Showing posts with label bakery review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bakery review. Show all posts

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ruby Cakes Bakery, Willamette Valley, OR

My friend, Corey, and I arrived at a winery in McMinnville, Oregon about 30 minutes earlier than our scheduled appointment. Imagine how delighted we were to find that right next door was a vegan bakery -- Ruby Cakes! Wow - there are so many vegan bakeries in Oregon!

So we stopped by to grab a few treats. Come to find out that this bakery specializes in allergen-free baking so it is gluten-free, vegan, and nut-free. I was still pretty full from lunch so I only indulged in two tiny bite-size cupcakes.  Before I mention the food though, I have to mention the decor. It was a huge bakery with a lot of seating including an area that had rocking chairs and sofas. What a great setting!

Just be careful as you walk to the restroom as there is this creepy snowman holding cupcakes hovering over the door. Other than that, I think it is pretty safe.

I first tried the Salted Caramel Chocolate cupcake. Although I found it to be rich, the flavor wasn't all that great.  The other one I tried was the Blackberry Poppyseed. Now this one was moist and rich with a great tasting blackberry filling. I was very impressed.

Other items on the menu included bread, cookies, donuts, muffins, whoopie pies, brownies, and scones.  Corey appeared to enjoy all of his baked goods as he didn't share any with me. :(

So if you are in the area, definitely check out Ruby Cakes!

Ruby Cakes Bakery
920 NE 8th Street
McMinnville, OR 97128
(503) 857-0636

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Back to Eden Bakery, Portland

During the Vida Vegan Con conference, I had the pleasure of dining at the Portland Breakfast Showcase, which featured small samples from local vegan businesses in Portland. After trying all of the samples, I determined that the savory pie I got from Back to Eden Bakery was the best item there, which made me want to seek out this bakery.

And, lo and behold, there it was right next to Townshend's Tea Company on Alberta Street! Back to Eden is not just a bakery -- they also serve some savory items like quiches, soups, and salads. But, what really makes Back to Eden unique is that not only is it completely vegan, it is gluten-free as well. So all items are vegan AND gluten-free...and they are good too! Imagine that.

I can only eat so much so I just decided to buy one thing when I stopped by the bakery. With an extensive menu of sweets including donuts, cakes, cheesecakes, and pastries, it was hard to choose. I went for the Marionberry Coffee Cake and saved it for breakfast the next day. It was spectacular. The fresh marionberries melted in my mouth as I enjoyed the sweet, moist coffee crumb cake surrounding them.

I also had the opportunity to try one of their cookies, which was pretty good as well. They obviously have some talented chefs at Back to Eden. Next time I'll come for lunch and stay for dessert as well.

Back to Eden Bakery
2217 NE Alberta St.
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 477-5022

Back to Eden Bakery on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 13, 2013

Voodoo Doughnut, Portland

Ever since my last visit to Portland, I have dreamed of Voodoo Doughnut's vegan doughnuts.  Only Mighty-O Donut in Seattle has ever rivaled Voodoo in terms of vegan doughnut deliciousness. (I should mention that I have not yet been to Dun-Well Doughnuts in NYC--soon!) There is just something exciting about being part of the donut craze here. Voodoo is open 24/7 and at nearly any time of the day, there is a line to get in. Why? Some may call it hype while others call it good donuts. Either way, it generates a stir and makes people even want them more. You can't help but notice the iconic pink box being carried by people all over the city.

So we decided to go to Voodoo Doughnut that is less busy, Voodoo Doughnut Too, outside of the downtown area. And on this Tuesday in the afternoon, it appeared we hit the jackpot. No line! Last time I came here, I waited like an hour for a donut. I was so excited.

When you go inside, you see the spinning trays of beautiful donuts. The top tray is all vegan and features at least 20 varieties. It is overwhelming. While it has become easier to get vegan cake donuts with several Whole Foods now producing them in house, it is not as easy to get the yeast-based donuts.

Interestingly enough, the lady who worked there said that the donut itself is the only thing that is different between the vegan and non-vegan varieties meaning that the cream and frosting they use on all of the donuts is vegan. The vegan donuts use soy and egg-replacer instead of dairy and eggs in the donut itself and that is the only difference. Interesting.

I decided to try both the yeast- and cake-based varieties so I went with a plain glazed donut and a chocolate cake donut.  I just chose simple flavors, but if you want to go all out, they have donuts with cookies and cream, fruit loops, sprinkles, triple chocolate penetration with coco-puffs, and so much more.

So the first one, the chocolate cake donut, was a fine donut. It seemed to get better as it melted in the car as I liked the way it tasted later on in the day.

