In March, Golden Wheat Bakery opened in a space on Cherry that had been empty for more than two years. When I visited on a Saturday afternoon, shiny red and gold balloons surrounded the storefront. A dog waiting on the doorstep for its coffee-sipping owner wiggled enthusiastically when I approached. Angel Rocha's cousin and his wife were making espresso drinks while talking to a woman eating an ornate slice of cheesecake. They gave me a triple-chocolate-chip cookie that neared the size of the plate it was served on. There was so much butter in it, I wondered how it was structurally capable of holding three kinds of chocolate chips—meaning, of course, that this was a perfect cookie.

Golden Wheat's selection of bread and pastries is basically the greatest hits of Angel's 12-year baking career. When asked if Golden Wheat offers any unique pastries, Angel said he hadn't seen pear beignets anywhere else in Seattle, but I'd have to come back for one, because they'd sold out that morning as usual. Personally, I'd never seen a bread alligator before. Several basked on the bakery's windowsills. Angel told me he saw loaves of bread shaped like alligators in the windows of a shop in California (where he's from) and was excited to re-create them at Golden Wheat. recommended