Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Off the Map: Comparison to a Munchkin Is the Highest Compliment

Made-to-Order Doughnuts -- Lola, Seattle, WA

After a study of three Tom Douglas restaurants, one thing seems clear: the man does not believe in electricity.  At least, he does not believe in lightbulbs, as the atmosphere of Dahlia Lounge, Serious Pie, and now Lola hover somewhere between "dim" and "pitch black."  Perhaps it is for this reason that each of the locations is accompanied by a bushel of free matches at the front of the house.  Are we supposed to light our own way to the table, Little House on the Prairie-style?

Anyone Have a Lantern?
As it happens, Chianti and her roommate are currently engaged in a quest to create a "hurricane kit" for weather emergencies, and they thus begin stuffing the available matches into their bags with the swiftness of a bank robber.  (For the record, to this day, the only items available in said 'hurricane kit' are these matches).
Because They Keep Drinking Their Booze Supply
In any case, we arrive at Lola with the intent to secure one of their most coveted tables for cocktail and dessert consumption only.  As it happens, not one of the restaurants where Vodka has made a reservation has called to confirm all week -- Not. One. -- which stands in stark contrast to the constant barrage of restaurant calls she receives in New York.  Clearly, in Seattle, the fine dining folks' philosophy is also "Homie don't care."
"Show Up or Don't Show Up -- Not Our Problem." --Seattle
Crawling into our booth, we order yet another round of cocktails and begin reading the dessert menu with the enthusiasm of drunkards on their fourth cocktails of the night.  Which is when we discover that the made-to-order doughnuts, as recommended by Giada Di Laurentiis on the TOTALLY FRIED episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate, ARE NOT ON THE MENU.

Come ON now, Seattle!

Breaking into a flop sweat, as she has decades of experience concerning how Vodka reacts when her obsessive missions don't go as planned, Chianti flags down our waitress and inquires as to the status of said doughnuts.  And the waitress assures us that our requested dessert is, in fact, available.

Good thing, Lola.  GOOD THING.

Now Please Bring Us Each a Serving Immediately
Chianti's friends order the loukoumathes (cinnamon, honey, walnuts) and the goat cheese turnovers (pistachio, mint, honey), while Vodka and Chianti, at the waitress's urging, each order their own bag of doughnuts.  When our sweets arrive, Chianti immediately begins diving across the table towards her friends' choices, murmuring sweet nothings about how she "wants to make out with that honey."  Indeed, both of these dishes are smothered in honey gooiness -- a happenstance that is great if you love honey, which Vodka, well, does not.
Turnovers of Greekness
Apparently, All of Tom Douglas's Desserts Essentially Look Like Doughnuts
Hence, why in front of her is resting a plate of doughnuts.
Well, Actually, a Bag, But the Doughnuts Soon Emerge
Six miniature rounded rectangles of fried dough rest within a mound of fine sugar and cinnamon, with two bowls of huckleberry jam and vanilla mascarpone resting beside them.  
That's a "Neat" Jelly Transfer You Did There, Lola
One would think that it would be impossible to screw up something as naturally perfect as a doughnut, but sadly, both Buddakan and the Doughnut Plant has proven this theory wrong in the past, so Vodka is not making any grand judgments until she tastes the things.

And when she does, she is immediately ecstatic.

Cue the Choir of Angels, We Have a Winner
The doughnuts themselves are light and fluffy – a perfect balance between dense and airy.  They taste as good on the tongue as a Dunkin Donuts munchkin, which coming from us, is just about the highest compliment one can afford a doughnut.  
Carbs Covered in Cinnamon = Instant Success
While the huckleberry jam is sweet and enjoyable enough, Vodka is never one to choose a jelly doughnut.  This is especially the case considering that the vanilla mascarpone is downright delectable, and she scoops hearty portions of the stuff onto each corner of the "munchkin" as she aims it towards her mouth.
Rapidly Depleting Vanilla Cream
After demolishing all remnants of our cocktails and desserts, we begin to stumble out of Lola, Chianti secure in the knowledge that finally -- FINALLY -- Vodka has found a Seattle Best Thing I Ever Ate location that she has deemed worthy of 5 star status.
Only Took Three Days and a Literal Mound of Sugar
Of course, one could essentially go to Dunkin Donuts and have the same fried dough experience, but let's not split hairs here.  Chianti needs something to hold onto as she prepares for the end of the world, and memories of Lola's munchkins will keep her warm at night, even if her hoards of matches will not.

Lola's Made-to-Order Doughnuts: 5 stars*

*Certifiable Best Thing We Ever Ate


  1. Comment 1: Don't forget that the donuts were shaken, not stirred by the waitress before they were placed on the table. Comment 2: While I am a DD gal, they were 100% better than a munchkin!!!

  2. I don't think I can think of a bad place to eat in downtown Seattle! I love Seattle....its foodie heaven!!!!