Archive for the ‘Wallingford’ Category

Fainting Goat Gelato

June 9, 2013

After being told my multiple people that I should try this Wallingford neighborhood ice cream joint, I finally took advantage of a warm-wave (can’t really call it a head wave if it stays below 80) and stopped by. Fainting Goat Gelato is named for – you guessed it – fainting goats (google it for some pretty hilarious videos).

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A friendly (and very kid-friendly) gelato parlor, Fainting Goat prides itself on using high-quality, organic ingredients. Another plus, they let you sample quite a few flavors before you buy. The best thing, to me, was that I didn’t have to fight my way through crowds of hipsters like you do at Molly Moon’s.

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I got a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of hazelnut (I am my sister’s sister) for a lovely chic-hazlenut combo that took me right back to my days in Paris.

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The verdict is positive – although to be honest I remain loyal to Full Tilt as my favorite Seattle ice cream parlor. Gelato just lacks a certain intensity found in ice cream. But I’ll take Fainting Goat any time, especially if I get a chance to watch cute videos of goats toppling over.

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Boulangerie

February 26, 2012

La Boulangerie in Wallingford has intrigued me for some time, partly because the reviews on Yelp seem to either give one star or five – not much in between. I have to say my own impressions were more mixed. The main issue with this place, for me, was the unpleasant smell and the general impression that nothing had been cleaned for quite some time.  There were a few tables, but there was no real incentive to eat there in spite of the good location and cute exterior.

However, I have to disagree with many of the reviews on Yelp in terms of the pastries themselves – or maybe I was just there on a good day.  The brioche I had was maybe a little more dense and eggy than what you might find elsewhere, but I actually really liked it.  People have complained about the overwhelming butter flavor in the pastries, but personally I’m a fan of using a heavy hand with the butter.

I also had the almond creme croissant, which I thought was fine. It was not super fresh, but it was not rancid or incredibly stale as others have claimed (again, maybe I was just there on a good day). At any rate, I probably wouldn’t return here, since there are far better (and cleaner) bakeries in Seattle.  Still, at least I got a good brioche out of the trip.

 

Hiroki

November 14, 2011

A neighborhood bakery with a Japanese twist, Hiroki specializes in fresh, unique, European cakes and pastries. Located in Tangletown, that confusing area that’s not quite Greenlake, not quite Wallingford, Hiroki is a hidden gem (with parking!).

The space itself is unassuming, although a nice spot for a cup of tea or espresso (they do both). There was a decent array of things to choose from, and I scanned the display eager for the Green Tea Tiramisu I’d heard about.

Sadly, I didn’t see it, so I opted instead for the regular tiramisu and the chocolate gateau. I was a little surprised by the prices, which seemed high, but I rarely let my wallet come between me and good tiramisu.

The chocolate cake was good, but not amazing. It was just a little too mousse-like for me – I like my cake to be cake-like! The tiramisu, on the other hand, was excellent. Even though it lacked the green tea flavor I had been looking forward to, it was still unique in terms of it’s incredibly lightness. Every bite felt like air – really delicious, flavorful, air. It allowed me to eat much more than I really needed to eat, and made me disinclined to share.  I’d go back to try the green tea variety, or just to eat more of the “regular” tiramisu.

 

Molly Moon’s Ice Cream

September 20, 2010

As the curtains of summer begin to close, I’m racing to get my last few scoops of ice cream in. I’ve been to most of the major ice cream parlors in Seattle, and here’s where it stands: Best quality ice cream: Old School Frozen Custard. Best place to get a warm waffle cone: Full Tilt. Best variety of flavors: Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream.  With parlors in Wallingford and Capitol Hill, plus a mobile truck you can follow on Twitter, Mollly Moon’s is accessible and delicious.

The shops tend to get crowded on hot summer days, but stop by for a scoop of maple-bacon ice cream this winter and you’ll probably be able to grab a table.  Molly Moon’s specializes in local, seasonal ingredients, leading to some fairly adventurous creations: honey lavender, balsamic strawberry, or sweet corn. If that sounds a little too exotic, you can stick to the basics, like I did:

Strawberry ice cream in a homemade waffle cone. I wished there were more strawberry pieces in the ice cream (I like my strawberry ice cream “chunky”) but other than that, success.  An additional bonus: the Capitol Hill location is right across the street from Cal Anderson Park – a lovely place to enjoy an ice cream cone and a stroll.

Irwin’s

April 11, 2010

Driving through Wallingford the other weekend, I happened to notice a small coffee shop tucked away on 40th, off the main drag. It looked cozy and inviting, so I returned last weekend to check it out up close.

