Archive for May, 2010

Three Girls Bakery

May 31, 2010

Every time I venture to Pike’s Place Market, I’m confronted with a wealth of blog-worthy bakeries. This time, I selected the Three Girls Bakery, which is little more than a walk-up window (although there’s also a counter tucked away where you can get sandwiches).

But the lack of retro furniture or art installations allows the customer to focus on what’s most important – the food. Three Girls sells fresh bread, a variety of cookies, croissants, rugelach, and many other tasty treats. I ended up with a “Mounds” cookie, and, on a whim, a piece of rugelach.  The Mounds cookie was basically a coconut macaroon dipped in dark chocolate:

The texture inside was perfect – a little nutty, very coconutty, and just the right combination of crunchy-chewy. I really liked the chocolate coating; you could tell they used quality chocolate.  Even my friend, who’s not a huge dessert eater, loved it.  But the rugelach was what really stole my heart:

I’m having trouble remembering the exact flavor I got (there were lots to choose from) but I think it might have been cinnamon-pecan. At any rate, Three Girls is my new favorite spot for rugelach.  If you’ve never had this New York Jewish Deli treat, this is the place to try it in Seattle.


Bluebird Ice Cream

May 16, 2010

Bluebird Homemade Ice Cream and Tea Room (another winner of the longest name contest) is a relative newbie to the Seattle dessert scene – they opened in July 2009.  Tea and ice cream aren’t often paired together, but I have to say it’s a clever business strategy: ice cream for the warmer months, tea for the rest of the year.

Bluebird puts a strong emphasis on local and sustainable – they brag that their cream comes from Washington and Oregon cows, the furniture is salvaged from Seattle, and ingredients are organic whenever possible.  But don’t worry – they don’t exactly cater to the vegan, health-nutty, my-diet-is-better-than-your-diet crowd. Instead, expect plenty of old-fashioned creamy goodness, served in an environment that feels like a living room (wouldn’t you love it if your living room dispensed maple ice cream?).

After tasting a few samples, I asked for a recommendation. I was told that the coffee ice cream (they use Stumptown) was the freshest – extra creamy since it hadn’t been sitting around. I went for it, with a shot of hot fudge to boost.

The flavor of the ice cream was full and rich, but as you can see from the picture, the whole thing melted almost immediately.  Unless you enjoy soupy ice cream (which I do – I used to microwave mine as a kid) I recommend getting a flavor that isn’t fresh.  But whatever you do, make sure you get a flavor that goes with hot fudge, because theirs’ is to die for. I have had hot fudge from many, many ice cream parlors, and I have to say this ranks way, way up there. Or, get your ice cream in a waffle cone – they smelled heavenly.

The Sugar Rush Bakery

May 10, 2010

This West Seattle spot wins for longest store name – technically it’s “Coffee to a Tea – Home of the Sugar Rush Bakery” but I’ll just refer to it as Sugar Rush.  Located amidst a cluster of other well-regarded bakeries (Bakery Nouveau and Shoofly Pie are both right down the street), Sugar Rush still manages to stand out in the crowd with fancy, custom-made cakes – or their more user-friendly cupcakes.  Plus, it’s called Called Coffee to a Tea for a reason: they brew a great cup of coffee and offer five different “levels” of tea service, including traditional high tea or a children’s tea hour.

The free wifi, wide windows, and spacious interior make for an inviting spot to work, chat, people-watch, or read. Plus, there’s a play area for kids and a room available for rent for birthdays and such.

What they’re best-known for, however, are their mini-cupcakes – a bite-size piece of heaven. When I saw that their website promised that “our mini-cupcakes can fill your sweet tooth craving quickly,” I knew that’s just what I needed. However, upon looking at the huge variety of flavors, I found I couldn’t choose just one, or three, or even six. That’s why I love their offer of a dozen – packed neatly in an egg carton.

The picture doesn’t do it justice: I was so excited that I was actually hopping up and down while she was loading up the carton. And although the dozen is obviously meant to be shared, I ate almost the whole thing myself. After all, I had to try each of the flavors… and just cuz it was so delicious. Even though most of the frostings were buttercream (not my favorite) I was still mightily impressed. My favorites: the “Classic” (made with ganache frosting), the German Chocolate, the Red Velvet, and, surprisingly, the Orange.  And just in case this blog isn’t enough to make you want to go try some for yourself, there’s one more reason – go to the website and download the free coupon for one mini cupcake!

Oddfellows Cafe

May 1, 2010

Is Oddfellows a late-night hipster lounge? A casual lunch spot? A happy-hour standby? The answer is D, all of the above. Plus, oddly enough, it’s a bakery.

Founded in 2008, the Oddfellows Cafe caters to the hip, trendy, young residents of Capitol Hill.  Although I always found the food to be a tad bit overpriced, I have no such conceptions about the bakery, which is overseen by the daughter of the woman who founded The Essential Baking Company.  I happened to swing by on a whim – I was looking for a lunch, but also craving sweets (as usual), and thought I’d stop by and see what my options were at Oddfellows.  And, luckily for me, I found the perfect answer to my lunch problem: a peanut butter and jelly cupcake.

Fairly simple in its conception, but I have to admit I’ve never had anything quite like it. Vanilla cake, peanut butter frosting, and a jelly filling. Ingenious!  And really, the perfect snack if you ask me. Then again, I’ve always been a huge fan of PB&J.  I also got the barista to recommend her favorite cookie: the Charlie Brown.

Lovely flavor and texture: very rich cocoa taste, not overly chewy, not too salty or too sweet. But I still would choose the PBJ cupcake any day… you just don’t come across creativity like that very often!