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

New York - Baked by Melissa


Once again, I know I haven't posted in a while (sorry!), but I literally have not been home for the past month. Between visiting my family over the holidays and traveling for the first 3 weeks of January on business I've been a busy little bee. So I hope that you guys cut me a little slack. Because I promise to get back on top of things here in the Tallahassee restaurant scene....in a just a bit.


First, I'm going to fill you in on some of the best treats from my travels. First up is Baked by Melissa, a wonderful little cupcakery in NYC. During my trip to the Big Apple, I was staying in SoHo and one afternoon as I was exploring the city I found this little gem. And since you all know my eternal love for cupcakes, I could not pass it up. Literally, my DNA is just hard-wired to seek out and consume all cupcakes in the area. So, I totally have that excuse.

Anyway, I LOVE the Baked by Melissa philosophy. She felt that all too often when you walk into a bakery, you just want to eat everything in sight! So she decided to make a line of miniature stuffed cupcakes, so that people can experience more flavors without all the guilt. That's right - I said STUFFED cupcakes. These things have everything from cookie dough to jelly to marshmallows to oreo cookies inside! I have no idea how she could make something so tiny taste so scrumpdillyicious, but she certainly did just that. I mean, check them out - they're barely bigger than a quarter! But don't be fooled, they pack a big punch.


I picked up a pack of 6 for $5.50 and 3 is about just right for one serving. The hardest part is trying not to scarf the darn things in one bite! I tried with all my might to make them stretch to two bites each - but I think once I did pop a whole one in there.


So, if you ever find yourself in SoHo, be sure to search out Baked by Melissa. It's worth the trip. I certainly went back for more. Like the next day. For a whole new box. Yep. I'm obsessed.

Tally Foodie Rating:
Atmosphere - N/A (it's just a take-out window)
Taste - A (but be sure to eat them fresh, they get stale rather quickly since they're so small)
Presentation - N/A (again, take out)
Service - A
Price - $

Bakery Info:
Baked by Melissa
529 Broadway
New York, NY 10012
212-842-0220

Au Peche Mignon - Guilty Pleasures Indeed!


After our adventurous lunch at Kitcho, we walked just a few doors down to a wonderful little French pastry shop called Au Peche Mignon. This bakery had also been recommended to me through email by one of my readers, so I was especially thrilled to try it out (even though I had to break my diet a bit to do so - yes, that's right, I'm TRYING to diet, and don't scoff - I'm getting ready for a trip to Aruba)!


It took me quite a bit of Googling and Wikipedia to figure out what the name of this bakery meant. Not knowing a lick of French, I first thought it meant, "my little mignon" (as in, filet mignon), but I was sure that meat had no rightful place in the name of a bakery. When I used a free online translator, it told me it meant "to the darling peche," which I was sure still wasn't right (since one of the words wasn't even translated). So I did a search for just Peche Mignon, which came back as "guilty pleasure." And when you add the Au, you get "the guilty pleasure." I think. Yes, that's my final answer. Lock it in, Regis!


It's a very fitting name, as there are many guilty pleasures that await you inside. So many, that I sat there dumbfounded trying to make my decision about which delight I was going to use to cheat on my diet. There were truffles and chocolates, cakes and pies, mousse and macaroons and so many other temptations I'd never even heard tale of before! What was a girl to do? A Vanilla Eclair. That's what.


After letting my lunch settle, I dug into my little white bag and extracted my vanilla eclair with the intention of eating just half to save the other half for later (as a good girl should). But before I knew it, I was licking my fingers, with no trace of eclair left in sight! Oops. The vanilla filling was so light and fluffy, the pastry was so flaky and airy, and the chocolate on top was so rich and crisp. And with just a dollop (or two) of whipped cream on top, it was so sinfully scrumptious! I can safely say, it is the BEST eclair I've ever had in my LIFE.

Well, you wouldn't believe it, but not 2 minutes after I concluded my little pig out session, H called me at my desk and asked me to share his Blueberry Pear Frangipane Tart. I tried to back out, really I did. (I can tell you don't believe me.) I'm telling you, I protested. But H brought me a quarter of the tart anyway, and you know, it started getting my file folders all greasy, so I had to get rid of it somehow. Yeah, I scarfed it. And it too, was yumdillyicious. The soft, tangy texture of the pear mixed well with the tartness of the blueberry and the cakey batter (not sure if that's the correct terminology) was moist and crunchy at the same time. Ugh. Heaven.

Did I feel guilty? A little. Was it worth it? Abso-friggin-lutely.

Tally Foodie Rating:
Atmosphere - B (there are only a few wire tables inside and out of the tiny bakery)
Taste - A++
Presentation - A
Service - A
Price - $

Bakery Info:
Au Peche Mignon
1415 Timberlane Rd
Tallahasse FL 32312
850-668-5533
*I couldn't find a website for these guys, if you know it, please post in the comments!*

Au Peche Mignon French Pastry Shop on Urbanspoon

New Orleans Day 2 - Cafe du Monde


We awoke on Saturday like kids on Christmas morning because we knew we were going to have breakfast at Cafe du Monde, a true New Orleans institution. A french market coffee stand, it was established in 1862 and after Hurricane Katrina, it was the first place in the French Quarter to re-open for business.



