Well, it was only a matter of time until all the gourmet coffee and treats would come back to bite me in the… Tuesday I rode about 9 miles to Plaza Pastries & Donuts near Tower Grove Park, and to say the least, I was a underwhelmed. In defense of Plaza, it’s my fault for setting such high expectations, considering my only research was the Feast magazine article from a while back about the best donuts in town. What the article didn’t mention is that Plaza is far from a coffee shop, and the Northwest Coffee they raved about is only served on the weekends, when the rest of the cafe is open. On the plus side they did have the blueberry fritter that I biked all that way for, and it will surely be my cheapest stop on the tour ($2.10 for donut and small coffee). Oh, and also, no flat tire!!
Since the interior was not very painting-cyclist friendly, I jumped back on my wheels and found a neat spot in Tower Grove park with a view of a fountain. I busted out my fritter (as seen below), though didn’t take a picture of the coffee, because the Styrofoam cup was nothing special. Then I met the bravest, most vocal ducks in all of St. Louis, who must also be donut connoisseurs because they clearly expected a bite of my pastry.
As for the pastry… I was not impressed. Granted, I had fresh blueberries in my morning oatmeal, so anything less was bound to taste weak. The donut’s texture and moisture was fine, but the pure sugar icing overpowered the entire thing, and I only remember about 3 bites with blueberry flavor. They somewhat made up for it since it was the size of my hand.
Needless to say the ducks were cramping my style, and I didn’t have a good place to paint, so I headed back to Forest Park. A stopped train was blocking the Macklind/Manchester intersection, so after a two-mile detour and shockingly easy ride down Hampton, I made it to the Grand Basin and whipped out the sketch below. It’s on the light side (aka “high key” for you fellow artists), which is partially a result of wearing sunglasses the whole time.