Posts Tagged ‘seattle bakery’

Amandine

May 2, 2016

I probably didn’t need another French bakery in walking distance, but after tasting the macarons at Amandine Bakeshop in Chophouse Row (Cap Hill) I decided it didn’t hurt to have options. And Amandine is an excellent option. Macarons are definitely the reason to come here, although the pastries are also good (I enjoyed my fresh, perfectly crackly danish). Let me say, first of all, that I don’t especially LIKE macarons because I don’t especially LIKE almond flavored desserts.  But I got a black currant macaron to be nice, along with my Danish and madeline.

image

All were enjoyable, but the macaron was MUCH more enjoyable than what I was expecting. There was no taste of almond paste, and the texture was not air, and the flavor was not sugar. There was more of a cookie element than I was expecting. And I love cookies. So naturally I had to return to the counter and get a few more to-go:

image

On the left is lime mimosa, on the right is grapefruit sage (most of their flavors are equally creative). Both were phenomenal and again, intensely flavored and not too delicately textured. If you need more reason to go to Amandine, they serve Empire Espresso and have free wifi… and they’re near an ice cream shop. What more does one need?

Advertisements

Golden Wheat Bakery

October 7, 2013

After a month-long (or more?) hiatus, I’m launching myself back into the world of sweets. I eased myself into my return with a trip to a cute neighborhoody spot in the Central District called Golden Wheat Bakery.  It stands out on an otherwise unassuming corner because of its fire engine red paint and display of knitted items you might want to buy while shopping for baked goods:

image

I wasn’t in the market for scarves, but the cookies and pastries sure looked good, as did the breads. The girl at the counter was super friendly, even when things started getting busy. She helped identify everything and shared some cookie samples, and I eventually settled on a Pecan Sandy Shortbread cookie and a chocolate croissant.

image

 

Let’s start with the Pecan Sandy, which was truly excellent. No shortage of butter, with a couple larger chunks of pecan and a grainy sugar coating.  Melt-in-your-mouth legit goodness with that one. The croissant was a let-down after that – it was too doughy and not at all flakey. Still, overall it was a good experience and I’d come back to munch on Sandies and get some work or reading done (though I wouldn’t mind if they turned down the Katy Perry Miley Cyrus radio station…).

 

60th St Desserts

March 11, 2012

Despite being located at 74 St, 60th Street Desserts does a great job satisfying the Sand Point neighborhood’s bakery needs. Originally started as a wholesale business baking for local eateries, the bakery now has it’s own (very small) location right near Magnuson Park – perfect for an after-soccer treat.

Be aware that there’s no place to sit inside – bring your treats home or make a picnic in the park. The selection was a bit limited, but there are also whole cakes (frozen) that you can take home. I wish they sold more things by the slice, but I did manage to find a single slice of coffee cake which I quite enjoyed.  Even more enjoyable, however, was the mini Chocolate Decadence (also comes in cake size):

Also, who can resist these little guys?

Overall, an enjoyable food experience. I would return for the whole frozen cakes, especially of the chocolate variety (the traditional chocolate cake looks bomb).

 

High 5 Pie

January 31, 2011

Let me start this off with a disclaimer: I’m not really a pie person. Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Cherry Pie… they just don’t do it for me.  The only pie that I truly relish is Pecan Pie, but even then it has to be just perfect (lots of pecans, really dark corn syrup, short crust). Since I’m so picky, I wasn’t surprised that High 5‘s flipside pecan pie disappointed me:

The inside was mostly just sugar… and I know that’s the main ingredient of pecan pie, but it really just tasted like biting into a cube of brown sugar. It wasn’t gooey enough and there were only a few pecans. And the crust wasn’t up to snuff. Luckily for me (since I hate writing bad reviews, and really hate eating food I don’t like), the savory pies are MUCH better. The crust was nice and salty, the fillings were creative (I had one with caramelized onions and Gruyere), and the flipside pies are just the right size for snacking. I also liked the “cutie pies,” pictured below:

And they had so many different varieties! I wanted to try a whole bunch, but I didn’t have enough space in my stomach. Fortunately, a selection of their pies are carried at all Fuel Coffee locations, which means I can grab one on my way to work! The space inside High 5 is also perfect if you like to eat while you work – they have wi-fi and a good amount of seating with space to spread out with your books and/or laptop.

High 5 is one 12th and Madison in Capitol Hill. They are open every day and keep early and late hours just in case you ever get that craving right after dinner… or breakfast.

 

Cafe Besalu

December 9, 2009

If you’ve ever spent any time in Paris and then searched in vain for pastries of the same caliber here in Seattle, Cafe Besalu in Ballard has your answer.  But be prepared to wait your turn: there are often lines out the door and table space is limited (as are the cafe’s hours).

Once you taste the pastries (including croissants, quiches, turnovers, and twists) you’ll understand the reason for Besalu’s popularity. But first, be prepared to make some difficult choices:

Since I knew I’d never be able to choose just one item, I split several with a friend (after we each downed a slice of quiche). I chose the chocolate croissant (pain au chocolat), the fruit danish, and the cinnamon twist and we tucked in.

Naturally, I liked the chocolate croissant the best, followed by the cinnamon twist (I’ve never been big on fruit desserts – they seem too much like health food!). Some people have complained on Yelp that there isn’t enough chocolate in the croissant, but in my opinion more chocolate would just overwhelm the buttery flavor and flakey texture of the pastry. Perfect as it is… this man would know:

Cafe Besalu is at 5909 24th Ave NW in Ballard.

Volunteer Park Cafe

September 26, 2009

For being a small, hidden, neighborhood cafe, the Volunteer Park Cafe does a brisk business, especially on sunny Saturday and Sunday mornings. To avoid the crowds, I decided to order at the counter and take my treat to – where else? – Volunteer Park for a Sunday morning picnic. If you’re visiting on a summer day, it’s best to eat outside (there are sidewalk tables if you don’t feel like taking it to the park) because it gets very hot inside the restaurant.

028

Despite the heat, I do like the interior of the cafe – the building is over 100 years old, and was a small grocery in the early 1900s. The owners have tried to preserve the nostalgic atmosphere with furniture and decor that feels homey and venerable, with a long communal table taking up much of the interior space.

inside

But, on to more important things: the food, the coffee, and the dessert (all are good, but let’s just focus on the latter). When faced with a counter full of cookies, pastries, scones, and cakes, I had a hard time choosing, especially since the breakfast menu also included a nutella-strawberry panini.

counter

As usual, I ended up asking the staff for help.  The girl at the counter steered me away from the nutella panini and toward the muffins. I eventually decided on a berry-nut muffin, and set up shop at a picnic table in the park. I started eating and almost forgot to take the picture:

muffin

The muffin was satisfying in the way that only butter and sugar can be, but I felt it was missing something. Now, I know, that I often complain about things being too sweet or too rich, but in this case, I thought the muffin could have used more streusel topping (butter and sugar), and just more top in general (don’t you like the top of the muffin best?). I know I’m being picky, but to tell the truth, I’ve had trouble getting just the right treat at VPC, and every time I go there I leave wanting a little bit MORE.

I’ll just have to go back and try again.