Best of the west: Vancouver to San Francisco
(part I)

Fresh from a 4,290km roadtrip down the West Coast of North America, I bring you an anthology of bests.

Best Doughnut
Cherry Blossom from Top Pot Doughnuts in Seattle, Washington

A cherry-flavoured cake doughnut in a classic glaze enjoyed with a steaming cup of Earl Grey tea. Authentic cherry? I can’t be certain. Tasty? Damn straight. I must admit, however, that ambiance also plays an important role at Top Pot Doughnuts. The antique books lining floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and the dainty serving pedestals showcasing the shop’s wares punctuate the otherwise modern vibe inside.

Best Ice Cream
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream from the Tillamook Cheese Factory in Tillamook, Oregon

After touring the Tillamook Cheese Factory facilities, spear a few cheese samples on your toothpick before veering, predictably, toward the ice cream bar. Generous scoops of rich chocolate ice cream laced with thick ribbons of smooth peanut butter atop a freshly rolled waffle cone. Too good to pass up, even for breakfast.

Best Pie
Olallieberry Pie from Duarte’s Tavern in Pescadero, California

We couldn’t possibly leave Duarte’s without tasting the legendary Olallieberry Pie. Plump olallieberries in their lightly sweetened juices, topped and bottomed with a flaky golden crust and served à la mode. A bit like I would imagine blackberry pie, having never tasted the real thing. The big challenge is gauging the proper pie-to-ice cream ratio to ensure that no bite is left sans mode.