Westman’s Bagels

March 11, 2018

Seattle has long been lacking a decent Jewish bakery or bagelry so I was thrilled with Westman’s opened up two blocks away from me. This tiny walk-up counter features several fantastic varieties of bagels and cream cheese that taste like home to me, but what folks might not know is that there are also quite a few Jewish (and non-Jewish) pastries.

On my first visit I got a nutella rugelach and salted chocolate chip cookie. It’s hard to find rugelach in Seattle so I didn’t have high expectations, but this tasted pretty legit! Rugelach can be difficult and time-consuming to make so I’m impressed that Westman’s takes the time to bake these little treats. That being said, the cookie was even better – actually one of the best I’ve had in Seattle. It isn’t very big but what it lacks in size it makes up in flavor.

On my next visit, I went straight for a chocolate roll, but couldn’t resist the hamantash they’d made for Purim (another difficult-to-find Jewish specialty). The roll was a little on the dry side and had a pronounced orange flavor that didn’t appeal to me, but the hamantash was a treat. The dough was perfectly crumbly and I liked the addition of sesame seeds to the apricot filling. If this little street stand were only open on the weekends, I’d be perfectly content.

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Despi Delite Bakery

February 26, 2018

I had never heard of Ube before I moved to Seattle and now I can’t get enough of it. Despi Delite Bakery in Beacon Hill makes good use of the purple tuber, incorporating it into several of their desserts. Most appealing to me was the Ube bread – the dough is similar to that of Portuguese sweet bread, and the filling is ube.

The bread and filling were soft and extremely fresh. If you’ve never had ube bread before, please seek it out because it’s worth searching for. I was less blown away by their version of the cronut, but was redeemed with more ube, this time in cheesecake form:

Similar in appearance, texture and quality to Hood’s Famous Bakeshop, this small cake kept nicely in the fridge for several days and gave me something to look forward to when I got home from work. Delite is a great little spot for ube addicts, and you can’t beat the prices!

Indi Chocolate

February 9, 2018

I visited Indi Chocolate years ago when it was just a hole-in-the-wall buried deep in Pike Place Market. Now, it’s a fully-fledged chocolate cafe, with chocolate beverages and hand-crafted candies. I was tempted by the Indi Chocolate Mocha, but decided I wanted something with more substance (and chocolate) so I got the sipping chocolate. Thicker than hot chocolate, it’s meant to slowly savored.

Yes, that’s a shot glass of freshly whipped cream next to it. I also picked up a few chocolate bars featuring Peruvian chocolate. This is probably my new favorite chocolate spot in Seattle, comparable to Dandelion in San Francisco. They make their chocolate in the back room, and you can see the process for yourself. Indi lives up to its name – there is no sign of bland corporate taste.

Central District Ice Cream Co

January 15, 2018

January is a great time to get yourself some ice cream Рno lines, no melting in the sun, and you can take your time sampling the flavors. I did just that at Central District Ice Cream Company where picked up this piece of ice cream art:

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It’s black sesame and dried plum swirled together and it was both fruity and savory. They rotate the flavors monthly and you can count on some hip flavors each time around ¬†(they had some pints leftover from January and I scored the last eggnog cheesecake). The inside is friendly, spacious, and pleasant even on a rainy day:

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So come pay a visit and support yet another addition to Seattle’s phenomenal indie ice cream scene!

Midnight Cookie

January 8, 2018

This little cookie shop in Fremont is ready to take care of your late-night cookie cravings, and they’ll even bring them to your door. Midnight Cookie doesn’t open until 4 in the afternoon, and on the weekend they stay open until 3 AM just in case you’re craving sugar after you’re done bar-hopping. I visited at what for me was a late hour – around 10 PM. The options are not as interesting as Hello Robin, but the prices are a little easier to swallow.

 

My friend and I got Cookies and Cream, Double Chocolate Chip, S’Mores, and Peanut Butter Chip. We made the mistake of eating a few of them cold, discovering later that they are better when warmed up. I liked that you could get milk along with the cookies! I’m still partial to Hello Robin, but this is a good option for those late-night cravings.

Liberation Bakery

October 15, 2017

If you want a healthier dessert option, Liberation Bakery offers gluten-free, paleo, raw, and vegan desserts. I see them every Sunday at the Capitol Hill Farmer’s Market, and last weekend I decided to give them a try (even though I am not the kind of person to seek out a healthier dessert option).

They have everything from vegan “cheesecake,” to raw chocolate, to gluten-free vegan chocolate chip cookies. Not my usual cup of tea, but I got a small sampling.

