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Entries in seattle (182)

Thursday
Feb032011

Small But Mighty: Mini Mini Pies from Pie, Fremont, Seattle

Fremont, Seattle, is the center of the universe. Well, if you trust street signs and locals, that is. 

And for pie lovers, the new epicenter is Pie, a pint-sized shop specializing in small pies both sweet and savory. They just opened but have already been featured in the Seattle Times, The Stranger (by the inimitable Megan Seling), and now on CakeSpy.

The pies are available in two sizes: mini (cupcake sized) and mini mini (thumbprint sized). I got the mini-mini ones because it meant I could eat more.

Flavors sampled: Lemon Custard, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Key Lime. Thoughts?

The pie is good. The crust is very flaky, like a croissant-meets-puff-pastry-pie-crust hybrid. This is very good for flaky crust lovers, but if you prefer a sturdier and chewier crust, you'd be better served at High 5 Pie or Shoofly. 

The fillings are good. The lemon and lime varieties are tart and not overly-sweet; the peanut butter and jelly I found to be a standout, rich but piquant with a touch of jelly, and the perfect foil to the flaky crust--the peanut butter kind of got absorbed and made it nice and thick and dense (and yes, I am one of those "I love more crust" types of people, though Mr. Spy is not and loves flaky crust). 

The logo is good. No bigger bummer than a bad bakery logo. And theirs passes CakeSpy scrutiny.

Also, I love the fact that you can watch the pies being made. LOVE!

And although I deplore diets, I should mention that the teeny tiny mini size is ideal for those who are still New Year's Resolution-ing--they allow a good taste, without being overly indulgent. 

Pie, 3515 Fremont Ave. N, Seattle; online at sweetandsavorypie.com. Find them on Facebook here, follow them on Twitter here. 

Pie on Urbanspoon

Tuesday
Feb012011

Cake Byte: Deliciousness, and CakeSpy Artwork, at The Original Bakery, West Seattle

Even if you live in Seattle, you might not ever have visited The Original Bakery.

You see, that's because it's in a mythical part of the city called West Seattle (also known as "the place where the car-less do not go"). And what's more, it's on the "other" side of West Seattle (also known as "not the Junction").

But here's the thing. You not only should, but need, to visit this treasure of a bakery, which has been around for something like 80 years, and continuously owned by the same family for over 30 years.

Not to be too pushy, but I'd like to present a few reasons why.

Photo: Lara FerroniReason 1: Just Donut. Their donuts, which are simple and unfussy, have a secret: they are filled with crack. Well, OK, this is not exactly true, but they are equally addictive. And I'm not the only one who thinks so: when I recently visited the bakery to hang artwork while they were closed for business, at least three people tried to come in and ask for donuts, and all were so sad that there were none. These donuts have a devoted following.

Reason 2: Danish Delight. Their cream cheese danish, which is rich, flavorful, and beautifully chewy, nearly brought a tear to this transplanted East coaster's eye.

Reason 3: Under my Thumb(print). Looking for an old-fashioned, nutty, buttery, thumbprint cookie? They have a solid, classic version here, like Grandma made, but better than my grandma made (no offense, grandma).

Reason 4: Challah! Anna Alonzo, part of the family who owns the bakery, is not only completely cool, but she bakes a mean challah. It's not in regular rotation (yet) but if you see it, you'd be wise to buy a loaf or 10.

Reason 5: Keeping it in the Family. Owned for over 30 years by the Alonzo family, this is very much a family operation, with Bernie and his daughter Anna working in the kitchen--this place is a fixture in the community. This is the type of bakery that people get nostalgic about when they move away. 

Reason 6: They have CakeSpy art! Yeah, it's true. I just hung a very sweet series of paintings in the seating area, so not only can you enjoy the awesome extolled in reasons #1-5, but you can also buy CakeSpy artwork. You. Know. You. Want. To.

The Original Bakery, 9253 45th Ave SW, West Seattle; online at theoriginalbakery.com. Oh, and they're on Twitter and Facebook too.

Sunday
Jan302011

Toast of the Town: French Toast from Table 219, Seattle

CakeSpy Note: When it comes to starting the day sweetly, Mr. CakeSpy's favored flavor of delicious is French Toast. He's known and loved many varieties and has even perfected the art of eating it. Every now and again, we feature a particularly toothsome one he's tried here.

And now, there's a new variety that he suggests to keep you toasty during the cold Seattle winter: French Toast from Table 219.

Now, the restaurant's menu description for this item is...well, sort of nondescript:

"rustic bread dipped in egg batter and topped with today’s fruit selection. served with real maple syrup"

And even when it came to the table, it looked like fairly standard French Toast fare--a modest portion at that. But from the first bite, it was clear that pains had been taken to ensure that this was no ordinary pain perdu. The texture was absolutely perfect, with a lightly sweet, crunchy, evenly browned exterior giving way to a soft, yielding interior, which was almost custardy from what one can only imagine was an extremely luxuriant bath in egg mixture before its pan-frying. On the day of our visit, the fruit of the day was a homemade peach compote, which was a mellow, smooth, sweet complement to the sweet slices of carbohydrate bliss.

Only reservation? If you're an extremely hearty breakfast eater, you might want to order some eggs or bacon (or both) on the side. But moreover, the flavor of this French toast is well worth a try.

Table 219, 219 Broadway Ave. E, Seattle. For more information, visit the Table 219 website.

Table 219 on Urbanspoon

Wednesday
Jan192011

When Pie Meets Bicycle: Street Food Profile on The Piecycle for Serious Eats

Photograph: Dawn WrightFact: food tastes better when it is made with love and delivered right to your doorstep.

But it gets even better when the food in question is freshly baked pie, and when the delivery mode is cute boy delivering it via bicycle. 

And in Seattle, that boy is Max Kraushaar, proprietor (and bike rider) of The Piecycle. It's exactly what it sounds like: pie, delivered by bike. By the slice, or by the pie--your choice.

I recently had the pleasure of profiling this sweet fella for Serious Eats--here's a sneak peek.

What's on the menu? It changes weekly. Whatever I feel like making. Recently it was Grandma's Lemon Meringue Pie and Vegan Choco-Peanut Butter (other flavors have included Vegan Apple Pie and Georgia Sweet Potato). I try to do at least one vegan flavor, and otherwise try to keep the flavors seasonal and if possible made using local ingredients. The cost is $3 per slice, or $20 for a full pie.

Hours and location? Anywhere in the University District of Seattle, Friday and Saturday evenings until 3 a.m., sometimes Sundays too. As for location, I come to you! It's delivery by the slice: I have my cell phone, and people text me requests. I have been called the "Jimmy John's of Pie."

How long have you been street-fooding? Since fall of 2010.

Why mobile over brick and mortar? I like riding my bike, and I don't have the capital to own a brick and mortar location. Plus, pie is better enjoyed in the comfort of your home or wherever you choose.

Describe a typical piecycle evening. I bake my pies in advance, then people will text me and I will bring them pie. I'm currently selling five to seven pies per weekend on average.

What do you do the rest of the time? School for theater and art, so I paint and act. I just got three paintings into the Jacob Lawrence Gallery. Art, theatre, and pies.

For the rest of the profile, check out Serious Eats!

Friday
Jan142011

Not Just Pie in the Sky: Pie Day Celebration on January 23rd in Seattle

Put on your fat pants: National Pie Day is coming up on January 23rd. And you know what that means--the annual Pie Day Celebration is going on in Seattle! Of course, not that you needed to be told twice, since Pie is so hot this year--no need to campaign to make it cooler any more.

This is the biggest, baddest, awesomest Pie celebration you're going to find in Seattle--if you want a preview, check out this coverage of one of the past events.

But here are the details on this year's event:

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Pie Party 2011 in Ballard, Seattle: This annual pie eating event and fundraiser is in its 8th year in Seattle! Here's the blurb from their Facebook invitation:

The 8th Annual Pie Party at the Salmon Bay Eagles ballroom in Ballard is certain to thrill and amaze! Witness a wonderland of consumption from sweet to savory to piefectly experimental.  Come for the tasty pie and stay for the sizzling entertainment featuring readings by Seattle Poet Kate Lebo from her book The Commonplace of Pie, MC Chef Razzle Dazzle aka Fred Northup and Pie Song covers from musical luminaries including Jake London, John Ramburg, Fredd Luongo, Kim Virant, Johnny Sangster, Steph Turner & more! All proceeds benefit The Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research.  Admission is free with a pie in hand or baked-in with a $10 donation. T-shirts!  Raffles! Pie-pharnalia!  Deck yourself out in your bedazzled Pie Best and COME ON DOWN! CHILDREN WELCOME!

The details: Sunday, January 23, 6:00PM to 9:00PM. Location: Salmon Bay Eagles, 5216 20th Ave NW, 2nd Floor, Seattle, Wa, 98107.

Thursday
Jan132011

Cake Byte: Velvet Elvis Cupcakes for January from Cupcake Royale

Elvis is Dead.

But--you know--not in our hearts. Or bellies, what with the likes of the Velvet Elvis, the Flavor of the Month at Seattle's Cupcake Royale.

That's right: in honor of what would have been (or...was! shun the nonbelievers!) Elvis's 75th birthday, the Cupcake Royale Crew is serving up banana cupcakes topped with a rich peanut butter chocolate fudge frosting--need I say this is a cake fit for a king? 

Or, you know, you. At least for the rest of the month of January!

Keep updated via Cupcake Royale's twitter account and their website! 

Sunday
Jan092011

Biscuit Time: Biscuits from Both Ways Cafe, Seattle WA

Basically all reviews will point you to the same summary of Both Ways Cafe: breakfast good, lunch meh. But whatever you do, you must order the biscuits.

I don't have to be told twice to order biscuits.

At Both Ways, they serve tall, flaky biscuits which are crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. The overall size is generous, but not intimidating, as an accompaniment to breakfast. As a minor pet peeve, the biscuit was served at room temperature with chilled butter (if I am allowed to nitpick for a moment, if the biscuit is at room temperature, the butter ought to be too, to spread more easily; or, the biscuit ought to be slightly warmed so that the butter will melt). However, if the biscuit is going along with breakfast, this is a minor inconvenience--simply top it with a small bit of hot omelette and the butter melts beautifully. 

But if you want a sweet experience, butter your biscuit and spoon on a dollop of the jam waiting on each table--you'll be rewarded with a simple, but totally sweet, biscuit experience. Aforementioned crispy edge gives way to a soft interior, which is gorgeous with a slather of butter and smear of sweet jam. It is the type of thing that transports you to a simpler time, even if you've never technically known a simpler time, while eating it.

Of course, biscuits like these do go stale quickly, so for the best experience, be sure to go fairly early (or just be slightly more forgiving, the way you would with a croissant eaten after 10am. You totally know what I mean, don't pretend you don't). Of course, the bakery case does boast a bevy of other homemade sweets to sample if the biscuits are all gone.

Biscuits from Both Ways Cafe, 4922 S. Genessee Way, Seattle.

Both Ways Catering Co. on Urbanspoon

Thursday
Jan062011

Sweetie Pie: CakeSpy Loves High 5 Pie and a Butter Love T Shirt Giveaway

Guess what, sweeties?

At long last, High 5 Pie has opened its retail operation in Seattle, on 12th and Madison. Which, not that you asked, but is right along my usual route from home to the store each day. You know what that means: CakeSpy's gonna be high on pie forever!

Now, I was pretty primed to love this bakery. After all, I've been a big fan of their pies (previously primarily found at owner Dani Cone's Fuel Coffee locations) for a long time.

Aaaand (full disclosure) I was a consultant for some recipes on their menu, which has expanded with the new retail operation (fun game: to to the bakery, and guess which flavors I helped develop). High 5!

But upon visiting on New Year's Day with Mr. Spy--our first official bakery visit of the year!--we were even more impressed than we expected.

Here are just a few reasons you should love the new High 5 Pie retail location:

 

  • The pies are delicious. They come by the slice, in mini pie form, in hand pie ("Flipside") form, or as pie fries! And since they sneak crack into the pie crust, you bet your bottom dollar it's good.
  • They serve them a la mode, if you'd like, with Bluebird Ice Cream.
  • The space itself is beautiful, with a slightly more minty green version of Tiffany blue used all over the place--on the custom espresso machine, on the signage, you name it.
  • But of course, they still maintain some secrets.
  • And they have delicious cookies (and biscuits, and a few other items in addition to pies...including a nice variety of gluten-free and vegan items)
  • ...and they have this t-shirt. BUTTER! LOVE!

 

Now, here's the thing. I bought this t-shirt, in Unisex Small, but as it turns out, your dear Spy is smaller than small, and it doesn't quite fit.

This is good news for you though, because I'm doing a giveaway! Even if unisex small isn't your size, I'm sure you can find a willing recipient for this BUTTER LOVE tee.

Want to enter? Simply leave a comment below, telling me what flavor of pie you favor best. The giveaway will close on Thursday, January 13, at noon PST; one winner will be chosen at random. US and Canadian entrants only, please.

For immediate pie gratification, visit high5pie.com.

Wednesday
Jan052011

Cake Byte: Elvis Doughnuts for the King's Birthday

January 6 kicks of the season of the King. The King Cake, that is.

But on the very next day, something equally important happens in Seattle: Top Pot Doughnuts debuts a sweet 48-hour only special, "King Rings"! Per a tip from CS reader Marlow:

Top Pot Doughnuts King's Rings

To commemorate the king's birthday (and only once a year!), