Archive for the ‘Queen Anne’ Category

Cederberg Tea House

February 28, 2016

In a city of coffee shops, cocktail bars, and micro breweries, it’s easy to forget about the world’s most popular beverage (yup, that would be tea). Cederberg Tea House is a pleasant reminder, and it’s focus on South African teas and pastries makes it that much more worldly. This versatile Queen Anne cafe is great for working, solid for socializing, and perfect for dessert-blogging. Their specialty (or specialtea if you rather) is Rooibos, which they serve up in the form of artistic and tasty lattes (you can also get it plain or choose among their other teas, or just go with an espresso).  Pastries are made in-house, and range from savory sausage rolls to the ultra rich Malva Pudding.

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Suffice it to say, butter is used generously in their pastries. The Malva Pudding (on the left) was almost too rich for me, but could be shared nicely. The shortbread cookie and South African fudge (front, center) were my favorites, with the shortbread pairing nicely with tea. The cookie was fresh and properly crumbly and the fudge was caramel-flavored without being gooey. Lastly, I had the Hertzog (back center) – a pastry filled with apricot jam and topped with coconut and meringue. The Rooibos Latte served as a nice counter to the rich and sweet snacks, and the spiced foam topping added texture and a flavor boost to the tea. Now I just need to come back try the Bunny Chow (google it)!

Queen Bee Cafe

October 10, 2015

The Queen Bee Cafe is one of Seattle’s hidden gems – friendly, good for working or catching up with a friend, and bursting with baked goods and crumpet concoctions. They’re located right where Cap Hill, the CD, and Madison Valley all start to merge, and they just opened a second location in Queen Anne. The crumpets are the real deal – they make their own, and create all kinds of savory and sweet options, ranging from “The Roast Beast” to “Banana Cream Pie.” I ordered the seasonal special – Pumpkin Spice with a merengue topping and dug right in.

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The merengue was light, the pumpkin spice mousse-like, but the highlight was the crumpet itself. Fresh, dense but not hard, and very sweet – a perfect vehicle for sugary toppings. Sweet enough to be dessert, but I counted it as breakfast so I could justify getting a few cookies for the road…

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That’s a peanut butter cookie on the left, chocolate chip on the right, and both got the nod of approval. And just to round out the experience (and come full circle back to breakfast), I took a home a blueberry muffin to eat the next day – and it was still delicious. As if all that wasn’t sweet enough, Queen Bee donates all profits to a rotating local charity.

Nielsen’s Pastries

March 30, 2014

After being talked into helping one of my students with a project at the Sculpture Park downtown, I felt I deserved a reward – preferably one involving butter and sugar. Being near Nielsen’s Pastries, which I’d read about but never tried, I decided to make a blog-worthy detour.

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The inside, while welcoming enough, didn’t scream “sit and stay awhile” which was fine since my student had opted to wait for me in the car.  So I ran in, ordered my coffee, and selected a few items of interest: the Cinnamon Danish, the Lemon Poppyseed Shortbread, and the “Bad Boy” cookie.  This being a(nother) Scandinavian bakery, there were plenty of more traditional pastries like the Kringle and Bear Claw, but I’m just not into the almond pastries.

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The Lemon Poppyseed Shortbread was on the bitter side, but the Bad Boy cookie was phenomenal. Not your average chocolate chip cookie, this one contains cocoa nibs, chopped chocolate, and coffee. The dough was fresh-tasting and encased all the above mentioned ingredients in rich buttery goodness. One of the best cookies I’ve had in Seattle.

Next up was the Cinnamon Danish, which is pretty much as it sounds (a cinnamon roll made with danish dough).

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This was as good as any cinnamon roll I’ve had, in spite of the almond filling in it. And I’m extremely picky when it comes to cinnamon rolls! One thing that set it apart is that the icing is baked into the roll… mmmm!  Definitely heat it up, at eat in one sitting soon after purchasing.

Byen Bakery

January 24, 2014

Located in North Queen Anne on a busy road in a rather post-industrial area is the decidedly neighborhood-y Byen Bakery. With a cozy atmosphere, enough seating, and a heavenly smell, Byen is a good place to linger over coffee and a pastry. And there are plenty to choose from – Byen takes its flour and butter very seriously.

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I knew that in a Scandinavian bakery, one should get the Kringle – a pretzel-shaped pastry with a sweet, flakey interior. To be honest, they aren’t my favorite and I didn’t love this one because of the marzipan (which I dislike). But to be fair to the bakery, and because I couldn’t resist, I tried the pecan cinnamon roll as well.

