Archive for May, 2013

Pie Bar

May 28, 2013

Why not combine two of the most enjoyable culinary experiences in life – drinks and dessert – into one? Why not indeed, as this is the concept behind Pie Bar, a relatively new Capitol Hill bar that serves not only beer and pie, but delicious “pie-tini” drink concoctions. The small, triangular space is tucked away on Olive right by the freeway, but quite welcoming with great service.

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After a round of beer and a chicken fajita pie (they have quite a few of the savory variety) we progressed to dessert, starting with strawberry rhubarb pie (served a-la-mode, naturally), which I have to say is even better than my dad’s (sorry dad). It was made extra special by the topping, which crumbly and very buttery. The crust -the part I’m most picky about – was top-notch.

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Dessert round two was a pie-tini of the key lime variety. It really did taste like a liquid (and alcoholic) key lim pie. It had a milky, frothy texture and was nicely tart. Of special note was the pie crust crumble rim (rather than a sugar or salt rim).

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Pie Bar is a special spot that I hope will stick around for a long time. You don’t need an excuse to go try it – there’s always a reason to eat (or drink) pie.

 

Belle Epicurean

May 15, 2013

Why am I just now discovering the wonders of Belle Epicurean, a quaint and classy French bakery/restaurant with locations downtown and in Madison Park? I’ve wasted previous years of my life NOT eating here, it seems. At any rate, this place is the real deal. There’s a full counter of all sorts of decadent desserts, ranging from almond tortes to macaroons – a whole tower of them, in fact:

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I didn’t sample the macaroons because I am not a passionate macaroonist, but I did get a red velvet petit four, a flourless chocolate decadence, and cinnamon brioche bun. The flourless chocolate decadence, while not mind-blowing, did live up to it’s name. The brioche bun was ultra buttery, with a lovely caramelized sugar crunch. The petit four impressed me the most of the three desserts. It was very moist, with no dried, stale edges, and was basically just heaven in a bite (actually 4 bites).

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Perfection! Belle Epicurean is most definitely a keeper, and it will keep me coming back for more. Maybe I’ll even try a macaroon.

Violet Sweet Shop

May 9, 2013

My weekend “chores” included checking out the new Violet Sweet Shop over by Laurelhearst, newly opened on 45th. The bakery is all-vegan (which is why I counted it as a chore rather than a pleasure) and I tried hard not to be prejudiced, especially since it was so darn cute inside:

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The people working there were also super friendly, so I really wanted to like them. The problem was despite the cuteness, and the friendliness, the desserts were still vegan.  And it’s hard to make a very good cupcake, shortbread, or mousse without eggs, butter, or cream.  But they tried. Everthing did LOOK good, and I ended up getting a couple items including a peanut butter mousse dessert cup and a lemon cupcake (I couldn’t bear the thought of a shortbread cookie made without butter, so I had to pass on that one):

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Predicably, I was disappointed with both. The texture of the peanut butter cup was watery and didn’t hold together. The lemon cupcake tasted more like a muffin than a cake and the “frosting” was, again, watery. Maybe if you’re a vegan your tastebuds adjust, but frankly, I need my butter and eggs.