Archive for July, 2009

Essential Bakery

July 19, 2009

Even if you’ve never been to an Essential bakery, you’ve probably eaten their bread – it’s sold and served at many Seattle grocery stores and restaurants. Their desserts, however, are harder to find, so I took a trip to their Madison location (there is also one in Wallingford).


Their somewhat pretentious website says that their neighborhood bakeries offer a place to “recharge, rethink, and reconnect in their daily lives,” but I found it a little too crowded to do any deep thinking. Instead, I concentrated on picking out a suitable dessert – there were lots to choose from, and as the line grew behind me, I felt the pressure to hurry up and make a choice. To expedite the process, I asked the cashier for his favorite.  He recommended the following:


The dessert consists of mango mousse and meringue layered on top of a shortbread cake, surr0unded by white chocolate and topped with raspberry. Sound complicated? It was.  It was hard to discern the different tastes and textures as I gobbled it down, but the meringue flavor dominated and the shortbread cake was delicious. Next time, however, I’m going for something chocolate (real chocolate, that is, not white chocolate), and there are lots of options:


And by the way – some of the breads are almost desserts themselves. Try the Raisin-Pecan or make French toast with the Challah. Dessert for breakfast – the perfect way to start the day.


West 5

July 6, 2009

It’s not a bakery but… I went to dinner at West 5 the other day and had to quickly blog about the dessert I had after dinner. West 5 is an excellent diner/bar in West Seattle, an area that I’m trying to explore a little more as I break out of my Capitol Hill habit:

w5 exterior

The dessert selection is limited, but I decided to try something anyway (as if the mac & cheese I had for dinner wasn’t enough!). The waitress recommended their coconut cake – homemade using a recipe that had been handed down through multiple generations. Of course I had to get it – I can never pass up a homemade cake, especially one that involves coconut.

coconut cake

The cake was waaaay too big for one person (even me!), and even with two of us eating I had to take some home. The texture of the cake was a little doughy for me, but I liked the nutty flavor. The icing was perfect – thick, sweet, and coconutty.

If you’re in need of some down-home cooking and some extra calories, stop by West 5 and have a taste. The drinks are pretty good too!

West 5
4539 California Ave SW

The Chocolate Box

July 2, 2009

Sometimes you just have one of those days (or weeks) and, if you’re like me, you need some serious chocolate to make things right again. That’s why I decided to head to the Chocolate Box in downtown Seattle, near Pike’s Place Market.

chocbox exterior

The store is a combination of the following: retail outlet for local chocolatiers and bakeries, headquarters for the Seattle “Tour de Chocolat” ($69, every Thursday, Friday & Saturday), and espresso/chocolate bar. Although I was tempted by the mini cupcakes, I decided that my bad day warranted a staight shot of their famous “drinking chocolate” – basically melted chocolate in a teacup.

sipping chocolateThe weather was perfect for al fresco drinking, so I took my teacup to the outdoor sitting area in front of the store.  After taking a few deep inhales to take in the smell and prepare myself, I took a sip. Instantly, my troubles melted away as the velvety and intense liquid hit my tongue. This actived the chocolate nerve center in my brain, and although I tried to savor each sip, the frenzy began and the drink was gone before I knew it.  So, me being me, I licked the cup.

If you are a chocoholic who appreciates intense, rich, and pure chocolate, the “drinking chocolate” is something you must experience. An added plus: In my opinion, a shot of this chocolate relieves a troubled mind faster than a shot of whisky… give it a try!

Chocolate Box:
108 Pine St