Snaccident: Doughnuts and Tater Tots

 Words by Ernest Matthews

A snack is generally described as a small food item eaten in between meals, but in the modern age we have turned it into a lifestyle. From boba tea to girl dinner, many people have shifted from eating major meals to simply snacking all day. This has led to a slang term that I personally love to use: “snaccident,” which is when a person starts eating with the intention of having a small amount but may lose control and it turns into a much larger meal. The main example of this would be intending to eat a handful of potato chips but eating the entire family size bag instead. While this definition is good, I’d like to give this word another connotation: finding a wonderful snack completely by accident. This was the case one afternoon when I visited Sweet Theory Bakery and Clarke Bros Subs.

One mid-afternoon I had finished all my errands and had far too much time to burn. I was off from my regular 9-5 and only had a light salad for lunch earlier, so I made the decision to take a walk around the block. I started down King Street from my humble dwelling on Forbes and within seconds I was in front of the small bakery that I had passed for years but never walked in. Sweet Theory stood next to me in all of its modesty. I walk in and I’m met with the smell of sweets and coffee. The shop felt like a homey cottage with a cozy glass counter to display its delicious wares. The pickings were slim later in the afternoon, but I spotted a powdered doughnut and a chocolate chip cookie calling my name. I refused the regular cardboard box for baked goods as I had no plans for them to last longer than the rest of the block.

The cookie was a standard A+ chocolate chip cookie with a soft crumble and an ample amount of chocolate chips. As good as it was, it was not the star today. As I’m rounding the corner onto Park Street, I start on this sizable doughnut. I go to rip a piece off the beast and in an odd moment I’m met with unexpected resistance. Instead of the normal light texture of a common yeast doughnut, this one had substance and structure. I tear the piece off and devour it. It was chewy and sweet with an almost bagel-like texture. This was different than most of its kind, as there was a slight sourness that played with the sweetness of the powdered sugar. Even with some of the differences, it still felt like it never forgot it was a doughnut. Such a simple taste with complex texture, a wonderful departure from the regular dessert fare found around town.

After an unexpected and offbeat treat, I decided I wanted something more, but after having my dessert first I wanted something light. I remembered there was a poke bowl place on the corner of Riverside and Barrs so I made my way there. As I’m walking up, still thinking about the doughnut, I find out that I had not been keeping up with restaurant news as much as I thought. Instead of the poke bowl place, I found a cartoon dog holding a hoagie. Clarke Bros Subs lie before me, and while it wasn’t what I was looking for I went inside. The decor was lively and pleasing with some standard booths and some metal cafe tables to sit after ordering at the counter. Waves painted on the walls with a half wall topped with all the different breads greet you along with the smell of beef on a flat top. The menu spans most of a wall catching your eyes as you walk inside as well. Many of the options seemed too heavy at the time so I went with a smaller side item to snack on — the bacon cheddar tater tots.

I sip on some root beer while waiting on my order with what might be the longest silly straw I’ve seen at an eatery. A nice man dropsoff  a metal basket of fried morsels on the table. Before me is something that resembles hushpuppies, larger and rounder than any tot I’ve ever seen before then. I take one and rip it open to discover pillowy shredded potato, cheddar cheese and bacon inside. The crispy exterior with the soft potato was excellent. I had initially thought that the “bacon cheddar” part would be topping but being inside the tots made it all the better. The salty bacon danced with the melted cheese and was brought back home by the potato. They came roughly eight to an order, but they seem like they didn’t last long. A homemade treat such as that never lasts very long.

While I never intended to find any of those snacks that day, I’m forever grateful that they found me: a doughy pastry from an expected place and a better take on a traditional burger companion.

Many times it’s small bites like these that make a big impact on taste buds. It is very easy to over-indulge though, like I did on my walk that day. A major snaccident in my opinion, using either definition.