On the left is a coconut truffle, with a layer of pretty intense chocolate. The middle bite is a coconut bliss ball – my favorite of the three. On the right is a peanut butter cup, which could have used a little more sugar (natural of course). If you’re in the mood to be healthy, don’t read this blog. But do get treats from Liberation Bakery.

Beach Bakery

October 8, 2017

Beach Bakery is truly a sweet treat for the Rainier Beach neighborhood. With strong espresso and strong wifi, it’s a great place to sit yourself down and work a while, which is what I did last Saturday. I experienced friendly service and a relaxing atmosphere, not to mention the best chocolate-banana muffin of my life:

The muffin, which tasted of real banana and quality chocolate (rather than a vanilla muffin with some chocolate chips sprinkled in) was so good I decided to keep going. The next treat was a peanut butter and jelly bar:

Again, they nailed the flavors – not overly sweet, with strong flavors. I was inspired to buy some farmer’s market bread, freshly ground peanut butter, and local jam and spent the work-week eating some amazing PBJ sandwiches. Lastly, I collected a few treats to go:

On the bottom left is a lime-coconut tart, with a Nanaimo bar in the back and a portion of a Tres Leches cake on the right. The lime tart and Nanaimo bar were the stars of the show, with the lime tart having an intensely lime flavor and fresh, crumbly crust and the Nanaimo bar having a lovely cream filling. I loved the care that went into all the desserts and the prices are more reasonable than other spots in Seattle. I highly recommend this spot if you’re in South Seattle (and if you’re not, it’s worth making the trek).

Bambu

September 24, 2017

Bambu is a popular national chain of Vietnamese dessert/tea cafes, originating in the great state of California in 2008 and now with a surprising number of locations, especially in Texas. Their Seattle location is in the International District, and it’s a well-lit, welcoming place with families and teens hanging out. They specialize in “dessert drinks” that combine all kinds of unexpected ingredients (basil seed, avocado, grass jelly, mung bean, etc) with tapioca and coconut milk. It being a hot summer evening, I was more intrigued by the shaved ice:

I got the “green tea cheesecake” – a layer of green tea shaved ice, topped with a layer of “cheesecake” flavored shaved ice, topped with fresh fruit. The fresh fruit was a lovely addition, and the texture of the shaved ice (especially the cheesecake) was smooth and creamy.

My companions got something similar, with chocolate instead of green tea. In both cases, I thought the flavor was a little light (I like more intense flavors) but if you don’t like overwhelming tastes or textures it’s a perfect dessert. There are many spots in Seattle that have started doing shaved ice, so I need to do more “research” and see how Bambu stacks up to the more local establishments!

Sweet Alchemy

September 10, 2017

Now that Capitol Hill has about seven ice cream spots I can walk to (soon to add a Full Tilt on 15th Ave), I don’t have to feel jealous about other neighborhoods’ creameries. And it’s probably a good thing Sweet Alchemy isn’t too close to me, since I wouldn’t just be tempted by the ice cream (very tasty), but also by the baked goods. I got the rosemary shortbread in addition to the London Fog ice cream (involving Earl Grey tea).

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They don’t go light on the flavors – the savory component of both the pastry and the ice cream made for a more complex dessert. Although there’s nowhere to sit, the decor is welcoming and hip, as is the service.

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Step in off the Ave and try the ice cream – I still need to try the “Cinnamon Toast,” involving baked churro bites…

Wann Yen

June 17, 2017

A lot of Americans wouldn’t expect to see the words “Thai” and “dessert” in the same sentence, but it would be a shame to reduce Thai cooking to Phad Thai and Thai iced tea (when I spent a summer in Thailand I never even saw these things offered). Wann Yen, in the U-District, will change your perceptions of what Thai food can look and taste like – they do a few more traditional Thai dishes, but their main focus is on their sweet beverages and attractive desserts (although, to be fair, these are mostly Taiwanese and Hong Kong “inventions” with some Thai twists). There’s a full range of dessert-like drinks and shave-ice concoctions – I chose the “caramel glass jelly” drink.

Sweet and textured (the squares of “glass jelly” were like the tapioca balls in bubble tea, this would have been enough of a dessert on it’s own. But to round out the meal, I decided to try their bubble waffle:

And yes, that’s a scoop of Thai iced coffee ice cream on top, cuz why not? Wann Yen is a fun spot to try new sweet Asian food fads (I still need to come back and try the shave ice). It’s a perfect place to see what food looks like when cultures mix (and make waffles!).