Archive for February, 2015

Nollie’s

February 22, 2015

South Lake Union is booming, and Nollie’s Cafe is taking full advantage of the breakfast and lunch market (amidst the plentiful construction). I stopped in on a recent Monday for some breakfast and coffee (it’s good) but I left with much more, as you can see from the picture below.

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That’s a peanut butter pie on the left. The three cookies on the right are chocolate, peanut butter, and hibiscus. The bar is a pecan fudge concoction. The highlights were the cookies, especially the hibiscus (not sure what hibiscus is supposed to taste like, but this was a darn good sugar cookie regardless. Also on my take-home menu were the “mini cinnamon buns” (the word mini always makes me feel less guilty about eating cinnamon buns, even if there are four of them…

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Heated up, these were perfectly gooey and soft. And although it looks like a lot of icing, it wasn’t overly sweet. I recommend eating one (or 4) with an espresso in the cute little dining nook:

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Service was friendly and the place was popular without being super crowded. You can tell they make everything from scratch, and the dessert selection was excellent (I made the mistake of choosing my goods before noticing there was a whole ‘nother display case around the corner). Stop in and get your cookies!

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3.14

February 12, 2015

You don’t have to love math to enjoy 3.14, a bakery in White Center, but it does help if you like pie. Which I do. It was a bit of a drive from Cap Hill, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the homey bakery. You’re not overwhelmed by the selection of baked goods, but there were plenty to choose from – and not just pie.

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The owner was friendly and patient, and it was nice to be the only hipster in sight.  I took my time and chose a couple cake balls, a blueberry muffin top, and a cherry mini-pie.

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The red velvet cake ball (bottom left) didn’t do it for me, but the chocolate peanut butter one was everything a cake ball should be – dense, moist, almost like a truffle. It had strong peanut flavors and the chocolate was rich. As for the muffin top (top of the picture), I had never seen such a thing! Who would just sell tops of muffins? After eating it, I see why it’s a thing. It’s like a mini cookie-cake for breakfast! It was fresh-tasting and not at all dry, even the next day. No bitter aftertaste either, just flour and blueberry goodness.

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The cherry pie was the winner. I don’t even love pie, especially cherry, but the owner recommended it. And I’m converted. I warmed it up two days later in the oven, and it tasted fresh, flaky, and buttery. The cherry filling wasn’t too sweet or too tart, and there was just the right ratio of filling to crust. This might be my new favorite pie. I just wish they were closer. 3.14, come to Cap Hill, or at least do some farmers markets!

Grand Central Bakery

February 4, 2015

I usually stay away from chains, even small regional ones like Grand Central Bakery (with locations in Portland and Seattle). But I’d heard good things about Grand Central, and I’d always admired their outdoor space in Eastlake. So I took advantage of the abnormally warm, sunny January weather last weekend and chowed down on some treats while soaking up the vitamin D.

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No, I didn’t eat all of them myself. But I probably could have… Pictured above, from the upper left clockwise: chocolate (gluten-free) cookie, peanut butter cookie, oatmeal raisin cookie, brioche cinnamon roll, donut muffin, “jammer,” and bread pudding muffin.  I was pleasantly surprised by all of the above, especially the peanut butter cookie, donut muffin, and jammer. The donut muffin was exactly what it sounds like and would be perfect with coffee. The jammer to me was the most interesting – it was like a scone with jam in the middle and is perfect for breakfast.