Posts Tagged ‘celebrities’

Don’t Fuck with Top Pot Doughnuts – NFL Rookie Golden Tate caught Trespassing

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

I love it when doughnuts make the news. It is even more juicy when it involves a celebrity. There is something so ironic as the all-American wholesomeness of doughnuts with the sordid controversy of someone famous. In this case it is sports celebrity, Golden Tate, Seahawks draft pick and former Notre Dame wide receiver. Gee, an all-American sports star! According to the hometown newspaper, Tate was picked up at 3:00 a.m. for trespassing in Bellevue’s Top Pot Doughnut shop.

I have to admit some shame in that I visited Top Pot during a trip in the Pacific Northwest in February and I haven’t yet written up my account of Top Pot, but based on the Raspberry Chocolate Cake doughnut that I tasted, I can’t blame Tate one bit.

According to TMZ, Tate “was not arrested — but they wouldn’t expand on why the 21-year-old was inside the store while it was closed. [They] spoke to the manager of the Top Pot shop who said he would not be commenting on the matter.  On a related note, Top Pot recently inked a deal to become the official coffee and donut partner of Qwest Field — home of the Seattle Seahawks.”

Now based on the guy’s youth — heck, a mere 21-year old kid? — and how fabulous these doughnuts are, I say he was perfectly justified and to give him a break. I know that if *I* get a serious doughnut jonesing at 3:00 a.m. and Top Pot were in my neighborhood, I’d probably break in there as well.

Robert Downey, Jr., Iron Man 2, and Randy’s Donuts in Los Angeles

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

I haven’t done a full review of Randy’s Donuts in Los Angeles yet. Believe me, I will. I have a LOT to say about this Southern California institution and will undoubtedly refer to it often. I lived in Southern California for almost a dozen years and to this day, their Apple Fritter is the benchmark against which all others are judged. But that is a footnote about their actual product. Today’s post is about the architectural landmark which has become such an iconic symbol in so many movies, most recently, Iron Man 2.

All things considered, it is pretty cool to me that the main character of Tony Stark, despite his superhuman suit, still maintains the same basic needs and desires that we all have after an insane night — the ubiquitous morning-after craving for sugar. In Los Angeles, there is no better location than Randy’s; well, technically in Inglewood. Randy’s Donuts has the advantage of lying directly off the 405 Freeway, en route to LAX Airport. It is open 24 hours and when I fly to Los Angeles, it is usually my last stop before I fly home (it is expected that I will always bring home samples).

The building dates back to 1952 and is clearly earmarked with a giant, two-story donut replica which sits on top of the tiny structure in which all the goodies are prepared. In Iron Man 2, Robert Downey, Jr.’s character, Tony Stark actually sits inside the name branded, inedible glazed edifice. That’s pretty darn cool. The viewers get the classic juxtaposition of a sixty-year-old landmark, hearkening back to a golden age of Hollywood with the action-packed, futuristic cockiness and breathlessly exciting, tongue-in-cheek frivolity.

Iron Man2 is certainly not the only time Randy’s Donuts have been showcased in a film. Last year, in the film 2012, John Cusack’s character, Jackson Curtis ran the gauntlet of world destruction, highlighted by the famous sphere rolling in a cataclysmic path. There was something delightful in seeing everything in and around Los Angeles being completely demolished, but somehow this giant donut rolled, unscathed, to some form of eternal safety. At least that is what I would like to believe and that’s the story I’m sticking to…

The Simpsons offers Homer Donut Hell

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

I have to confess I have never watched The Simpsons. Well, my friend Chi-Chi Maldonado once insisted I watch an episode about that showcased Patrick Stewart as a Stonecutter (read: Mason) because it was a parody on Secret Societies, of which we were members. Come to think of it, Chi-Chi also directed me to an episode where some character who never speaks breaks her silence to explain the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Lots and lots of friends have assured me that I would appreciate the layered, intellectual humor in it but I think it was the legions of adolescent boys who took on guttural grunt of “Doh!” which really started to get to me.

So I’ve mostly ignored The Simpsons, despite its longevity and staying power on television. I have ignored it until now. Maybe it is time for me to backtrack to the beginning of the series and start watching every episode from the beginning. Because this little ditty I am offering today is about Homer’s doughnut addiction and how that addiction confines him to hell.

Some of the interesting points that exist within these two-and-a-half minutes, is the fact that the Devil appears very similar in shape and materialization to that demon which appears in Disney’s Night on Bald Mountain. In Beezlebub’s human form, he still maintains the cloven hooves of a satyr. Striking for me was the fiery hole that opens in the kitchen, after Homer has consumed the final crumb of the “forbidden donut.” As a child, my nightmares of hell was exactly that type of gaping, fiery hole with a centrifugal force that would draw me in. The mere fact that Homer’s torments are subjected by the Ironic Punishment Division is barely ironic but I especially like the final comment that James Coco went mad after fifteen minutes of Homer’s treatment.

If you don’t know, James Coco was a character known in the 1970s. He was rotund in stature and one of my favorite roles that he played was in the spoof, Murder By Death. He parodied the Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot, penned by Agatha Christie. In the movie, James Coco’s character throws a volley of subtle food jokes. And from his IMDB biography, “In his last years, Coco received attention for his culinary talents and best-selling cookbooks. The James Coco Diet, an educational book which included chapters on menu planning and behavior modification as well as choice recipes), was just one that he promoted on the talk show circuit. It is probably not a coincidence that he often played characters with extreme food issues. Suffering from obesity (5’10”, 250 lbs.) for most his adult life, the talented actor died unexpectedly of a heart attack in New York City in 1987 at the age of 56, and was buried in St. Gertrude’s Roman Catholic Cemetery in Colonia, New Jersey.”

Burl Ives – The Donut Song

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

No, we are not celebrating Christmas yet. This is yet another mostly-obscure media reference which I wanted to share from American actor, writer, and folk musician Burl Ives.

I grew up listening to Burl Ives sing The Big Rock Candy Mountain on one of my 38 rpm records. From my childhood, I knew he was the narrator voice of Sam the Snowman in the classic Christmas classic television show Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.  And when I embraced classic movies, saw Oscar® winner-Ives in his larger-than-life portrayal of Rufus Hannassey in The Big Country, Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and as the implacable Dr. Hasselbacher in one of my absolute favorite movies, Our Man In Havana.

As the banjo-playing folk musician, he penned dozens of folksy, down-home tunes and I stumbled on a feel-good ditty which inspired one to look at the big picture through doughnut philosophy:

When you walk the streets you’ll have no cares
If you walk the lines and not the squares
As you go through life make this your goal
Watch the donut, not the hole.

It’s written on the rainbow, in letters made of gold
Written on the rainbow, there’s wisdom to behold
My friend the little sparrow flew
Close enough to see
Written on a rainbow is this philosophy.

I’m off to jolly England where
Bulldogs all wear pants
Off to Pago Pago where alligators dance
My friend the little sparrow will
Take me where he flies
Even to the rainbow to read with my own eyes