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Front Page » November 22, 2005 » Opinion » An incident of suburban pastry rage
Published 3,605 days ago

An incident of suburban pastry rage

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Sun Advocate general manager

Some latest projections I saw last week from officials quoted by the upstate media indicates that over the next five to six years, Utah will grow by 300,000 people.

Personally, I'm not sure they are not already here, because it appeared to me that all of them were at my favorite bakery in the Salt Lake Valley on Saturday morning when I was in there trying to buy some cherry-cream cheese Danish.

Now saying that I have a favorite bakery in Salt Lake is kind of like saying I have a favorite restaurant along the Wasatch Front. I actually like four bakeries in Salt Lake and all because of different reasons. One on South Temple makes the best chocolate rum cakes I have ever had. Another on Highland Drive makes great eclairs. A third I like in Holladay puts out some great bread and good cakes. And of course the one I was at on Saturday on 2700 South is the best at making the aforementioned confection along with outstanding chocolate cake donuts.

Of the four bakeries, only one has decent parking. Bad parking situations seem to plague these places. And my experience with the one on Saturday began with a parking problem.

The bakery was rebuilt just a few years ago. At one time the original building sat right on a corner, so the rest of the lot was the parking and the space was pretty good. But when the new building was built, they constructed it just east of the old building and made it much larger than the old facility. During the construction the business kept cranking out their great delicacies, basically with no off street parking at all. When the building was completed, they tore down the old building and that is where the parking lot is located.

New lot, yes. Better parking, absolutely not.

To get in this lot you have to be heading east on 2700 South, pass the light at the corner and quickly turn in. If you have anything the size of an Explorer or bigger this becomes almost impossible. And once in the lot, if other cars pull in as well and it fills up, you need to go back and forth like a billiard ball to get straightened around to get out again.

So Saturday morning I pull up to the light in an extended cab pickup and not only see the lot full, with cars bouncing off each trying to get out, but observe that the off street parking is also full for about three blocks up the hill above the bakery. I took off when the light changed and looked for a space on the street, which I found but it was tight and almost two blocks away from my destination.

As I walked toward the bakery, I could see people streaming in and out of the front door. I went in to find about fifty people milling around looking at the day old stuff and only one at the counter to order anything fresh. I jumped in line while I spied just what I wanted in the case. There on the top shelf were six wonderful looking chocolate donuts, and down at the other end of the case remained three cherry-cheese Danish. With the guy in front of me only ordering some bagels, I knew I had these gems of goodness locked up, or so I thought.

Just as I reached the front of the line and began to place my order, two women came out from the back shop of the bakery and began to help all those lost souls searching for good deals on day old stuff. I looked around and could see this tall red headed woman who walked in after me examining what in my mind had become my Danish's at the other end of the counter. I kept my eye on her as I ordered.

"I want those six chocolate donuts," I said almost sticking my finger through the glass as I saw their luscious browness staring up at me." The girl who was helping me went to get a box and as she did I added, "And also give me those three cherry-cheese Danish's at the end of the case too."

There I had done it. I had planted my flag on those confections and no one could take them away now.

But I had given my preferences in the wrong order. The donuts which were obscured from view by my wide body were unseen by others who might lust after their chocolaty taste. The cherry-cheese, however, were not. While the girl loaded up the donuts I watched as that devious red head talked with another clerk about something in the case. I wanted to tell the girl helping me to hurry up and get those Danish before they were gone, but I held my tongue not wanting to draw attention to the fact that the best thing in the case was becoming scarce.

Then it happened. It was as if I was in one of those dreams where I was trying to run from my ex-wife, but everything I did moved in slow motion. I looked over, keeping one eye on the girl with the donuts as they were placed carefully into the box and the other eye on the carrot topped skinny woman who was by now pointing her finger at my cherry-cheese Danish. I didn't think I could ever look two directions at once, but I knew what I had really come to purchase was in peril.

After what seemed like an hour and two minutes the girl finally turned toward the other end of the counter to pick up the Danish. Just as she reached the spot where they were displayed, the other bakery clerk opened up the doors and began placing the Danish in a small box. I cringed as the red heads face lit up because of her selection. I knew I was done for.

"Sorry," said the girl as she walked back. "Someone else just bought them." She said this in the same way oil executives told the nation a couple of months ago that there would be shortage of oil and prices would probably go up. It was a regrettably happy tone.

"Don't you have any more?" I asked in vain, knowing the answer before I ever got one. This place seldom had more of anything that wasn't already in the case. She shook her head.

I almost asked if we could bid on them, you know, kind of like on e-bay. But I thought better of it.

"Do you want anything else?" she asked me as I saw the woman with the fire hair give the other clerk a $10 bill. Then the clerk handed her back the change and the bag of my desires.

I paid my bill and walked out of the bakery with the small box of donuts. Just then I saw the Danish thief get into her car which was loaded with small similarly red headed children. As I walked by the vehicle on the way to my truck she was splitting the Danish between five kids.

If I had only been there a couple of minutes earlier I would have got those Danish, and they wouldn't have been wasted on some juvenile taste buds that could have eaten a twinkie as easily as those delightful pieces of pastry, and been happy about it.

I slowly got in the truck, grumbling the entire time, and was about to pull out when the car carrying my gems of sweetness passed by, with the kids arms out the windows. One of the hands displayed a Danish to the world as it went by.

I know, for a fact they were just trying to taunt me.

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November 22, 2005
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