It's open 24/7, with the exception of Christmas Day. And there are really only 2 items on the menu - cafe au lait and beignets (pronounced ben-yays). Well, okay, they have other things to drink, too, if you're not a big fan of coffee (as I'm not). And if you don't know what beignets are, they're square pieces of dough, fried and topped with a generous heaping helping of powdered sugar. Think funnel cake, only thicker and doughier on the inside.


They come in orders of 3, and trust me, that's the perfect amount for one person. It's an open air market (that means no air conditioning relief from the sticky New Orleans air), they pack you in like sardines, and while you will wait in a bit of a line, it's all worth it once you take your first bite of the crunchy, soft sweetness of your first beignet. And there's no shortage of entertainment just outside the cafe either, balloon artists whip up elaborate monkeys and mermaids, jazz musicians serenade you, and horse drawn carriages clip-clop to and fro just across the street. It's definitely an experience like no other - just watch out for powder fights - people do like to blow sugar at each other!

Tally Foodie Rating:
Atmosphere - B- (no a/c and cramped tables)
Taste - A
Presentation - B
Service - A
Price - $

Restaurant Info:
Cafe du Monde
800 Decatur Street
New Orleans LA 70116
504-525-4544
Open 24/7

Cafe Du Monde on Urbanspoon

The Cake Shop - Little Slices of Heaven


Because I am a tad addicted to cupcakes at the moment (okay, a tad maybe the understatement of the year) I decided to check out the cupcakes over at The Cake Shop. It's a quaint little bakery off John Knox Rd. that many Tallahasseeians (I'm just going to keep using that term until someone tells me different) are deeply devoted to. I ordered a cake from The Cake Shop a few months back and while it was good, I wasn't head over heels. However, it was a fairly simple cake - marble with buttercream icing. The cupcakes however, are a horse of a different color. 



Just walking into The Cake Shop and smelling the fresh aromas will have your sweet tooth standing up and screaming for a piece of something - anything - and as quickly as possible. The pastel yellow walls are bright and cheerful, the country style interior is warm and inviting and they even offer free WiFi! I selected 6 cupcakes from their decadent collection, even though I had only planned on getting 4. I chose 2 Peanut Butter Fudge, 1 Chocolate Sundae, 1 Caramel Cream, 1 Marble and 1 Red Velvet. Don't they look yumdillyicious?


These are the big kahuna cupcakes - full size, full flavor, fully satisfying. The cake part of the cupcake is light and fluffy and tastes just like you're biting into Cloud 9. And the bevy of toppings heaped on each cupcake are only bested by those cupcakes that are injected with cream. That's right - some of their cupcakes, like the Caramel Cream featured below, actually have cream INSIDE the cupcake. Just when you think it can't get any better - it does. And the icing itself is rich, creamy and oh so delicious.


At only $2 each, the cupcakes from The Cake Shop are less expensive than the ones offered at Lucy & Leo's, and they're bigger ta boot! Although both are equally excellent in the flavor department. What do you guys think? Are you Team Cake Shop or Team L&L?

Tally Foodie Rating:
Atmosphere - A
Taste - A+
Service - A
Presentation - A
Price - $

Bakery Info:
The Cake Shop
200 John Knox Rd
Tallahassee FL 32303
850-386-CAKE
Hours: Mon - Fri 9am - 5:30pm, Sat 9am - 12pm

Cake Shop on Urbanspoon

Food Glorious Food - Need I Say More?


This past Saturday, our culinary cravings took us to a wonderful place called Food Glorious Food. Now, if you're going to give your restaurant a name of such caliber, the food had better talk the talk and walk the walk. And I have to say, I've never been let down by the food at FGF. Now the service, is a different story. Traditionally, the service is very slow. They're slow coming to your table, slow to bring your drinks, slow to clear your plates, and slow to bring your check. Especially at lunch, when they must run a short staff. But, we tolerate it, because the food is so yummy. And so I complain as I shove sirloin drenched in blue cheese sauce into my face.


However, on this night, the service was excellent. We were greeted promptly, our drinks were brought out in a reasonable time, our plates were cleared when we were finished and our check was brought out right after our dessert was delivered. So, either FGF has stepped up staffing, or stepped up training. Either way, I was pleasantly surprised.

We chose to sit inside this night because we just had one of our quintessential Florida pop-up showers, so the tables outside were drenched. However, I take advantage of their outdoor seating as often as possible, as they provide cafe tables with umbrellas that give you just enough shade to be comfortable, but just enough sun to feel happy. But alas, the rain. 

