Posts Tagged ‘capitol hill seattle dessert’

Volunteer Park Cafe

September 26, 2009

For being a small, hidden, neighborhood cafe, the Volunteer Park Cafe does a brisk business, especially on sunny Saturday and Sunday mornings. To avoid the crowds, I decided to order at the counter and take my treat to – where else? – Volunteer Park for a Sunday morning picnic. If you’re visiting on a summer day, it’s best to eat outside (there are sidewalk tables if you don’t feel like taking it to the park) because it gets very hot inside the restaurant.

028

Despite the heat, I do like the interior of the cafe – the building is over 100 years old, and was a small grocery in the early 1900s. The owners have tried to preserve the nostalgic atmosphere with furniture and decor that feels homey and venerable, with a long communal table taking up much of the interior space.

inside

But, on to more important things: the food, the coffee, and the dessert (all are good, but let’s just focus on the latter). When faced with a counter full of cookies, pastries, scones, and cakes, I had a hard time choosing, especially since the breakfast menu also included a nutella-strawberry panini.

counter

As usual, I ended up asking the staff for help.  The girl at the counter steered me away from the nutella panini and toward the muffins. I eventually decided on a berry-nut muffin, and set up shop at a picnic table in the park. I started eating and almost forgot to take the picture:

muffin

The muffin was satisfying in the way that only butter and sugar can be, but I felt it was missing something. Now, I know, that I often complain about things being too sweet or too rich, but in this case, I thought the muffin could have used more streusel topping (butter and sugar), and just more top in general (don’t you like the top of the muffin best?). I know I’m being picky, but to tell the truth, I’ve had trouble getting just the right treat at VPC, and every time I go there I leave wanting a little bit MORE.

I’ll just have to go back and try again.

Old School Custard

June 20, 2009

It was a cool and cloudy day, but for some reason I was craving ice cream so I decided to try out the newest addition to the Capitol Hill  neighborhood dessert scene – Old School Custard (1316 E Pike, http://oldschoolfrozencustard.com/).

I arrived in time to beat the line, which was soon out the door (this is Seattle after all).

Exterior of the new OSC

Exterior of the new OSC

Since I arrived before it got crowded, I took the time to sample the vanilla and the raspberry, which was the flavor of the day (Old School Custard only produces three flavors a day – Vanilla, Chocolate, and the Flavor of the Day). The ice cream is produced on-site, oozing out of their fabulous custard machine:

Old School Custard Machine

Old School Custard Machine

Despite the limited flavors, the menu is still a little overwhelming with all the different sundae options.  I managed to narrow it down to a few: The Recess (vanilla with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, hot fudge, and caramel), The Turtle (vanilla, caramel sauce, pecans, and hot fudge), and The Muddy Buddy (vanilla, homemade brownie, peanut butter, and hot fudge). I ended up getting the Muddy Buddy ($5.50) and splitting it with a friend – but I could have eaten the whole thing myself (not because it was too small, but because it tasted so good):

Muddy Buddy Sundae

Muddy Buddy Sundae

The picture doesn’t do it justice because you can’t see what’s underneath the custard: an amazing brownie, hot fudge, and a smooth, sweet peanut butter paste.  My friend and I rapidly (and silently, since we were too intent on eating to speak) devoured the sundae and pronounced it delicious. The custard was incredibly creamy (frozen custard has a different texture from ice cream for several reasons: there is less air pumped into the cream, resulting in a denser product; egg yolks are added, giving the cream a silkier texture, and the custard is served about 18 degrees warmer than ice cream). The brownie was just the way I like it – moist, dark, and fudgy. The hot fudge was thick and the peanut butter was much sweeter and more dessert-like than your average Skippy.

So far, I’ve read mixed reviews about Old School Custard (some people don’t like the lack of flavors or the cost of the sundaes), but in my opinion, the line out the door says it all.


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