Sunday, October 5, 2008
No doubt about it, it was a dark Monday this week, what with the financial crisis and all-time stock market lows. Needing a bit of reprieve, we took to the road to clear our minds and get some sweet relief by way of sugary carbohydrates. Heading a mere 45 minutes out of Seattle, it was if we'd escaped these urban worries: with a pastoral backdrop including ponies, cows, farms and mountains, we set to tasting some delicious baked goods. Without consciously seeking it out, we ended up gravitating toward doughnuts on most of the trip. But in retrospect, doesn't it make sense? After all, when you split it in half, sharing a doughnut is like sharing a smile. Here's a recap of our adventure:
We walked up to our first stop, Sky River Bakery, only to meet disappointment--apparently, they're closed Sunday and Monday. Now, will you allow us a slight rant? (Thank you). These are awful days for a bakery to be closed--Sunday being the perfect day for a leisurely morning cinnamon roll, and Mondays being a day on which we could all use a sweet lift. That aside, we will grudgingly admit that it looked like a cute place from the outside. Sky River Bakery, 117 1/2 W Main St, Monroe, WA 98272, (360) 794-7434; online at skyriverbakery.com.
Luckily for us, before we pulled away we spied the word "PANADERIA" across the street; while we don't speak Spanish, we know that this vital word means deliciousness awaits. Though it was a dimly lit grocery filled will all sorts of Mexican groceries and sundries, they had a surprisingly full case of Conchas, pan dulce, and other hispanic specialties. The concha, while perhaps not the best we've ever tasted, certainly did soften the blow of our first stop being closed. La Talpita, 118 W. Main St, Monroe, WA.
Our next stop was the wonderful Sultan Bakery, which doubles as a cafe-diner and was well attended at 11 am with early lunchers and laborers taking coffee breaks. This place moves at a slower pace than urbanites might like, but ultimately your patience will be rewarded. We chose the "bigfoot"--a maple bar shaped like, well, you know, as well as a few iced cake doughnuts. While the maple icing on the bigfoot was delicious, it was the cake doughnuts that really shone--cakey, and with just the slightest, very delightful, bit of "bite" in the icing. Sultan Bakery, 711 W Stevens Ave, Sultan, WA 98294 (360) 793-7996.
At this point, if you'll allow, we'd like to give a shout-out to one place for savory fare, just because its very presence astounds us: Old School BBQ, a roadside barbecue joint housed in an old school bus. As if that wasn't cool enough? It's right next to the Reptile Museum (at which, in case you were wondering, you can get espresso too). If that doesn't sound like a recipe for complete awesomeness, we don't know what does. Read about one foodie's experience at Old School BBQ here. We couldn't find the address or phone number, so we'll include the contact info for the Reptile Museum: 22715 State Route 2, Monroe, WA - (360) 805-5300.
Our final stop was Fresh + Fancy Donuts in Monroe. Nestled in an unassuming strip mall, the yeasty, sugary doughnut smell embraces you the moment you walk in; the employee was adorable, friendly and as sweet as the doughnuts. We picked up some pink frosted doughnuts that would make Homer Simpson proud, as well as a buttermilk bar with maple frosting and a sweet glazed cruller. The doughnuts were absolute perfection, with the oil seeping in just enough for a tantalizing crunch in each sugary bite. 19983 State Route 2, Monroe, WA 98272 (360) 863-0782.