I was most impressed with the glazed donut as it had been a while since I had had one and it was just as good as I remember glazed donuts being. This donut rocked my world.

My friend, Corey, did something really interesting in that he chose the chocolate cream-filled donut in vegan and non-vegan varieties and tried to determine which was which. He ended up choosing incorrectly! He thought the vegan donut was creamier and richer than the non-vegan donut and thought it was the one with real cream! (This was before we found out that the cream used in both is the same.) How funny is that?!

Before I left, I used the restroom and was disturbed by the creepy donut monster that lurked inside. Beware.

Oh, Voodoo, you always rock my world. Please let me know when you decide to open a shop in DC. Better yet, stay over there. I'm not sure I could deal with you being so close. Keep rockin'. And remember, the magic is in the hole. Till next time.

Voodoo Doughnut Too
1501 NE Davis St.
Portland, OR 97232
(503) 241-4704

Voodoo Doughnut Too on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats - New Menu Items

Donuts! Need I say any more? Us vegans have traveled far and wide to find a good vegan donut not cooked in lard. From Mighty-O in Seattle to Voodoo Doughnut in Portland and Dun-Well Doughnuts in NYC, they are few and far between. Now, you too, can get donuts in DC as Sticky Fingers presents their exclusive line of baked donuts.

I was recently invited to a party at which Doron Petersan, the mastermind behind this bakery, presented some of her new menu items. In addition to some new savory burgers, wraps, and salads, she has added housemade hummuses, shakes, and donuts to her already fantastic lineup of food and baked goods.

Let's start with the donuts.  They are spectacular. My favorite was the Blueberry Lemon, which was a donut with lemon glaze and blueberries inside. It was just the right density and sweetness that makes for a perfect donut.

My next favorite was the Maple Pecan Twists. These are so good! As many of you know, it is much easier to find vegan cake donuts than it is to find your classic glazed donuts so to find a regular classic glazed donut in a twist covered with pecans was just like a dream come true.

I also really enjoyed the vanilla glazed and strawberry glazed donuts.

So as long as I was eating a ton of donuts, why not finish them off with shakes, right? All of the shakes at Sticky are made with So Delicious vegan milks. My favorite was the vanilla brownie shake. We're talking thick vanilla shake with big pieces of brownies in the bottom. Yum!

The peanut butter and vanilla shakes were also very, very good.

Gouter Drinks
Also on hand was a new flavor from the Gouter line of tonics - Refresh. Highly recommended.

Then there were the hummuses. What stuck out most to me was just how strongly flavored they all were -- in a good way. My favorite was the Lemon Tahini Dill. Other flavors that were great were the Roasted Garlic and Roasted Red Pepper.

I enjoyed the party so much that I came back later to try one of the salads in a wrap. I tried the power salad that has kale, quinoa, hummus, avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, and Beyond Meat. The hummus came on the side so I just spread it over each bite and added a little Tabasco and it was great!  Super healthy and tasty!

All in all, I think they've made some great improvements to the menu. So go out and get yourself a healthy wrap, then finish it with a donut and shake and let me know what you think in the comments below.  FYI -- the donuts are not available every day.

Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats
1370 Park Road NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 299-9700

Friday, March 29, 2013

Georgetown Cupcake - Vegan Cupcake

Georgetown Cupcake, the famous cupcake shop in Georgetown in Washington, DC, is finally making vegan cupcakes!  I got to try all three flavors at a party -- carrot, apple cinnamon, and cranberry spice.

Overall, I was not that impressed. In general, I found the cake part of the cupcakes to either be too dry or too oily depending upon which one I tried. As a result, they crumbled in my hand, which made them hard to eat.

The cranberry spice was my favorite of the three. It had a nice flavor, but the texture and density were lacking. I also thought that the ratio of frosting to cake was off for all of them -- way too much frosting. But, the frosting tasted pretty good.

I would say that it isn't likely I'll get any more of these anytime soon for two reasons: (1) I'm not waiting for 30 minutes in a line around the block for a cupcake and (2) Sticky Fingers cupcakes are so much better.

That's not to mention that Georgetown Cupcakes are tiny! They must be half the size of a Sticky Fingers cupcake. So while I'm happy to see they are taking a stab at it, they don't compare to Sticky's. I only hope they stick with it and improve on their vegan cupcakes over time.

Georgetown Cupcake
3301 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-8448

Georgetown Cupcake on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats, DC #3

I'm not going to spend a lot of time telling you about Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats, home of the best vegan cupcakes in the world. If you aren't familiar with one of the best vegan bakeries in the country, you can just read my previous reviews below. The purpose of this post is just to provide food porn and reiterate my love for these cupcakes.

