The Hole Story

Word of mouth is a funny thing. Say some little cafe in your neighborhood serves the best doughnuts in town. You tell the big secret only to your closest friends, hoping they'll keep a lid on it. Not very likely. When Seattle-based Top Pot Doughnuts opened its downtown "flagship" cafe in September 2003, longtime addicts had cause for both celebration—a huge, bright new space, conveniently located—and concern. The secret was out. Fifteen months later, Top Pot has taken another step likely to produce both anxiety and joy: The company's doughnuts (SW has called them "homespun, immaculate decadence—devoid of any overbearing sweetness, perfectly crisp-on-the-outside-fluffy-on-the-inside") are now available at every Seattle-area Starbucks shop with a pastry case. This is excellent news for Starbucks patrons who live outside downtown and Capitol Hill, but is it a blow to those who frequent non-Starbucks cafes? Not at all, says Top Pot wholesale manager Michael Klebeck. "I know that when word started getting around that we would be supplying Starbucks, some independent coffeehouses naturally worried," he told Hot Dish. "But we're going to continue to supply all our regular clients just as we have in the past." That's likely a relief to regulars at Capitol Hill's Bauhaus and Vivace coffeehouses, where Top Pot doughnuts have long been hot sellers—not to mention University of Washington students who frequent the campus cafes (UW was Top Pot's "first big institutional client," according to Klebeck). Live where you drink Grapeville-on-the Slough inched a bit further toward realization on Dec. 14 when the Woodinville Planning Commission voted to rezone 18 acres south of the city center as a mixed retail-residential- winemaking district. Formally named (temporarily, we hope) Woodinville Village, the MJR Development project envisions a "pedestrian-friendly" complex of condos and commerce rising on the banks of the Sammamish River in 2005–06. You can't sign up for one of the up to 200 "luxury residences" yet, but if you own a suitable business ("production wineries with tasting rooms, specialty tourist retail shops, art galleries, multiple restaurants [multiple?], gourmet grocery, and culinary center [culinary center?]," etc.), MJR would like to hear from you. MOVE OVER, LUTEFISK Seattle-based Spanish Table can't help crowing about the fact that when Gourmet magazine ran a cooking feature called "Sketches of Spain" in its January issue, shoppers seeking authentic ingredients for the recipes were referred to the Spanish Table's mail-order site for cheese, paprika, caperberries, chorizo, salt cod, and anchovies. Lucky you: You don't even have to turn on your computer to purchase the same; Next time you visit Pike Place Market, just take the elevator down to Western and walk across the street. Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at

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