Although I have merely plain vanilla bronchitis, antibiotics and I are once again BFFs. The car, apparently feeling neglected, decided to take a moment to conk out, thereby wresting my attention away from the antics of my lungs and (lazy ass) immune system. Fabulous. Very exciting, as usual.
So, the bakeries.
Trophy Cupcakes. Beauty queen cupcakes. Those suckers should be displayed with sashes reading "Miss Vanilla" and the like. My favorite is probably their chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. The cake in their chocolate cake is moist and rich. However. Although their frosting is beautiful (and tastes just fine), there’s just a little too much (unless you are six, and eat only the frosting and the very top of the cupcake, in which case go for their red velvet, a favorite of my resident six-year-old).
Bakery Nouveau. Probably the best all-around bakery in Seattle. While not every single item is tops in its category, their overall quality is excellent. Their croissants and pain au chocolate are good. Their chocolate cake is the best in town. Seriously. Best. In. Town. Their chocolate éclairs are solid (but not the best in town). Stumpy is an enormous fan of the mocha eclair there. Their BLTs are amazing. Their baguettes are scrumptious (and get our vote, narrowly, for best baguette in town). And their olive fougasse (laminated or not, pictured above in standard issue) may well be my very favorite bread in the city. Stumpy will eat half a loaf of olive fougasse as if he’s turned into Cookie Monster (pre-healthy food bullshit makeover) attacking a cookie, crumbs flying everywhere, snorting with joyful abandon as he guzzles, before he remembers that he’s supposed to share and looks guiltily around.
Columbia City Bakery. I like Columbia City’s coffeecakes (when the flavor combos suit me. I love coffee cake, but am- shocker- rather picky). Their cookies are very good. Their sandwiches are delicious. But their plain-Jane baguette is the very best thing in the shop, and it is sensational. Whether or not it’s better than Bakery Nouveau’s is a matter of personal taste. Both baguettes are immensely appealing, and Columbia City Bakery has the added advantage of being across the street from Geraldine's Counter (have a nice breakfast, pick up a baguette for dinner, and maybe a piece of coffee cake for the next day). I should say that although their cupcakes are very appealing, and the cake itself is very good, I do not care for the frosting at all.
Café Besalu. It’s probably a good thing for the seams in my pants that this place is across town, in Ballard. Hands down, no contest at all, winner of the best pain au chocolat in town. Just unbelievably, joy-creatingly good. Great croissant and fruit danishes. Their quiches are wonderful. And although I am not a biscuit/scone girl, their ginger biscuits are delectable.
Dahlia Bakery. The Dahlia Bakery is Curly’s current favorite, in no small part, I think, because of any bakery we go to, the staff there areamong the better-informed about potential nuggets of allergy-induced death in their food. And the Dahlia Bakery delivers the goods, baked goods-wise. I am not fond of peanut butter, or peanut butter cookies, but the Dahlia Bakery’s peanut butter cookie is unbelievably good. The kind of good that you make detours for (yes, I have made detours just to get myself a damn cookie). The coconut cream pie is maybe not as good as the hype, but still pretty damn good. Eclairs are strong. The seasonal-themed frosted sugar cookies are cute, and the kids eat them happily, but I’ll say again: I don’t really care for sugar cookies. Their breads are very, very good. Their seasonal fruit pies are also scrumptious, and not overly sugary (I also like their pie plate deposit program). The reigning champ of their baked goods for both Curly and my boy, right now, is their darkly delicious chocolate truffle cookie. Also, the bakery recently started making home-made Twinkies, which I thought was funny, so I bought one and gave it to the kids to split. They asked what it was, and I said it was a home-made Twinkie. My boy looked at me and said "what's a Twinkie?" Eating local is great, but maybe I should lighten up and let the kid eat a little more plastic "food" now and then. It seems a little wrong not to know what a Ding Dong tastes like (you should taste it before you turn your nose up at it, right? Right?). I can't believe I'm defending Ding Dongs. Side effect of the antibiotics? The handout did say I might want to check how drunk I feel before I operate heavy machinery.
next up, but probably not until after Thanksgiving: Le Panier, Chocolopolis (okay, not technically a bakery, but... there might be a baked good in that store. Somewhere.), Macrina, Bella Dolce, Le Fournil