Archive for the ‘Liquid Dessert’ Category

Bambu

September 24, 2017

Bambu is a popular national chain of Vietnamese dessert/tea cafes, originating in the great state of California in 2008 and now with a surprising number of locations, especially in Texas. Their Seattle location is in the International District, and it’s a well-lit, welcoming place with families and teens hanging out. They specialize in “dessert drinks” that combine all kinds of unexpected ingredients (basil seed, avocado, grass jelly, mung bean, etc) with tapioca and coconut milk. It being a hot summer evening, I was more intrigued by the shaved ice:

I got the “green tea cheesecake” – a layer of green tea shaved ice, topped with a layer of “cheesecake” flavored shaved ice, topped with fresh fruit. The fresh fruit was a lovely addition, and the texture of the shaved ice (especially the cheesecake) was smooth and creamy.

My companions got something similar, with chocolate instead of green tea. In both cases, I thought the flavor was a little light (I like more intense flavors) but if you don’t like overwhelming tastes or textures it’s a perfect dessert. There are many spots in Seattle that have started doing shaved ice, so I need to do more “research” and see how Bambu stacks up to the more local establishments!

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Wann Yen

June 17, 2017

A lot of Americans wouldn’t expect to see the words “Thai” and “dessert” in the same sentence, but it would be a shame to reduce Thai cooking to Phad Thai and Thai iced tea (when I spent a summer in Thailand I never even saw these things offered). Wann Yen, in the U-District, will change your perceptions of what Thai food can look and taste like – they do a few more traditional Thai dishes, but their main focus is on their sweet beverages and attractive desserts (although, to be fair, these are mostly Taiwanese and Hong Kong “inventions” with some Thai twists). There’s a full range of dessert-like drinks and shave-ice concoctions – I chose the “caramel glass jelly” drink.

Sweet and textured (the squares of “glass jelly” were like the tapioca balls in bubble tea, this would have been enough of a dessert on it’s own. But to round out the meal, I decided to try their bubble waffle:

And yes, that’s a scoop of Thai iced coffee ice cream on top, cuz why not? Wann Yen is a fun spot to try new sweet Asian food fads (I still need to come back and try the shave ice). It’s a perfect place to see what food looks like when cultures mix (and make waffles!).

Shug’s Soda Fountain

July 16, 2016

If you’re tired of the retro decor/food scene, Shug’s probably isn’t for you. But if you are looking for a spot you can take your kids, hipster friend, date, or silent reading group, Shug’s will work for you! (Yes, there was a silent reading group there when I visited, and no, I didn’t ask how to join even though I really, really wanted to.) The space is light, friendly, and hip without being pretentious or gimmicky, and the location makes it a perfect post-Pike Place Market cool-down.

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There are novelty items (which would actually be standard items in New York) like an egg cream and lime rickey, beer floats, shakes, sundaes, and house-made sodas. The Sundaes were the most intriguing part of the menu – the Brown Derby involves a Mighty-O donut – and I selected the Crested Lourie:

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Coconut ice cream, pineapple, Grenadine, and cashew-coconut brittle. I gave the sundae a thumbs up overall, although the pineapple could have been fresher and the brittle would have been easier to deal with if it were broken up. My date got the Kitty Canutt:

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Cinnamon ice cream, apple compote, and graham cracker crumble. I’d like to return and try their egg cream, malts, and sodas… and maybe that Brown Derby sundae. Because donut.

Moore Coffee Shop

March 30, 2016

This cozy downtown coffee shop is known for its “latte art” – this goes beyond the usual heart or wavy pattern – but the beauty here is more than foam-deep. Try the Nutella mocha for a decadent pick-me-up (although the Aztec with cinnamon and other spices is also delicious):

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The Moore Coffee Shop also makes sandwiches and sells amazing homemade tamales, but I came mainly for the waffles on my last visit. Made fresh while you watch, there are both sweet and savory options (I need to try the bacon waffle with marscapone cheese). Sticking with my theme of the day, I got a Nutella waffle with banana.

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This simple combo has always been a favorite of mine (I blame/thank Paris for that) but I liked the American addition of maple syrup. Truly a treat.

Chocolat Vitale

April 25, 2015

Seeing as how April in Seattle has been about as cold as February, I thought I’d take myself out for some hot chocolate at Chocolat Vitale in Phinney Ridge. Oops, did I say hot chocolate? I meant drinking chocolate, of course! The difference is in thickness – drinking chocolate is a much thicker, richer version of hot chocolate… and therefore better. This little chocolate/beverage cafe does it right, complete with steamed milk and your choice of chocolate.

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I chose the darkest available, a dark cocoa from Venezuela (you can also get it as a mocha, which I imagine would be divine).  The owner disappeared into the back and returned a few minutes later with a steaming, foamy, and incredibly chocolatey cup:

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I also got one of her own chocolates (most of hers are imported from Europe) – a dark chocolate nut cluster. It was good, but the true highlight was indeed the drinking chocolate, which was electrifying and comforting at the same time. It had a deep, complex flavor, and easily satisfied my chocolate cravings for the day. In case you were wondering, the drink can also be ordered cold – so I’ll be stopping by again this summer!

Lunchbox Lab

April 11, 2015

When the sun’s out, I want ice cream – or better yet, a milkshake. I’ve loved milkshakes since I was a kid, but adult milkshakes (AKA boozy shakes) are even better. There are several places in Seattle that will give you a quality boozy shake (Hot Cakes being my personal fave) but nothing beats the variety at Lunchbox Lab.  A chill restaurant to being with – they have excellent burgers and bomb tater tots – it only gets better with their grown-up shakes.

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Did I mention the variety? I got the banana cream milkshake with vanilla rum. This satisfied both my love of banana desserts and my love of milkshakes. Oh and my love of alcohol. I’ve also had a very satisfying Oreo milkshake with whiskey.  My friend got a Nutella milkshake with I-forget-what-tasty shot:

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She sucked hers down – I took longer to finish. I’m usually good with half a milkshake, but I couldn’t let the rest of mine go to waste!  Lunchbox Lab has an epic happy hour and pleasant outdoor seating with a fire pit. And they’re open late! Definitely on my “most beloved” Seattle restaurant list.

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.