On this trip, I got the chocolate covered strawberry cup and chocolate caramel salted pretzel.

The chocolate covered strawberry cup had strawberry icing with a hard chocolate coating while the chocolate cake was filled with strawberry filling. So much sugar, so little time. I even dissected it so you could see the deliciousness inside.

The chocolate caramel salted pretzel was awesome as well. Once again, the cupcakes were both as perfect as they could be. Just the right balance of moistness and density with icing that was not-too-sweet. I love that place.

One warning though: learn from my mistake and never eat a cupcake at 10 p.m. I laid awake until 2 a.m. from the sugar rush. But, when I did finally fall asleep, the vision of chocolate cupcakes danced in my head.

Previous reviews
Nov. 16, 2011
Jan. 31, 2012

Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats
1370 Park Road NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 299-9700

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cinnaholic, Berkeley #2

Cinnaholic's cinnamon rolls are the stuff vegan dreams are made of. As I recently posted a full review of this restaurant here, I won't go into a bunch of detail. I'll just provide you with a little food porn.

On this trip, we were again greeted by master cinnamon roll preparer, Justin. I ordered the S'mores specialty roll, which was topped with vanilla icing, chocolate chips, animal crackers (ironic, I know), and Dandies marshmallows. As always, a party in my mouth.

Zach created his own with chocolate chips and fresh bananas. I wasn't a big fan of having bananas on my cinnamon roll, but he absolutely loved it.

These cinnamon rolls really are to die for. I mean, if you were to die from the sugar rush, which is absolutely possible, you would die a very happy person while eating these cinnamon rolls. Oh, Cinnaholic, you make me want to visit Berkeley just for your cinnamon rolls. Thank you so much for existing! I can't wait to visit again soon.

2132 Oxford Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 647-8684

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wholesome Bakery, San Francisco

Zach, being the wonderful guy that he is, ordered a DOZEN cookie sandwiches to be delivered to me from Wholesome Bakery in San Francisco. A dozen might have been a bit too many, but it is the thought that counts!

I had never been to or even heard of this bakery and it turns out they are 100% vegan!  Every product they offer is wheat, dairy, egg, soy, yeast, and trans fat free. Zach ordered me the chocolate chip cookie sandwiches, which just happened to be gluten-free as well. Imagine my excitement when I received the box! I quickly opened it only to find plain brown oil-stained brown boxes. Well, I guess they aren't much for marketing. No matter - I opened the boxes up to find the cookie sandwiches.

Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed when I took a bite. The cookies were really crumbly so they made quite a mess. They were dry and really weren't that good. The cream inside was okay, not bad, but not incredibly good either.

Zach also tried to get them to ship me some cupcakes and donuts, but they said these items wouldn't ship well. I'd like to try their other items as I would hope they'd be better than these cookie sandwiches. I'll keep you posted.

Wholesome Bakery
2937 24th Street,
San Francisco, CA
(415) 343-5414

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Capital City Bakery, Austin

Our first stop in Austin was the Whole Foods. Why? Because Austin is home of the first Whole Foods and is Whole Foods' headquarters. Not to mention it is one of the biggest Whole Foods in the world!  While in Whole Foods, we ran into Chris and Crystal of Food for Lovers -- they make an awesome queso! They recommended that we go to Capital City Bakery to try their baked goods. Who could resist a glowing recommendation?

So, we kept that in the back of our minds and headed to eat at Conscious Cravings. Little did we realize that not only is Capital City Bakery a food trailer, it is right next to Conscious Cravings, a vegetarian (almost fully vegan) food trailer. How convenient! And it is a fully vegan bakery! Had Chris not recommended them though, I might not have gone over to take a look because the word "vegan" was nowhere to be seen.

When we walked over to check it out, the baker was cooking up a storm. The items that were already available included cupcakes, cookies, and brownies. Oh, which one to choose? The brownies were super thick, the cookies super fresh, and the cupcakes adorable. From strawberry to blondies, all of the cupcakes looked superb.

The baker/owner, Kristen Davenport, recommended her signature cupcake -- the peanut butter crunch. Oh my gosh, it was sooo good. It was a super moist chocolate cake topped with peanut butter icing, chocolate sauce, and ground chick-o-sticks. It truly tasted like a Butterfinger cupcake.

Afterwards, I went back to talk to Kristen only to find out that she had just opened this location 5 days ago! I was so excited to be one of her first customers.  On her website it states, "The connection between food, our health, and the world around us is undeniable - We’re dedicated to providing an alternative choice in attempt to preserve the environment, protect animals, and unite people through a love of food and a desire for progression." Love it. Go there now and get a cupcake. That is an order.

