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.

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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!).

Festivals and Farmers Markets

June 3, 2017

Spring may have come late to Seattle, but this year’s food truck festival and farmers markets are right on time. If you’ve never checked out Fremont’s glorious Food Truck Rodeo, put it on your bucket list – it’s one of Seattle best foodie events. After thoroughly scoping out all the offerings available, I had lunch at It’s Bao Time and dessert at Street Donuts. Not only are the donuts fresh out of the fryer, they have all sorts of clever topping combinations.

I wanted the Dulce de Leche but they were out, so we went with Nutella and powdered sugar.

These were seriously addictive – some of the best minis I’ve ever had. This is a truck worth seeking out if you can track it down.

Several weekends later I lucked out again at the Madrona Farmers Market with a new stand – Sweet Season Bakery. They are actually based in Arlington but should be at the Madrona market all summer and I can safely say you will love anything you buy. I can say it safely because I bought everything.

Okay, maybe not everything, but you can see homemade “oreos,” fudge, peanut butter sandwich cookies, pretzel cookies, and shortbread cookies. They freeze really well so I was able to stop myself from eating everything in one sitting and instead allow myself one or five treats a day. Get thee to the Madrona market next Friday afternoon!

Deborah’s Pies

May 12, 2017

It’s farmer’s market season once again, and why not start with Ballard (my personal favorite, along with the U-District market)? There were all my old favorites – Soda Jerk, Pete’s Toffee, Sweet Caroline… and a new vendor (well, new to me) called Deborah’s Pies.

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Deborah was there, in the flesh, selling a variety of both sweet and savory pies. I appreciated the range of flavors, not to mention the different size options. I went with two small pies – strawberry rhubarb, and marionberry.

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The pies came with specific reheating instructions, which I followed to the letter and served with ice cream. The verdict? Marionberry was the winner (the rhubarb pie was a little runny). We did feel the crusts could have been flakier, but overall, not a bad slice of pie!

Frankie & Jo’s

May 2, 2017

Seattle is one of the few places in America you can be successful while describing your ice cream parlor as “A plant-based ice cream shop,” which is Frankie & Jo’s self-descriptor. It’s also one of the few places you can get away with charging $12 for a pint. Yet both times I’ve visited there’s been a substantial line (even in this cold, rainy Seattle so-called spring).

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With unique flavors like chocolate-tahini, gingered golden milk, and salty caramel ash, it’s easy to be intrigued – and the friendly folks that work there will happily let you sample away.  I liked the chocolate tahini, with the sesame paste providing both texture and flavor, but to get the full experience I got the “Date Shake” with “Moon Goo” topping.

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The Date Shake flavor was made with coconut milk, dates, and maple syrup and, though not as creamy as dairy ice cream, satisfied my sweet tooth well enough. Moon Goo is their version of caramel sauce, and I had to admit that a little went a long way in terms of flavor and and sweetness.  I’m still partial to Bluebird when it comes to Capitol Hill ice cream, but I wouldn’t say no to another mini-scoop plus Moon Goo!

Little Lago

April 21, 2017

It seems like just recently I blogged about the last little cafe to occupy this random spot in Portage Bay (RIP Canal Market). The grocery store/coffee shop/pizzeria/bakery that took over the location is called Little Lago, the sister to Cafe Lago of nearby Montlake. There isn’t a ton of seating, but you can grab a spot at the bar and watch them work the wood-fired pizza oven. I got there just as the bakery items were being put out for display…

Just one look and I knew the chocolate chip cookies were top-notch. Carla, the Nonna, knows what she’s doing! Cookies were soft but not squishy with plentiful chocolate chips and a thick, doughy texture. These are my favorite types of chocolate chip cookies – I think it means they are made with a little more flour, and the correct temperature of butter. I also got a slice of the pistachio cake cake pictured. It had a lovely lime glaze and a buttery, nutty texture. And it stayed fresh as I snacked on it over the course of several days. Highly recommend this adorable and delish spot.

Anchorhead Coffee

March 29, 2017

If you’re a Seattle coffee fiend, you may already know about Anchored Coffee‘s new cafe downtown. But you may not know about the Quaffle – and no, that’s not a reference to Harry Potter’s favorite sport.  The Quaffle is a waffle made from croissant dough, so basically it’s just as magical as Quiddich.

Fluffy and light it’s not, but if you’re after crispy, thick, and buttery pressed pastry, you’ve come to the right place. The cafe is a satisfying place to get work done or catch up with a friend, with retro decor and comfy and spacious surroundings.

And the coffee isn’t bad either!