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As you can see (it’s the one on the right – the one on the left is a slice of kringle), it’s everything a cinnamon pecan bun should be – sticky, lots of surface area, and nutty. I heated it in the microwave and tore into it with extremely positive results. Yeasty, but not too elastic-y with a strong cinnamon flavor, this was a clear winner, as was the loaf of Apple Bread I walked away with:

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The icing on the top was the right degree of saltiness and the loaf wasn’t overly apple-y. Again, it did better after a zap in the microwave, and provided perfect slices of heaven for breakfast (also works with some ice cream for dessert). This place almost makes me wish I lived in this non-neighborhood!

Le Reve

October 30, 2013

The best thing about working on a blog like this is going to places like Le Reve.  A French bakery in Queen Anne, Reve feels authentic and tastes like France (that is, it tastes like butter). Serving a variety of pastries, desserts, and breakfast & lunch sandwiches, Reve is that café I’d be at every weekend if I lived in the neighborhood.  And maybe it’s a good thing I don’t, because there are only so many calories in a day.

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I started out with the Croque Monsieur, served on a French baguette so fresh the shards of crust cut the roof of your mouth. Ahhh France. Next I moved on to dessert. Based off Yelp reviews I got the kouign amann – an extremely buttery muffin-shaped pastry with a crispy coating. Hard to describe this treat but you have to try it here or at Crumble and Flake in Cap Hill.

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Also on my menu were the flourless chocolate cake (not overly dense but certainly substantial and very richly flavored), and a raspberry Mogador (the round ball pictured above). I had never had one of these before – basically a chocolate crust with a ball of chocolate mousse with a chocolate raspberry shell. Lighter than the cake, it had that raspberry chocolate combination that to me is always the king of desserts. J’aime Le Reve… (did I spell that right??).

Macrina Bakery

April 24, 2011

Dear Macrina, please consider opening a location in Capitol Hill, preferably on 15th Ave E so I can roll myself the short distance back to my house after visiting.  They currently have three spots – Belltown, SODO, and Queen Anne, none of which are terribly convenient for me… but maybe the effort required for me to get there will prevent me from gaining ten pounds in bread-weight.

On a sunny day in Seattle (I think there have been two this year?) I checked out the morning scene at Macrina – and the baked goods selection – before sitting down to a tasty breakfast.

I had just a simple meal of eggs and bacon, plus toast  (I chose the Vollkorn), which after one bite made me realize that the bread would be the start of the show. Indeed, while the bakery has a dizzying array of treats (the shot above is just picture of many), their main focus has always been on bread (which can be bought at several grocery stores, none of which are near me).  I made myself choose just one loaf and one sweet to take home with me – I picked the Challah (does that count as a second sweet?) and the chocolate ganache cupcake.

I didn’t photograph the Challah because technically I guess it’s not a dessert, plus me and my friend downed it pretty much in a single gulp. And, although the cupcake was good, it wasn’t amazing, partly because I think I would have rather just kept eating bread! Next time I visit, I won’t limit myself to one loaf – what’s life without a bread coma every week so often?

Top Pot Doughnuts

February 22, 2010

My dentist (in Wedgewood) really has the perfect location: it’s across the street from The Grateful Bread Baking Company (which I’ll try to review sometime soon) and Top Pot Doughnuts.  Top Pot has locations in several neighborhoods, including Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, and Downtown, but I often go to the Wedgewood location because there’s parking (and a dentist nearby).

Top Pot, which has been around since 2002, specializes in gourmet doughnuts that come in two categories: old fashioned or cake doughnut. There are over forty types of doughnuts to choose from, so needless to say I took my sweet time at the counter. Luckily, Top Pot doesn’t believe in rushing it’s customers or blinding them with ugly fluorescent lighting. Instead, their cafes are styled along the pattern of traditional Seattle coffee shops (and the coffee itself measures up!).

I finally chose six flavors (pictured below): Upper row from left to right: Raspberry Old Fashioned, Chocolate Sand Castle Cake Doughnut, Chocolate Glazed Cake Doughnut. Lower row from left to right: Maple Old Fashioned, Cinnamon Cake Doughnut, Plain Old Fashioned.

Overall, I preferred the Old Fashioned over the Cake Doughnuts. They were more moist and crispy, while the Cake Doughnuts were drier and more chewy. Next time I think I would just get Old Fashions.  That being said, my favorites for flavor were the Sandcastle and the Chocolate Glazed.  And, in case you’re wondering, the Sandcastle is a chocolate cake doughnut with granulated sugar covering the outside. It tastes much better than a sandcastle. Don’t ask how I know that.