Saturday had finally arrived and my weekly pastry treat (be it sticky bun, scone, danish or croissant) from Snapdragon Bakery weighed heavily on my mind. It was a big decision as my self-imposed regimen of moderation had relegated sugary treats from the popular food category “staple” to the more rarified rank of “ration”–a wise course correction based on dicey blood sugar levels and sixty-some years of eating exactly what I wanted. (Old dog, new tricks.)
Snapdragon Bakery & Cafe’s iconic stature is well-earned: butter reigns supreme; one scone easily serves a family of four; and the proprietors Adam and Megan (and crew) are loved like family. And besides, Buddy (house celeb that he is) has access to the garden patio for unapologetic begging, crumb scarfing, and endless butt rubs and head pats. What’s not to like?
Today sunlight floods the shop, and the front of the house in full squint-mode greets each faceless, backlit silhouette before them. Every may-I-help-you is followed by an oh-let-me-look. The pastry case buckles under the weight of croissants, muffins the size of a child’s head, cinnamon rolls chockablock with seasonal fruit, and mazurka bars hearty enough to sustain a hiker. Today’s special treat, sticky buns bejeweled with walnut crowns covered in a sugary-spiced goo, catches my eye and appetite. Lip-smacking ensues. I point to the yeasty motherlode and request a slather of butter on side. (Hey, no judgement, it’s a once-a-week thing.)
With Buddy at my side, splayed on the floor, the kitchen crew chants, “Buddy!” and his lordship raises an eyebrow in acknowledgement before returning to his morning repose, of course now he’s spotlit by the sun. Next to him, a drowsy dad and timid toddler nod toward the pastry case with one eye on a slumbering bulldog. I ask the little guy if he’d like to say “hi” to Buddy, if okay with his dad. The little man’s countenance bespeaks a curious combination of intrigue and terror. He opts for a respectable compromise: waving out of reach. Buddy responds in kind with a well-placed snore and a minor spatial readjustment.
The gentleman behind me comments on Buddy’s wide berth (Buddy ignores him), and then smiles at the young lad, and turns to chat with his dad, asking the age of the little fellow. A very cats-in-the-cradle moment, the silver-haired elder waxes poetic about the virtues of raising his children, watching them grow up, and sharing new moments with his grandkids, even citing these years as the most special in his life. You could see by his smile he was reliving some sweet memories. Young pop was cordial, but the words seemed lost on him or a least attenuated by the underlying desire to be left alone in a quiet corner, with a quiet child, and a hot cup of coffee.
My order arrives and lands on the counter, where it sits for the moment. I’ve learned leashes and steaming cups ne’er the twain should meet when connected to an English bulldog. After tying Buddy’s leash to the picnic table, I return to fetch my (make that our) goodies. Buddy knows the drill, and waits patiently for his cut of the loot. He watches intently, he drools intently, he barks intently. A treat is given, bad behavior rewarded. Witnesses to this regrettable display of caving in laugh not so much at Buddy, but at me. (Yeah, yeah, I’m a pushover in case you weren’t paying attention.)
Saturday morning wakes up slowly on Vashon Island, and one by one, the line grows, chatter fills the room, a work week is washed away, and sleepy heads ease into the day with friends and refreshments. It’s Saturday at Snapdragon Bakery & Cafe where pastries are loaded, the conversations light; where the friendships endure and a man and his dog are right at home.
Thanks for having coffee with Buddy and me!