Anyone who claims to have pumpkin fatigue prior to autumn's arrival, thanks to the plethora of pumpkin coffees and pumpkin products on the shelves, needs to spend a little time thinking outside of the box.
Or, er, outside of the stemmed orb, rather.
Of course, no one should get too worked up about a delicious hot treat that only shows up for a couple of months each year, because why, really. Lots of people enjoy them and then they're gone again, whoosh. No need to work our dander up over it.
What to do, where to go and what to see
True, fancy caffeinated beverages dominate the pumpkin corner come October, but squashy supping is as varied as the sizes and shapes of a field full of gourds. In short, unhand the coffee cup -- for the moment, at least -- and look to what's happening on the seasonal menus around town.
Pumpkin Spice Martini: There are a lot of classic spirits in this deep-flavored Fig & Olive beverage -- vanilla-infused vodka, apple brandy, other seasonal additions -- but check out what's on the rim: crushed graham crackers. Oh wow. And, yes, you do detect pumpkin butter, as well.
Sweet & Sour Pumpkin: Badmaash just launched a menu that "gives fall flavors an ethnic spin by combining traditional Indian spices with seasonal ingredients such as yam, pumpkin, and squash." The Sweet & Sour Pumpkin, which is a "5th generation family recipe," includes "diced pumpkin roasted with fennel, mustard seeds & dried mango powder."
Pumpkin Spice Donuts: Does "an entire platter" of Pumpkin Spice Donuts tempt, especially if they arrive with several toppings like cranberry compote and cinnamon anglaise and pumpkin butter? They might, if donuts are your thing and the idea of dining at the outlandish Barton G. in West Hollywood feels just right for the outlandish season of Halloween.
Pumpkin Pound Cake French Toast: Even without the pumpkin element, the whole pound cake + French toast bit has us sold, because it sounds like the marvelous meeting of two extreme comfort foods. But Día de Campo's take also has a spicy squashtastic hint, too, making it just right for a chilly October morning. Well, chilly-ish; we still aren't quite through with summer, but soon.