Sort of Ridiculous

April 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

This behemoth speaks for itself:

And what it says is, “Hi! I’m the apple walnut scone from Bakeri and I’m about the size of your head, if not larger!”

With a crunchy top and soft, moist interior, held together by apple and walnut and just enough salt to bring out the best of the sweetness, this guy is an honest winner. Reminiscent of City Bakery‘s Baker’s muffin, no?

Even when viewed next to a (smallish) coffee cup, this is one enormous scone. Bring your appetite, or otherwise your friends, so that they can at least get you into a stroller for post-scone-naptime.

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Montrose Pumpkins

February 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last week I ended up on the same corner two mornings in a row, leaving both times from two separate stores with a coffee and pumpkin muffin in hand. You might say I was going through a phase; you might also say I conducted an ad-hoc neighborhood survey.

The first was from Cup: decent if not a little bland and uniform in texture:

The second, from Boulevard, was definitely my favorite.

This guy had more punch, more flavor, and just the slightest bit more contrast between crisp outer edge and moist interior. It tasted like real pumpkin, a little earthy and not too sweet.

A combination of Boulevard’s muffin and Cup’s coffee and service would make any decadent Bushwick Ave. breakfast complete.

All Yesterday’s Parties

January 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Memories of potlucks generally revolve around the food and company, flavored by goodwill and generosity that comes as everyone joins in sharing each others’ culinary creations. But when the eating is over and the parties move elsewhere we are sometimes left with a beguiling graveyard of morsels. Take, for instance, my friend’s kitchen this past fall:

 

Vegetal carcasses.

 

Dead bread.

 

Bare bones.

Distasteful? Unappetizing? Perhaps. Intriguing? Revealing? I would say so.

Rum Baba

January 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last week Ben and Sarah refused to let me leave their apartment without trying some rum cake:

(Alright so you never have to make me eat dessert, but still)– I loved it.

Nothing fancy here; plain yellow cake gets doused in copious amounts of butter and rum, the glaze concentrating along its outer edges to produce that intoxicating play between moist and crunchy achieved only after numerous baths of melted sugar coating.

So sweet and more than a tad boozy: just the way I like ’em.

House of Small Wonder

January 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

I often find that Mondays call for an ‘adventure’ to get moving and motivated for the week. After two glorious days without structure, a fixed waking hour is quite jarring without distractions along the way. This morning my legs carried my bleary-eyed self under the BQE and into a darling new shop (appropriately named House of Small Wonder) where I discovered a wormhole into a cozy, anachronistic coffee shop of yore.

An Americano and slice of banana bread, please.

Both of these items were understatedly fantastic, the Americano perfectly pulled and with just the right (barista-added) amount of milk to mellow the harshness without masking any flavor. The bread was incredibly moist and balanced in texture with soft banana, crunchy walnuts and perfectly in-between chocolate chips. A sprinkle of demerara sugar sent me head over heels; this place is no small wonder but an excellent addition to the neighborhood.

Shaking Things Up

January 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Sometimes people are just nice.

One morning last week it was raining, I was grumpy, and the L train did not seem to be running to Manhattan around the time of my commute. In a fit of impatience I jumped onto a Brooklyn-bound train and decided to get off at the Graham stop, in search of coffee and a pastry to provide sustenance before attempting to commute again.

Stumbling into Variety Café it appeared I had found my safe haven: no line, wafting Stumptown, and an ample supply of muffins. I asked for a small french press and a pumpkin-apple option– only to discover that the contents of my wallet in no way fit with the “Cash Only” sign on the register.

I told the barista to cancel my order as the rain outside felt ever more appropriate. But then, a miracle! He laughed and asked if I lived in the area. I replied yes and he said, “It’s not a problem! Just come on by and pay us another day. Really, we do this all the time. Don’t worry.”

As emotions were running high that morning upon hearing these words I almost cried; instead I simply told him he was wonderful and that I’d be back that evening.

True to my promise I returned later with a $5 bill in tow. And the muffin? Tasted like the best apples, pumpkins, walnuts and flexible payment schedule I’d ever swallowed.

New Monster

November 29, 2011 § 1 Comment

There’s nothing like the Thanksgiving long weekend to really put life back into perspective. Generally it involves some travel (for me, a whopping 15 minute drive “south”), rest, and time with old friends and/or family, the combination of which generally heads to self-reflection. You can’t help but notice what has changed since the last holiday, those people and things that have impacted you in the most enduring and profound ways.

This year, I came to terms with one of my lost loves whose presence has sadly been missing from my life since the summer. It’s name, as you might recall, is Monster:

That’s right, I miss my favorite cookie. And yes, it exists in two different bakeries within a 20 minute bike ride (or G train trip!) of my new apartment, making this melancholy all the more ridiculous. But I am stubborn, and perhaps lazy, and for whatever reason I just haven’t gotten around to returning to the old haunts. The city is large and worth exploring! Therefore imagine my immense pleasure upon discovering a new Monster at one of my favorite delis in Greenpoint, Brooklyn Standard.

Although they share the same name these baked items seem much more like cousins as opposed to identical (or even fraternal) twins. Where Tazza’s version is hefty, good for a full meal if not several, the Greenpoint variety is lighter with much less butter. This new Monster seems more like a trail bar or GORP’M bound by oats than a cookie and for this reason I considered it to be excellent post-breakfast fodder. While perhaps no match for the original Monster, my new friend definitely satisfies the craving. And apparently there is another relative at El Beit? Let the adventures continue.

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