Archive for January, 2011

High 5 Pie

January 31, 2011

Let me start this off with a disclaimer: I’m not really a pie person. Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Cherry Pie… they just don’t do it for me.  The only pie that I truly relish is Pecan Pie, but even then it has to be just perfect (lots of pecans, really dark corn syrup, short crust). Since I’m so picky, I wasn’t surprised that High 5‘s flipside pecan pie disappointed me:

The inside was mostly just sugar… and I know that’s the main ingredient of pecan pie, but it really just tasted like biting into a cube of brown sugar. It wasn’t gooey enough and there were only a few pecans. And the crust wasn’t up to snuff. Luckily for me (since I hate writing bad reviews, and really hate eating food I don’t like), the savory pies are MUCH better. The crust was nice and salty, the fillings were creative (I had one with caramelized onions and Gruyere), and the flipside pies are just the right size for snacking. I also liked the “cutie pies,” pictured below:

And they had so many different varieties! I wanted to try a whole bunch, but I didn’t have enough space in my stomach. Fortunately, a selection of their pies are carried at all Fuel Coffee locations, which means I can grab one on my way to work! The space inside High 5 is also perfect if you like to eat while you work – they have wi-fi and a good amount of seating with space to spread out with your books and/or laptop.

High 5 is one 12th and Madison in Capitol Hill. They are open every day and keep early and late hours just in case you ever get that craving right after dinner… or breakfast.

 

Top Ten in 2010

January 17, 2011

They say the New Year is a good time for reflection, and what better reflection topic than Seattle desserts? Therefore, even as my friends begin their various digestive cleanses, and as America goes on its collective diet, I stand strong and list my favorite Seattle desserts – the best in each of ten categories.

1. Best Ice Cream: I’m gonna have to go with Old School Frozen Custard. Their flavors are far more limited than Molly Moon’s, but the ice cream is superior. This is where I take my dad when he comes to town – and my father really does know best when it comes to ice cream.

2. Best Cupcake: The battle between Trophy and Cupcake Royale rages on, but I for one am glad that we have so many options. For now, I’m a Cupcake Royale girl (I think the cake part is better there) but I plan to keep an open mind (and mouth) in the coming year.

3. Best Cookie: I may disappoint a few folks with this one, but I’m pretty loyal to Specialty’s semi-sweet chocolate chunk cookie. I know, they’re a chain, but they’re GOOD. And you can get them warm. Plus, you know they have a solid franchise when even the wheat-germ cookies are delicious.

4. Best Beverage:  Although I love Diletante’s Chocolate Martini, and Red Mill Burger’s Oreo shake, I’m going to choose Fran’s Hot Chocolate. Maybe I’m biased because it’s winter, but nothing beats Fran’s on a cold day (or even on a warm day…)

5. Best Cake: My favorite place to get cake is still the Kingfish Cafe, although Dilettante’s is a VERY close runner-up. I like the fact that you never know what’s going to be on the dessert menu (but you know it’s going to be good), and I’ve had the only butterscotch cake of my life there.

6. Best Pastry: I’m gonna go out on a limb and choose the Cocktail Bun from Mon Hei Bakery in the International District.  I would make a trip to Chinatown again and again just for one of those, fresh out of the oven. Of course, Besalu makes a darn good pastry too…

7. Best Dessert-for-Breakfast: I haven’t reviewed it on here yet, but I’m obsessed with the Kona Kitchen’s Sweet Bread French Toast.  Portuguese sweet bread is popular in Hawaii, and for good reason, but it’s even better when it’s dipped in egg and fried in butter.  You have to eat it to believe it… (but I wish they would serve it with real maple syrup).

8. Best Chocolates: Theo’s. For the following reasons: you can tour their factory (and get lots of free samples at the store), they have the most creative concoctions, and I love, love, love their dark chocolate. Did I mention all the free samples?

9. Best Doughnut: This was actually the most difficult category for me to choose a winner. I’m obsessed with Top Pot (the old-fashioned style, not the cake style), but I also can’t live without my hot, fresh, Daily Dozen in Pike’s Place Market. Only three “flavors,” and you have to wait in line, but nothing beats the melt-in-your-mouth mini-doughnuts that they serve up. Not even Top Pot.

10. Best Overall Dessert Place: Dilettante’s is the best in my book.  Maybe because I love chocolate so much, maybe because they have such a great selection of delectable desserts, maybe because you can get a chocolate martini WITH your dessert… or all of the above. And a nice atmosphere to boot.

And, one for good luck:

11. Place I’m Most Excited to Try: Honore Artisan Bakery in Ballard. I hear amazing things about their pastries, and based on the number of good dessert places in Ballard I sometimes think I live in the wrong neighborhood…

 

Dilettante

January 2, 2011

What do you do in the depths of winter in Seattle, when it doesn’t get light till 8:00 and starts getting dark at 3:30? My solution is to eat chocolate. That’s why, around this year’s solstice, I decided to go to Dilettante Mocha Bar/Cafe for dinner. Dilettante specializes in everything chocolate – basically a mecca for any Seattle chocoholic. They do serve regular food (my friend got a very good grilled cheese) but I wanted cake for dinner, which is how I ended up with the Ephemere Truffle Torte – my ultimate chocolate experience.

The menu lists the cake as “Austrian-style,” meaning it’s rich and very moist.  Not too sweet, and quite dense, this is currently my favorite cake.  What makes it perfect is the addition of raspberry preserves between the cake and frosting (I’ve always been obsessed with that combination of flavors).  Perfect for a dark December day, but I was also a little thirsty. Luckily, Dilettante also makes the best chocolate martini in Seattle.

This was the Mexican Chocolate Martini – truffle sauce blended with cinnamon, triple sec, and tequila.  The cinnamon was what set it apart from other chocolate martinis I’ve had – a lovely, dark twist that deepens the flavor. If you aren’t in the mood for alcohol, they offer plenty of coffee and hot chocolate drinks using a variety of chocolates.  Dilettante is also a great place to shop for gifts (they have locations at Cap Hill, Westlake, Kent, and even SeaTac), with a beautiful array of truffles:

You can also order them online.  Or grab one for the road, in case you haven’t already had enough chocolate for the day.  In any case, Dilettante promises to satisfy the cravings of the most die-hard chocoholic… although they have carrot cake too.