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Entries in bellingham (4)

Thursday
Jul212011

Pastry Profiles: Raspberry Dark Chocolate Shortbread Bar from Avenue Bread, Bellingham WA

And now, I'd like to tell you about something delicious I ate.

It was simply called a "Raspberry Dark Chocolate Bar" and it was one of the bar cookies available at Avenue Bread in Bellingham, Washington.

Just look at this thing.

It's like a shortbread cookie on the bottom (already good), buttery and flaky and dense...but wait, there's more.

On top of that buttery base, a layer of raspberry jam, lightly tart and sweet.

And on top of that jam (which might be too healthy on its own), a smattering of dark chocolate chunks and nuts.

And then, on top of that, a rich crumb topping which was sweet and lightly salty.

Are you on your way to Bellingham yet?

As a bonus, this establishment also offers sweet pretzel-y looking cinnamon twists, all sorts of other carbohydratey treats, and it's right down the street from Mallard Ice Cream and Sweet Art.

Everything about this bar cookie and this establishment spells "WIN".

Avenue Bread, various locations (I visited 1313 Railroad Ave. in Bellingham); online here.

Avenue Bread & Café on Urbanspoon

Thursday
May122011

Sweet and Salty: the Chocolate Hazelnut Pretzel Stick from Ralf's in Bellingham

What happens when you cross baguette, pretzel, and chocolate ganache?

A triple threat of awesome, that's right: the sweet, salty, and carbohydratey masterpiece which is simply called the "Chocolate Pretzel Stick" at Ralf's Bavarian Bakery in Bellingham.

This small retail bakery specializes in pretzels of the Bavarian persuasion, some of which are twisted traditionally, some of which are served as "sticks" (more like demi-baguettes), many of which are served with classic pretzel complements: salami, mustard, cheese...and, on the sweet end of the spectrum, a specimen with a rich, beautiful heaping of chocolate hazelnut ganache (sounds like Nutella to me).

This is probably the most pleasurable dessert-sandwich I've enjoyed in some time, with a perfect pretzel: with a little bit of resistance on the chewy exterior giving way to a soft, yeasty interior which was perfectly matched by the contrasting chocolate-nut filling, which worked beautifully with the salty, carbohydratey mass. Oh, and yes, that is a burger wallet in the background. That would be mine.

So awesome. So delicious. Drive to Bellingham right now.

Ralf's Bavarian Bakery, Bellingham, WA; online here.

Sunday
Apr172011

Sweet Love: Sweet Art in Bellingham, WA

It's official: I am in love with Sweet Art in Bellingham, WA.

Why? Let me count the ways.

Let me start by sharing with you their self-description, as written by co-owner Jerry:

A small mom-pop type retail candy store and art gallery where my wife is the artist and I'm the candyman. She paints oils of flowers & landscapes and I dip chocolates and make candy.

That's right: an artist wife and confectioner husband who have teamed up to open the sweetest little spot--one that makes you feel as if you've entered Alice in Wonderland's rabbit hole when you walk in.

Curios and art line the shelves (there's even a little diorama to peek in from the outside), and in the candy cases, row after row of confections:

Fudge, English toffee, Czech Toffee(!?), chocolate dipped strawberries, turtles and so, so much more.

...yes indeed, this is a special place to discover. But even better? The chocolates are delicious. It was after much debate that I finally settled on the fat little mint truffle, known as the "Bombay Mint Truffle", featured at the top of the post. 

If I've ever tasted chocolate-coated bliss, this was it. Rich, buttery, minty ganache that coats the mouth in the most delightful, flavorful way, this is one of those "I think I will close my eyes for a moment now" types of treats. In fact, I solemnly vow to make this a destination for every Bellingham trip, from now until eternity.

Sweet Art, 1335 Railroad, BellinghamWA.

Saturday
Apr022011

Just Ducky: Mallard Ice Cream, Bellingham WA

Ice cream is not my kryptonite.

Don't get me wrong, I like ice cream. But it's usually something that I enjoy along with a baked good: cake or pie a la mode. But for whatever reason, while making a trek to Bellingham to deliver artwork for my solo show at The Paperdoll, with about 43 miles to go to Bellingham, I got an odd craving for the cool and creamy stuff.

Happily, I was headed into good hands: Bellingham boasts Mallard ice cream, the type of place that locals love and others will travel especially to taste. In fact, while paying the parking meter outside, I heard no less than three people walk by and remark "I love this place!".

When it came to choosing, I evaluated the choices carefully. They had a variety of flavors, including classics, unexpected twists, and even vegan flavors. They also had a pony on the wall, which was slightly distracting (in a good way).

Ultimately I settled on a childhood staple: Oreo Mint. 

It wasn't green (I do love me some green ice cream) but I was able to forgive them, because it was very, very good. The ice cream was rich, luxuriant, and very creamy; the mintiness was ably backed by the creamy cookies which were mashed up this way and that, with plenty of sizeable chunks rendered soft and lick-able by virtue of being surrounded by ice cream.

While standing outside with my cone, no less than three more people stopped to commend me on my good choice, saying "I Love that place.".

Well, I can see why.

Visit them next time you're in Bellingham. 1323 Railroad Ave, Bellingham, WA; online here.

Mallard Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

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