Anyone attempting to make the argument that the love for doughnuts is not alive and well has not been to Linda's in Belmont on a Saturday. Though it's almost noon, it's clear that being here is the first order of business for the day for many. An older man shuffles in sporting his reindeer pajamas, and he gets coffee and several doughnuts to go. It's obvious he's no stranger to Linda's; he orders fast, without hesitating, and just as quickly as he arrives, he's out with his prize, a white paper bag of freshly made doughnuts.
All of the 10 or so tables are filled up. There are two tables with two men who look like they've been there all morning, a coffee in hand and a coffee that has been finished long before. One is lost in a book, the other in a newspaper. There are two men sitting up at the front at separate tables as well, sipping coffee and laughing about town gossip. A woman comes from behind the counter and joins them, and the conversation switches from English to Greek. They laugh — big, throaty belly laughs that are generally accompanied by a couple of dry coughs.
A seemingly out-of-place cowboy strolls in. He takes a little while to decide which doughnut to get, examining the case behind the counter and asking for a suggestion as younger couple walks in and gets in line. Another woman walks in and recognizes the guys in the front of the store. She leans over to give them both hugs and threatens to sit with them since there are no available seats.
Several more people come and go, all of different ages, backgrounds, and walks of life, but they all have one thing in common — they leave with a big bag of doughnuts. No twists, no turns, no chocolate-laced bacon or cereal crusts here, just the classics. Boston cream is a popular choice, with chocolate frosting that stretches across the length of the doughnut, its soft, light dough encasing a rich vanilla pastry cream. The jelly-filled are popular as well, and there's a thin sheen of powdered sugar on every table to prove it.
The doughnuts, without a doubt, are the most ordered item, but the breakfast sandwiches are popular too. Like the doughnuts, they are classic, served on toast or a bagel, with cheese, sausage, or bacon. Around the counter, there are several laminated print-outs advertising other special offerings, like an egg white, spinach, and feta breakfast sandwich.
As morning turns to afternoon, the case of doughnuts behind the counter has really been picked over with only a small selection left. The doesn't stop people from ordering them. There is a lunch menu with traditional offerings like ham and cheese sandwiches, steak and cheese, and homemade chicken and rice soup, although no one has seemed to show much interest in that just yet. It's the coffee and remaining doughnuts that are still the focus.