Capital City Bakery
1901 Rio Grande
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 666-7437

Friday, April 6, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakery, DC

So many cupcake shops, so little time. In this saturated market, DC definitely doesn't need any more cupcake shops. But, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I wish any of them would close! I just think you need to be special to really stand out in this market, which brings us to Red Velvet Cupcakery. Red Velvet Cupcakery opened its first bakery in the Penn Quarter area of DC in December of 2008. It was a welcome addition to an area filled with great restaurants, but few bakeries and almost no vegan desserts.

Although this tiny little cupcake shop doesn't have any seating inside of it, they partnered with the business next door to offer seating at their establishment. For years, they have offered one vegan flavor -- the Black Velvet, which is a moist chocolate cake made with Valrhona cocoa powder topped with a chocolate cream frosting. I have always loved this cupcake.

Now, they are offering a second vegan (and gluten-free) cupcake called the "White Velvet."  It is a vanilla bean cake with vanilla cream frosting. It is delightful -- moist and soft with a great tasting frosting. Well done, Red Velvet!

They even said they'd mix it up by putting the vanilla frosting on the chocolate cake or the chocolate frosting on the vanilla cake if you call in advance. Mmmm.  I'll be back soon to try that one. Red Velvet Cupcakery is my second favorite bakery behind Sticky Fingers Bakery, of course.

Red Velvet Cupcakery
501 7th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 347-7895

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cinnaholic, Berkeley

When I dream of baked goodie goodness, visions of cinnamon rolls dance in my head.  I haven't really had a cinnamon roll that knocked my socks off since going vegan, that is, until now. Cinnaholic is this amazing cinnamon roll utopia located in Berkeley, California.  Ever since seeing images of their rolls in VegNews, I've wanted to enjoy one and today was the day.

We spotted the orange awning from afar and parked right in front. When we walked in, we saw the specialty rolls on display and took a look at the menu. The possibilities are endless. You can top your roll with a variety of icings and toppings. It is a bit overwhelming. I mean, I really couldn't deal with it so after much hemming and hawing, I went for the specialty chocolate chip cookie dough roll.  Zach ordered a roll with mocha icing topped with brownie chunks and almonds. 

While we were ordering, one of those crazed Berkeley parking patrol people decided to ticket Zach's car -- a $43 parking ticket after about 3 minutes! You really need to watch it in this area. When Justin, the baker, rang us up, he told us he was allowed to give one free roll each day and he was giving it to Zach to help lessen the pain of the ticket. That was so nice!  He was really cool!

We sat down to enjoy the rolls at one of the tables. I had such high expectations that I was a bit worried they couldn't live up to them, but, boy, was I wrong. My roll was fresh and soft with a light vanilla icing. The chunks of cookie dough sprinkled with chocolate chips were an amazing complement to the icing. It all meshed together just as I had imagined. Wow!

Zach's was really, really good too. The mocha icing and brownie chunks were delish!  I found myself eating his and my roll at the same time.

Afterwards, we grabbed a brownie to go as well. As I was reluctantly moving towards the door, I noticed two tip jars. One was labeled "eat animals" while the other was labeled "love animals." Ack - eat animals?! I asked Justin why that was there and he said mostly to amuse himself and also to get people to make the connection. There was a little more money in the "eat animals" jar, which was very disturbing so I threw a buck into the "love animals" jar. Ha!

I now see why eating at Cinnaholic showed up in the bucket list of things every vegan should do before they die in VegNews. Yeah - this one should be on the top of your list.  These rolls are amazing! Highly recommended.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats - Award Winning Cupcakes

I've written about Sticky Fingers before so I won't start with a long introduction. Doron Petersan, the baker behind the best vegan bakery in the country has now competed on Cupcake Wars three times. She won once, lost once, and then went to the All Stars show...and won again! If you aren't keeping up, that means she won two out of three times -- not bad!  Although I missed the most recent episode, when I heard that all four award-winning cupcakes would only be available for a limited time, I ran up there to grab some.

All of the cupcakes looked so good!

The first one I tried was called the Salt-n-Peppa Inspired cupcake. This cupcake was amazing! The super moist cake was made of chocolate, bourbon, and smoked pepper, which gave it a delicious spiciness. The icing was made of vanilla bean topped with fondant candy headphones and a salted caramel sauce. It was like a party in my mouth.

The second one was the Chuck Berry Inspired. It was an orange cake with blueberry cinnamon filling topped with raspberry frosting with a red fondant guitar. Oh, this one was so good!

These cupcakes will continue to be offered going forward, but not all will be available every day. You can call to see which ones are available each day. Don't miss out on these amazing cupcakes! Get 'em while they're hot!

Plug: With your VSDC membership card, you'll save 10% at Sticky!