One of the great things about FGF's menu is their unique, creative dishes. And there's lots of them! There are many a little gourmet spot in Tallahassee that only offer 5 entree choices on their menu - a chicken, a duck, a steak, a pasta and a lamb. And if you don't like it, you're kinda screwed. However, FGF has a nice long menu of options and they generally offer 2-3 entree specials each night as well, one of which hubby took full advantage of. More on that later.

But the best thing about FGF (the very best thing), is their dessert menu. It's as long as their regular menu and boasts treats like Pecan Pie, Fruit Cobblers, Key Lime Tarts and our favorite, Mom's Marble Cake. Yeah, sure it's just warm marble cake with chocolate cream cheese icing and whipped cream, and we could probably make it at home, but it's infinitely better when we don't have to.

I can see I've already gotten ahead of myself, so let's get back to the main course. I chose the Pan Grilled Sirloin Steak with shoe string fries and blue cheese-ale sauce. And my husband chose one of the nightly specials, a Seared Tuna Steak topped with caramelized onions and salsa and placed on a bed of sweet potato steak fries. I generally can't keep my head out of my own plate long enough to try a piece of hubby's meal, but when he gave me a bite of his, I wanted to swap plates with him. Needless to say, both of our meals were downright delicious.


And then there was Mom's Marble Cake. Believe me, I had to stop hubby from forking this cake right away, just so I could take a picture of it. Let's just say it didn't last much longer after the flash went off.


Tally Foodie Rating:
Atmosphere - A
Taste - A
Service - B+ (until I get a repeat performance of tonight's service, I have to withhold the A)
Presentation - A
Price - $$

Restaurant Info:
Food Glorious Food
1950 Thomasville Road
Tallahassee FL 32303
850-224-7279

Food Glorious Food on Urbanspoon

Lucy & Leo's Cupcakery - Can you say YUM?


There's been a lot of talk around the office about a new little cupcake place opening up over on Thomasville Road. So, on Friday, during our lunch break, a friend and I decided to check it out. Named after the owner's two beloved pets, Lucy & Leo's Cupcakery is nothing short of DA BOMB. Their space, which they share with Textures Handmade Market is a colorful, quaint, upbeat little bakery. The walls are painted pastel blue and adorable cupcake art graces their walls, while two photos of dogs Lucy & Leo guard the cash register. There are a few little tables where you can also sit and enjoy your dessert, but I choose to take mine to-go, knowing my husband would kill me if I didn't bring some home for him. I picked my poison - 2 red velvet cupcakes, 2 chocolate peanut butter cupcakes and 2 oreo cupcakes. I could hardly keep them in the box long enough to get back to the office before I could try one.

As soon as I was safely at my desk, door closed, so no one could see or smell the cupcakes and try to bogart one, I chose a chocolate peanut butter as my first indulgence.


{Sidebar: I loves me some peanut butter dessert. Reese's peanut butter cups are my absolute favorite, but I can also put away my fair share of buckeye candies, peanut butter fudge, peanut butter pie, peanut butter bombs and any other dessert that has the words "peanut butter" in it. When I was little, my grandma always made me a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing for my birthdays - even if no one else wanted to eat it but me!}

Ahem, so, like I was saying, I dove into that chocolate peanut butter cupcake so fast, it didn't even know what was coming. The icing was so rich and creamy and full of peanut-buttery-goodness that I licked the wrapper afterwards to get any last little remaining drips of icing. That's right. I have no shame.

Later that night, I tried one of the red velvet guys and my husband wolfed down an oreo cupcake. When I asked him how it was, he didn't even swallow before saying "affulemp" (translation: excellent), so I knew it was damn good.


Oh, I forgot to mention, Lucy & Leo's doesn't make their entire line of cupcake flavors every day. But if you want to see what's fresh daily at the cupcakery, simply follow their Twitter feed. They also had a chalkboard by the front entrance that touted the fact that they were making Margarita and Guinness flavored cupcakes for Happy Hour that night at 7pm - how fun! The cupcakes are little minis, not the big jumbos, and they sell them for $2.25 a piece. And trust me, that's nothing compared to what they're worth. So, go get one (or a dozen) already!

Tally Foodie Rating:
Atmosphere - A
Taste - A++
Service - A
Presentation - A
Price - $

Store Info:
Lucy & Leo's Cupcakery
1123 Thomasville Rd
Tallahassee, FL 32303
850-765-0374
Hours: Tues-Thurs 10-6, Fri 10-9, Sat 10-6, Closed Sun & Mon

Lucy and Leos Cupcakery on Urbanspoon

About this blog

This blog is dedicated to giving you honest reviews of local restaurants in Tallahassee and the surrounding area. I won't hold any punches, you'll hear about it all - the good, the bad and the (hopefully infrequent) inedible!

This blog was written from July 2009 - August 2010 and is now retired. I currently live in Sarasota, FL...stay tuned for more on my adventures there!