Irwin’s is a small bakery that also serves small lunches and good coffee (Caffe Vita).  In addition, they have free wifi, making it possible for me to blog as I ate!  The cafe is friendly, comfortable, and low-key: perfect for hanging out with friends or working solo on your laptop.


Having done a little research on Yelp prior to visiting, I knew that the muffins and scones were the way to go. I started with a blueberry muffin and a cup of coffee.

This seriously ranks up there with the blueberry muffins of the world, for several reasons. First, the top of the muffin was coated with large, coarse sugar crystals, making each bite along the top extra crunchy and sweet. Second, they don’t skimp on the blueberries – there were several per bite! Third, the flavor and texture were very … muffiny. Crumbly, moist, buttery, etc – every bite was heaven. I downed the muffin quickly and moved on to the cookies:


Let’s start with the not-so-good: although their website promises that their chocolate chip cookie is the best ever, I found it to be much too salty.  The jam & sugar cookie, on the other hand, was perfect. The jam wasn’t too gelatinous, and the cookie was softer than it looks. Sweet and buttery goodness!

Finally, I bought home an apple-pecan scone. How good was it? It was so good that I couldn’t even get a photo of it before it disappeared!!! Seriously! It was absolute perfection, with a whole apple slice across the top, and a layer of cinnamon apple crumble tucked into the middle.  I will keep returning just for the scones and muffins… and I suggest you do the same!!

Cafe Chocolati

January 28, 2010

Chocolati, a Seattle chocolatier, has several cafe locations in addition to their factory in Greenlake.  I stopped by their Wallingford location (they also have a location in the downtown Seattle Public Library) to see what all the fuss is about.

The cafe is the right combination of Seattle-grunge-coffeeshop and Seattle-fine-chocolateshop and there was a heady aroma of both coffee and chocolate (the best of both worlds!).  Although some people have complained about poor service, I didn’t have any problems (although I didn’t go with the barista’s recommendations).

There was no real food, so if you want a sandwich or some breakfast with your coffee you’ll need to go elsewhere. However, in terms of desserts, there were two different displays to look at – one consisted of all the different chocolates offered (made in their own factory) and another of various cookies and dessert items:

I chose two chocolates – the Bittersweet and the Cocoa Beware.  To round things out, I also grabbed a Chocolate-Dipped Chocolate Chip cookie:

The chocolates were good, although I didn’t think the Bittersweet was bitter enough. The Cocoa Beware was much more intense and interesting, with a hint of nutmeg.  But the real highlight was definitely the cookie. It was everything I like in a cookie – soft but not chewy, crumbly, buttery, flavorful. The high-quality chocolate coating (and chocolate chips) made it complete. I would definitely go back just for the cookie (or a cup of hot chocolate… I hear it’s really good!).

Trophy Cupcakes

September 20, 2009

The cupcake competition in Seattle has definitely gotten hotter in the last few years, with several local shops and chains vying for customers (think Royale, Trophy, and Yellowleaf). I have yet to declare my allegiance – after all, why choose one when you can just have them all? However, I do have a soft spot for Trophy Cupcakes as it was my first Seattle cupcake experience after moving here from New York, the cupcake capitol of the world.

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Trophy has several locations, including Wallingford, the U-Village, and Bellevue. I think one of the best things about Trophy (besides the actual cupcakes) is the revolving selection of flavors. There’s always a flavor of the month,  special cupcakes available only on certain days of the week, and seasonal creations. The fact that you never know what’s going to be waiting for you makes cupcake hunting even more exciting!

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A few of the more interesting flavors include snickerdoodle, peanut butter and jelly, chai cardamom – and once I had a margarita cupcake! This time, however, we decided to stick to more traditional flavors, starting with carrot cake and cream cheese frosting.

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Very delicious, although I would have liked a little more cake with all that frosting. Trophy puts a great deal of emphasis on ingredients, with their website mentioning Valrhona Cocoa and Pure Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. To test the quality of the latter, we moved onto Vanilla-Vanilla (vanilla cake, vanilla frosting):

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Again, a little less frosting would help balance the textures, but the cake had an intense vanilla flavor and wonderfully buttery texture. One of the reasons I like Trophy is that their cupcakes are not overly sweet, and the Vanilla was perfectly sugary without being sickeningly so. Finally, we gave into our peanut butter craving with the chocolate cake – peanut butter frosting combo.

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This was my favorite of the cupcakes, but I only managed a small bite before it was devoured by one of my football player students. However, he pronounced it delicious and I agreed. It seems that Trophy, which has only been around for two and a half years, is already a winner.