Archive for the ‘Eastlake’ Category

Little Lago

April 21, 2017

It seems like just recently I blogged about the last little cafe to occupy this random spot in Portage Bay (RIP Canal Market). The grocery store/coffee shop/pizzeria/bakery that took over the location is called Little Lago, the sister to Cafe Lago of nearby Montlake. There isn’t a ton of seating, but you can grab a spot at the bar and watch them work the wood-fired pizza oven. I got there just as the bakery items were being put out for display…

Just one look and I knew the chocolate chip cookies were top-notch. Carla, the Nonna, knows what she’s doing! Cookies were soft but not squishy with plentiful chocolate chips and a thick, doughy texture. These are my favorite types of chocolate chip cookies – I think it means they are made with a little more flour, and the correct temperature of butter. I also got a slice of the pistachio cake cake pictured. It had a lovely lime glaze and a buttery, nutty texture. And it stayed fresh as I snacked on it over the course of several days. Highly recommend this adorable and delish spot.

Canal Market

December 20, 2015

Canal Market bills itself as a mercantile/cafe/bakery with an emphasis on fresh pastries and sandwiches. The reviewers on Yelp just call it an overpriced grocery store with terrible service. I wanted to see for myself so I stopped in one rainy morning for pastries, which were nicely arrayed on the butcher block counter.

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The prices, while high, were typical for artisanal baked goods in Seattle (granted, I would not buy pantry goods here as they were pretty marked up). And the person at the counter was friendly, patient, and attentive. I chose the pumpkin muffin to start with:

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This was a model muffin. Crispy, sugary top (and I loved the toasted pumpkin seeds), strong pumpkin flavor, moist interior. If I had stopped there I would have been in love with the place but unfortunately the second pastry I had ( the maple-glazed scone) was dry and overbaked (almost burnt). I only ate a few bites a left with a bitter taste. The moral of this tale of two pastries is that one should always order at least two desserts in case one just doesn’t cut it.

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.

Le Fournil

April 19, 2010

It’s probably a good thing I don’t live within walking distance of Le Fournil.  At least, that’s what I’m telling myself after eating a quiche, chocolate tarte, and chocolate croissant.  A small French bakery/cafe in Eastlake, Le Fournil is my kind of place. With communal tables, free parking, and wifi, I could easily spend every lunch hour here.

The menu offers breakfast, lunch, and pastries, but today it’s the pastries I’m after.  Recalling my days in Paris, I go straight for the chocolate croissant (pain au chocolat if you’re fancy).

Okay, this was good. Good like, “yay I can’t believe I’m eating this right now and I need to stop by here on my way to work every day from now on.”  The texture was flaky, but it wasn’t dry or overdone. The chocolate was quality, and despite the fact that I probably consumed a stick of butter, I was left craving more. Many more. But I moved on to my next choice: the chocolate tarte:

With a texture somewhere between pudding and ganache, and a hint of orange flavor, it was not completely what I expected.  It was rich and buttery, but I had expected darker, fudgier chocolate. The crust, however, was perfect.  More exciting, as it turned out, was my friend’s strawberry tarte:

What the picture doesn’t show is the cream underneath the berries. Not sure exactly what made it so magical, but it must have been good because when she dropped a little on the bare table, she scooped it up and ate it … before I could.

Louisa’s

March 21, 2010

If I lived in Eastlake, Louisa’s Cafe and Bakery would be my go-to cafe for everything – they serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, snacks, and most importantly, desserts, in a classy-but-casual cafe. I don’t live in Eastlake, but I’m making an effort to stop by Louisa’s more often for their food and sweets. The interior is pleasant and well-lit, and at night it’s very romantic with tealights on the tables and artwork on the walls.

I swung by one night to sample the desserts, although when I saw the dinner menu I was almost tempted to skip dessert and get the mushroom and brie burger instead.  However, once I had a chance to examine the dessert counter I was brought back to earth…

I’m not usually a huge cobbler fan, but after reading reviews from people raving about the blackberry cobbler (pictured above in the bottom right), I decided to give it a try. Hedging my bets, I also bought a cinnamon bun for the next morning.  The cobbler lived up to the hype: tart enough to keep things interesting, sweet enough to make me smile. The biscut topping soaked up the berry juice and the ice cream, and the whole thing was served deliciously warm (ok, not the ice cream, but you get the idea).

The cinnamon bun was excellent, if a little dry (probably because it was a full day old by the time I ate it).

I will have to return one morning in order to taste it in a more timely fashion… and to sample their full breakfasts (who can resist a smoked salmon omelet?).