Archive for July, 2010

Piroshky, Piroshky

July 26, 2010

They’ve been around close to 20 years, but Piroshky, Piroshky doesn’t get old.  Anyone who’s walked through Pike’s Place Market will have been drawn in by the intoxicating, beautifully buttery smells emanating from this market hole-in-the-wall bakery, specializing in the sweet and savory Russian rolls.

There’s almost always a line out the door on weekends, caused in part by the overwhelming selection of items that stalls each customer as they take their turn ordering at the counter. I went with the chocolate cream hazelnut roll and (why stop with just one?) the coffee cinnamon roll.  The chocolate hazelnut roll turned out to be not quite my thing:

The dough was good, but the filling tasted like nutella mixed with marshmallow fluff – not necessarily a bad thing, but a little too gelatinous for my taste.  I generally don’t like cream-filled pastries, though, so don’t rule it out for yourself! My next choice, however, the coffee-cinnamon roll, was perfect:

Why has no one else thought to combine these flavors? Coffee in a cinnamon roll sounded like heaven to me, and it was. I heated it and ate it for breakfast the next morning… delightful. Next on my list are the apple cinnamon roll, the marzipan roll, and the poppy seed raisin roll. And the rhubarb roll. And I should probably try some of the savory ones too…


Queen Mary Tea Room

July 19, 2010

My friend Susie had never been to formal high tea before, so this year for her birthday I took her to the Queen Mary Tea Room (don’t you love it when you get to enjoy the gifts you give others?).  Although I think she was a bit taken aback by the intensity of the frilly Victorian decor and the 99% female clientele, she seemed much more at ease when the first course was brought – sorbet “to cleanse the palate.”

This consisted of coconut, strawberry, and raspberry (the latter two I thought were intensely flavorful and especially good).  After choosing our teas, the three-tiered tower of deliciousness arrived, with warm pastries on the top, fruit and cakes in the middle, and sandwiches on the bottom:

The sandwiches and savory pastries were excellent, but for the purposes of this blog I will focus on what’s most important: the desserts. I took care to assemble each one on a plate, pictured below:

From the top, moving clockwise: we start with the carrot cake, which, while good, was nothing out-of-this world. Next is the lemon bar, also good, although not quite tangy/lemony/tart enough for me. Next is the oatmeal cookie, which was too small to be very memorable, followed by the scone, which was NOT too small and VERY tasty. The crumpet was quite good, pictured with jam on top, followed by the Kahlua cake, easily the best of the bunch. I would return just for this piece of heaven: moist, soft, and a nice change from your ordinary tea cakes. The only thing that would have made it better: more of it! (Or if I didn’t have to share with the birthday girl…)

Full Tilt Ice Cream

July 10, 2010

When I first moved to Seattle in 2005, independent ice cream parlors were in short supply. However, in the last few years, there has been a delightful boom in local ice cream production. With a variety of truly unique flavors (the ube ice cream is made from purple yams) and a fun, retro-style atmosphere, Full Tilt is yet another exceptional Seattle ice cream parlor.

And now that our first heat wave is finally here, it’s time to sample some of the good stuff!  I headed to the U-District location, but they also have shops in White Center and Columbia City.  Upon arrival, I chose Coffee-Oreo, a combination of my two most favorite ice cream flavors:

And yes, the ice cream was glorious (sweet, not as creamy as some other places which is fine by me – I like both styles), but the true highlight was the waffle cone.  They make them fresh, right there in front of you while you wait, and I liked it even better than the ones at Molly Moon’s.  And, just in case there is a line as everyone demands fresh waffle cones, you can play Pac-Man!

Or hula hoop, if that’s your preference. In any case, I’ll be back soon to try the Mexican Chocolate … or maybe just a bunch of waffle cones.