Archive for November, 2010

The Grateful Bread Bakery

November 21, 2010

You don’t have to wear tie-dyed T-shirts to appreciate the offerings at The Grateful Bread Bakery and Cafe, although it helps to have a healthy appreciation of carbohydrates.  Conveniently located near my dentist in Wedgwood, I always make it a point to treat myself to a cookie or two after a teeth cleaning (I need to somehow make up for the fact that I no longer receive a lollipop after a dentist appointment).

The cafe serves excellent sandwiches as well as a wide variety of treats, and during the sunnier months has a nice outdoor space to enjoy them. Since I visited just before Thanksgiving, I opted for the turkey-cranberry sandwich (do not eat this if you need to stay awake afterward) and then took my time selecting a treat from the extensive display:

I selected a chocolate chip cookie and a thumbprint jam cookie. Both were good, but the thumbprint cookie was better and I would heartily recommend it.  But I was still not ready to end my carbohydrate adventure, so I took home a cinnamon bun for the next morning.

This, of course, turned out to be an excellent decision, because it was perfect. The right amount of sugar. Good molasses-y flavor. Doughy center.  It’s a good thing I don’t go to Wedgwood (or the dentist) very often, or this could become a serious problem… especially since Top Pot is right next door.

 

Hangar Cafe

November 12, 2010

I never go to Georgetown. It’s not that I dislike it, I just have no reason to be there. Unless there are waffles. Enter the Hangar Cafe, serving breakfast and lunch in a low-key environment that feels like your favorite cozy coffee shop.

The cafe is not a bakery per se, but the owner used to manage Essential Bakery on Madison. It shows in the menu, which encourages dessert for breakfast (as if I need the encouragement). They specialize in crepes, but after I ate one too many crepes in Paris (yes, there is such a thing as too many crepes) I’ve usually opted out. Lucky for me, the Hangar also does waffles… and does them well.

Shown above is the pumpkin waffle: pumpkin puree is folded into the waffle batter, and pumpkin pie spices are sprinkled on the top, along with powdered sugar and whipped cream. Naturally, it’s served with real maple syrup. The waffle itself was good, although I couldn’t really taste very much pumpkin flavor. On the other hand, the spice flavor was a little overwhelming. To be honest, I ended up having order envy when my dining companion got the brie, bacon, and basil waffle:

This has to rank as one of the best breakfast items offered in Seattle. It satisfies every craving, and the combination of sweet and savory (with the surprising and refreshing presence of basil) means you can at least pretend you’re not having dessert for breakfast.

 

Larsen’s Danish Bakery

November 8, 2010

Don’t let the fluorescent lights, cheap furniture, and bare bones decor deter you – Larsen’s Danish Bakery must put all their profits back into the product. Or they just buy more butter. In any case, if you’re looking for anything from a Black and White cookie (the only ones I’ve ever seen in Seattle) to a Kringle (their specialty), you’ve found the right place.

Larsen’s, which opened in Ballard in 1974, stocks dozens of cookies and pastries, many of which can be ordered online through the mail.  Overwhelmed by the variety, I stepped out of line and spent about ten minutes examining the various offerings:

And that picture only covers the cookie section! I got a few cookies to snack on (not the Black and White though, I only trust Brooklyn to get those right) and then moved on to the more critical area of breakfast pastries. After asking the girl at the counter a zillion questions and mulling over the many options, I went with the following:

The trouble is, I don’t remember what they’re called!!! I knew I should have written down the strange words, but I was so intent on devouring them that I forgot. I can tell you this much: I loved the one on the left. It had a cinnamon and custard inside, and I thought it was diving. The one on the right used almond paste, which I’m not a huge fan of because the flavor is somewhat overwhelming to me. But, it is their best seller, so to each her own.