Archive for October, 2014

The London Plane

October 23, 2014

The London Plane, a new hip mercantile/bar/bakery/breakfast spot in Pioneer Square, took me back to the days when I used to haunt places like Balducci’s and Dean and Deluca in New York.  It’s clearly upscale, but not pretentious or trying too hard. A bright, clean, and spacious interior holds a restaurant, deli, flower stand, and bakery. I went for the latter, having no need for Dahlias at this time.

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Behind the bakery counter were all kind of goodies. The prices weren’t cheap, but from what I could tell just by looking, they were fair. I liked the variety – there were tarts, croissants, cookies, bars, buns… I settled on some cookies and the cinnamon roll, which they heated up for me. I headed down the street to Umbria to eat it because it seems one of the only things The London Plane doesn’t provide is espresso.

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Any annoyance I felt at not getting my much needed macchiato was offset with my first bite of this beauty. I liked that it wasn’t giant sized, not to mention dry, undercooked, too sweet, or not sweet enough (all common problems). That is, I loved it. Loved the pecans, the texture of the dough, the amount of goo… well done. Next up, the cookies:

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The top ones are chocolate hazelnut, to the right are chocolate chips, and on the left are Mexican Wedding Cookies. All three types were delectable and my friends were happy with the crystals of salt sprinkled on top of the first two types (I found the salt topping a little much but loved the cookies nevertheless). My favorite was the Mexican Wedding Cookies, I usually enjoy these and they aren’t easy to find. These were light without feeling insubstantial, and with just the right amount of sugar. If I worked around Pioneer Square this place would be dangerous… but they need to get with the espresso program ASAP!

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Barjot

October 16, 2014

A Cap Hill cafe with a neighborhood feel? There aren’t a ton, but there is Barjot, (related to Joe Bar, also in Cap Hill and also with a neighborhood vibe). Although Barjot is only recently arrived on the scene, it’s already pretty popular with folks… and their dogs (there were about 5 when I visited).  There are freshly baked goodies as well as a limited selection of full breakfasts and lunch fare. They also do a mean espresso as well as fresh juice:

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I started out with an excellent croissant, which tasted as good as it looked. Flakey, not doughy or dry, and just the right size for a pre-breakfast snack:

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This tided me over until my breakfast arrived (it’s freshly made, so it does take a bit of time, especially if you get the baked eggs). I decided to get another dessert as my main breakfast – the bread pudding with lemon curd. It came with apples and blueberries, and the pudding and curd were both to die for.

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This place gets an A+ in my book and I will be back, in spite of the fact I don’t live in the neighborhood.

Sod House Bakery

October 10, 2014

Lately I’m all about the micro-bakeries… that homemade taste that’s so hard to replicate in more industrial bakeries. I discovered Sod House Bakery on a recent visit to the U-District farmer’s market and was intrigued by the “pop-tarts” – pastries filled with fruit spread and topped with frosting. Much more tasty than the grocery store version, but not as good as their brownie.

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Deeply cocoa-y with a silky texture, this was a brownie worth its calories. The baker claims to be a big fan of cinnamon buns, so I also walked away with one of those for my next-day’s breakfast. Good idea!!

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Not over or undercooked, not overly sweet but still very indulgent, with just the right amount of cinnamon and frosting. Definitely one of the best I’ve had, and I’m picky about my buns! My only wish with Sod House is that they had a storefront so I could go there whenever I wanted… but then it might start tasting industrial.