Is it possible to seriously discuss the perfect marriage between coffee and doughnuts without making a cop joke? Do our fine men and women in uniform really, on average, indulge in that most delectable of duos more than the rest of us?
In Seattle, I can't imagine that to be true. This is a city of fine doughnut options and better coffee ones. And while Mighty-O makes a mean "O" and Frost is clear-and-away the best in the region--just too far away for a casual craving--Top Pot takes the cake, er, doughnut. Even Mr. President digs them.
The mini-empire's newest location (No. 10 if you're counting at home, with two more expected to open this summer) in Ballard is in line with what Seattleites have come to expect from their neighborhood Top Pot: It's clean and cavernous, with a retro feel like being inside their vintage Airstream mobile unit. The doughnuts are fresh and plentiful. There's even the option of ordering ice cream--as if your sweet tooth needs further encouragement--from the company's new line of flavors by Snoqualmie Ice Cream inspired by some of their more popular picks like apple fritter and pink feather boa.
But let's get back to that pairing of coffee and doughnuts. Nobody goes to Top Pot just for the coffee. It defeats the very purpose of entering the building, like going to Red Mill and just ordering the onion rings. And with that in mind, Top Pot's drip coffee--their own French roast called Diplomat, an international blend of beans from Ethiopia, Sumatra, Mexico, and Brazil--is just fine. It's not bitter or burnt, but it's also not bold or bright. While it's refreshing that the company takes such pride in producing their own sustainable brew, the United Nations in each cup leans towards unmemorable and flat. It's smooth, though, and easily goes down without additions of cream or sugar, which you wouldn't want with a Bavarian Crème Bismark, anyway. This is a coffee designed with doughnuts in mind--a classic doughnut shop cup with a Seattle twist.
If you want something sweeter or more unique, try the Ovaltine latte. A glazed old fashioned, though, needs a cup of black coffee, however ordinary. I dare you to find a police officer who would disagree.