madisonparkbakerydonuts.jpg
The Place: Madison Park Bakery , 4214 E. Madison St., 322-3238.

The Hole: An assortment of donuts including Halloween-themed mini-cake donuts, raised donuts, a bacon

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Madison Park Bakery Prefers Holey Function Over Form

madisonparkbakerydonuts.jpg
The Place: Madison Park Bakery, 4214 E. Madison St., 322-3238.

The Hole: An assortment of donuts including Halloween-themed mini-cake donuts, raised donuts, a bacon maple bar, and buttermilk old-fashioneds.

The Shit: Before we get to Madison Park Bakery's holes, a little architecture lesson.

Chicago architect Louis Sullivan isn't as famous as his protege Frank Lloyd Wright; but he is credited with injecting utilitarianism back into architecture. Quoth Sullivan:

It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic,

Of all things physical and metaphysical,

Of all things human and all things super-human,

Of all true manifestations of the head,

Of the heart, of the soul,

That the life is recognizable in its expression,

That form ever follows function. This is the law.

I bring this up because Madison Park Bakery has apparently taken to heart Sullivan's insistence that visual aesthetics are of lesser importance.

The old-fashioneds behind the counter are not perfect circles with even ridges. They are sort of square-ish and a bit flat. Glazes don't always appear to have received careful application. And rather than small bacon bits sprinkled on the maple bar, thick slabs of fried pork sit unevenly astride it.

These are not the city's prettiest donuts.

A glance at the elegant wedding cakes on display shows that Madison Park Bakery is certainly capable of crafting desserts with an eye to form. But no one is giving the donuts such attention.

That said, when I arrived at a meeting with a box of the donuts, no one complained about the old-fashioneds not being adequately round. The bacon received suspicious eyes, but disappeared all the same. The meeting attendees lavished full-mouthed praise on everything in the box, regardless of how uneven the glaze.

Give me a tasty fried pastry that goes well with coffee and sets the right tone for an hour-long meeting and you've got a winner. Who needs perfect circles? If Sullivan were alive today and living in Seattle, you may find him contentedly sitting in Madison Park Bakery, enjoying a donut.

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