in fact, true. So one Saturday, after driving round & round trying to find the Top Pot in Bellevue, I happened upon a parking spot that required less walking than if I had simply left the car at home. I was somewhat confused upon walking in the door. Wait. I wanted Top Pot. This is Starbucks. No. The sign says Top Pot. Hang on. It feels like Starbucks. It looks like Starbucks. Is it me? Is this really a Starbucks? Was I confused in that Top Pot just sell their donuts in Starbucks? No? Oh. By this time I had made my way warily to the counter. After all…I didn’t want Starbucks. Peering into the display case, this was definitely Top Pot – rows upon rows of donuts, and none of those other goings-on that you’d find in a Starbucks. Phew. Secretly, I was still having a touch of coffee shop déjà vu. Then they gave me china, and all was well in my world.
The joint was filled to bursting – mommies & daddies with tots & strollers. Brightly colored scarves & boots adorned many a tousle-headed, bleary-eyed bambino. Thick-paged, cartoon-animal-strewn books were scattered across laps & tables from one end of the store to the other. Only a few bar stools remained, overlooking the drizzly, grey pavement beyond the large picture windows.
The Hot Chocolate, I’ll have you know, was cute-looking & very drinkable – warm, frothy, not-too-sweet, & chocolaty enough to know it was chocolate. Plus, served in a china mug. I slurped contentedly as I swung my legs under the stool at the bar, looking out at the water droplets dripping slowly from the bushes outside.
The Maple Bar was delicious. I was frightened it was going to be one of those “cake” doughnuts. I still have near nightmares about those things. Doughnuts should be yeast-risen. Like this one. Soft, yielding dough, slightly crusty on the outside & a white line around the middle. The maple frosting was very sweet but very maple-y. The entire thing was huge. 580 calories huge. Now, if calories mattered, I might care about that number, but since they don’t, neither do I. In other news, I could down 4 Krispy Kremes to one of these. It’s a BIG doughnut.
It was a short yet splendid stop; and that Maple Bar really did make me stop caring about what the weather was doing. At least for a little while. Maybe I’ll go have another one to herald the near arrival of Spring.
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