Tag Archives: outside the District

Sea-FAT-tle Eatenings

OH SNAPPPPPP So when Kat and I travel, our meals go like so:

If you don’t have a seasoned sweet-tooth, I can’t exactly recommend a diet that consists primarily of sugary goods. It was almost too much for us, but the pastries were just DEMANDING that we eat them. So, thanks to the magic of Yelp and Cakespy’s ‘Seattle’ tag, we managed to hit up…

Twede’s Cafe–CONSUMED: Cherry Pie, Coffee

Kendra: As a Twin Peak’s fan, I couldn’t pass this up; the diner (and it’s ubiquitous coffee and pie) feature prominently in the series. The original place burned down, and the remodeled interior looked quite different (no more wood paneling, the red booths were now blue) but the central serving area remains. The woman who originally made the pie while the show was shooting (about oh, around twenty years ago) is also gone, but hey, when in Rome…

Kat: Worth it for the beautiful North Bend countryside. A rewarding stop after our hiking. Quite upfront about being a tourist trap.

 

Mon Hei Chinese Bakery–CONSUMED: Egg Custard, Coconut Bun

Kendra: Yelper’s liked it, we tried it–the egg custard was too eggy, but the coconut bun was sweet and satisfying.

Kat: The coconut bun was a meal unto itself, although not really my thing. Egg custard was definitely on the hearty side rather than the sweet side.

Fuji Bakery–CONSUMED: Orange Chocolate Brioche, Twinings Brioche, Pear Tart

Kendra: I initially mourned the passing of Unicorn Crepes (mochi in a crepe? yes!), but at least Fuji Bakery is a worthy replacement. A French-style Japanese bakery with immaculate presentation–everything just looks PERFECT. It tasted good too–everything was great, but the pear tart was flaky, creamy, and delectable.

Kat: Everything was presented impeccably, and the designs were sometimes quite unexpected. I was quite taken with the perfect cylinders of whole wheat bread. They have mainly dough-based offerings, covering savory through sweet. The Twinings Brioche, with quite detectable bergamot flavor, straddled the line between the two. With the cream cheese, although this pastry is lightly-sweet, it almost seems like an appropriate lunch item. Chunks of candied orange peel embedded in the dough of the chocolate brioche elevated it to above-ordinary. And the pear tart was outstanding, definitely A-plus material. I should also mention that the staff behind the counter were quite friendly.

 

 

 

The Confectional–CONSUMED: White Chocolate Lemon Mini-Cheesecake

Kendra: Usually cheesecake is too much for me, but these mini-cakes (almost like cupcakes, in a way) were the perfect size and ratio of cheesecake to topping. This lemon-based flavor was pretty refreshing!

Kat: Really, really good, and the individually-formed and garnished presentation was quite appealing.

 

Piroshky Piroshky!–CONSUMED: Oscar’s Star

Kendra: The line was so  long, and I was so caught up in wanting to get a marzipan piroshky that when I was informed they were out, I stupidly ordered something that WASN’T a piroshky. Whatever fried-dough pastry I got wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t worth finishing (!!!). Kat: Not quite as exciting as it appeared from a distance. Messy.

 

 

Cupcake Royale–CONSUMED! mini vanilla/vanilla, white chocolate blackberry chocolate chip, triple threat (chocolate^3)

Kendra: Pretty solid cupcakes here! The mini vanilla/vanilla turned out to be the dark horse, and I was kicking myself that we didn’t get a normal sized version. The chocolate blackberry and triple threat were still pretty tasty; I can see why this is Seattle’s  #1 cupcakery. NO FILLED CUPCAKES THOUGH ;_;

Kat: Dense, spongy cakes with airy frosting. I agree, the vanilla was the most satisfying.

 

strawberrrrry

Honoré Artisan Bakery–CONSUMED: Strawberry Danish

Kendra: This was quite off the beaten path, and doesn’t even have much signage to help you out–but the danish we split proved why it’s fun to explore.

Kat: The flaky crust of the danish was top notch. A good pick-me-up on the way between the Ballard Farmer’s Market and Larsen’s Bakery.

Larsen’s Danish Bakery–CONSUMED: Smorkage, Mazzarine, “Potato”

Kendra: SMORKAGE. Just say it out loud. SMORKAGE. An amazing name for what amounted to a breakfast sweet roll that was stuffed with almond paste. DELICIOUS. I have to say, this place was by far my favorite sweet-spot on the trip. This is due in part to the fact that ‘Swedish’ is shorthand for ‘stuff/cover everything with almond paste or marzipan. I LOVE MARZIPAN. The ‘potato’ was amazing–it’s basically an eclair that also has apricot jam, which is then wrapped in marzipan, coated in cocoa powder, and decorated to look like a potato. We ate it for breakfast, paired with ‘cupcake-flavored coffee’ from Caffe Lieto. The mazzarine was almond paste, chocolate, raspberry jam, pastry….need I say more?

Kat: So many baked goods. Cases after cases. And nothing has name cards, which makes for extra adventure. Toss-up between whether I miss this or Fuji Bakery more. The raspberry mazzarine thing was everything I want in a pastry, and extra-satisfying after 6 mile walk around Ballard. Definitely an A+. Smorkage is a big, ring-shaped coffee/breakfast-like thing. Tasty, but more snacky than satisfying. The Potato was a behemoth of a dessert. Quite nice, in that ‘will this kill me’ way. A heavy-hitter of the pastry league. Potatoes from Larsen's

The Crumpet Shop–CONSUMED: Crumpet with Maple Butter

Kendra: After three previous attempts to buy a crumpet from here ended in failure, we had a SUCCESS. Was it worth all the trips? Hey, cross an english muffin with a pancake, cover it in maple butter, and try to resist it! YOU CAN’T. It was delicious.

Kat: Quite nice, but not necessarily worth going early for.

Yellow Leaf Cupcakery–CONSUMED: Lavender cupcake, what was the other one…Dulce de Leche?

Kendra: This place reminded me of Lavender Moon back home; creative flavors, light cake base, cream cheese-esque frosting, tiny shop. Pleasant.

Kat: I actually can’t remember these cupcakes at all, but I did appreciate the range of flavors available.

 

In CONCLUSION… Miles walked: Many Calories consumed: countless Seattle: Only partially conquered!

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Seattle preview!

We just got back from Seattle, and boy did we eat a lot! Once we finish digesting we’ll put up a proper post. We ate smørkage, drank cupcake coffee, and even met Cakespy!

ponies and robots and cupcakes, oh my!

More to come!

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Factsheet & Review: Lavender Moon

lavender cupcakes more like, amirite?

Lavender Moon Cupcakery is slightly off the beaten path, since it’s not in D.C. proper (but it is near a metro!) and not even on the main street (King) in Old Town–but it’s definitely worth checking out. And hey, the owner used to be Donald Trump’s personal chef!

Location: 116 South Royal Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Neighborhood: Old Town Alexandria

Transit: Closest Metro stop is King Street on the Blue Line; head east on King Street, down towards the Potomac. It’s a little less than a mile from the Metro.

part of the setup

Seating: It’s located in one of the old brick rowhouses, and has a few tables and chairs inside if you feel like hanging out. Otherwise, you could go next door to the Grape & Bean to get some coffee/wine with your cupcake.

Sweets: Since it’s just a cupcakery, all you get are cupcakes, $3.00 each.

Over two visits (6 cupcakes at once is a bit much, even for us!), we tried:

blackberry thyme

Blackberry Thyme!

Flourless Chocolate!

irish coffee cake!

Irish Coffee Cake!

lemon curd

Lemon Curd!

Green tea+Lavender!

…and ‘Butterscotch’, but I don’t think the cashier knew what she was talking about (it tasted like…nothing topped with a frosting that tasted slightly like peanut butter?).

Kendra: Lavender Moon opened a few years ago near my work, and initially it was a bit of a let down–a lack of consistent hours (half the time they were closed!) coupled with hit-or-miss flavors led to a shaky start. Since then, they’ve definitely improved–to the point where they are close to the top of my “Best DC-area Cupcakes” list. They’re willing to take chances with the flavors–roasted fig & basil, chestnut, and pomegranate have all made appearances. I appreciate this creativity, and the fact that the flavors are always rotating and different (coupled with a few tried n’ true mainstays) means that there’s always something new to try.

If there is anything to critique, it’s that an overwhelming majority of their flavors have cream cheese frosting–at least, from what my tastebuds can discern. While their cream cheese frosting isn’t bad at all (unlike Baked & Wired’s), it tends to overwhelm some of the more subtle flavors of the cake (like in the Green Tea Lavender). Also, as is the case with being creative–sometimes their flavors work (the blackberry thyme was refreshing and tasty tasty), and sometimes they don’t (their Tiramisu cake, while not bad, doesn’t really taste like tiramisu). Additionally, they don’t have a website, so you can’t check on what flavor will be available on any given day.

Kat: Lavender Moon is a top-tier cupcakery. They offer a lot of filled cupcakes and unusual flavors. The cupcakes are smaller than Baked & Wired’s, and the price is appropriate for the size. The cakes themselves are less sweet, with more emphasis on frosting and filling. The cream cheese frostings are light and delicious, though if you try several flavors in a row that use cream cheese they can be a bit samey. As Kendra mentioned, some flavors are more successful that others. The flourless chocolate cake and lemon curd are quite tasty, and I believe they are regulars. I have been seduced by the tiramisu twice, only to be a little disappointed that it tastes more like buttermilk pancakes (which is still a good taste of course!). If you are in Alexandria, you should definitely try Lavender Moon.

WE ARE SOOOO COOL

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Outside the District–Song Que

I can’t exactly justify driving two hours down I-95 to Richmond whenever I’m in the mood for bubble tea, so I’ve had to find DMV alternatives.

ENTER THE DRAGON

Song Que

6769 Wilson Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22044

While it isn’t the most accessible bubble tea joint in the DC-area (on top of needing a car, you need to have the desire to brave the hell that is 7 Corners), it’s certainly one of the tastier options. And it has really good/cheap banh mi! WIN-WIN SITUATION HERE.

ooo yeah banh mi!

Eden Center is Northern Virginia’s big Vietnamese hotspot. As part of this shopping center, Song Que sells a bunch of prepackaged snacks, meals, dried squid, and the occasional Asian fruit (mangosteen!).

not quite as extensive as TT lounge

You can’t really make it out from this photo, but those are the bubble tea options. Yeah, not as extensive as TT Lounge. But as bubble tea isn’t their main focus, it’s forgivable.

Pictured–the Eden Center gate, taro bubble tea, and the interior of Marymary’s luxurious Subaru Outback.

Kendra: These are more like milkshakes or smoothies–very thick, and depending on the flavor it may actually be made with that particular ingredient (i.e. avocado). The flavors lean towards Asian–jackfruit, red bean, taro, and durian (!!!) all make appearances. I’ve had their bubble tea on multiple occasions, and sometimes the tapioca balls have been frozen 😛 but when they aren’t they’re perfect. B+

Kat: I’ve only been here twice. The first time I ordered Thai Iced Tea with boba, the second time I got the taro flavor. I’ll go back to Thai Tea next time, because it seems to be one of the few flavors that does not come as a slushy. Both times the bubbles had good, chewy texture. B+

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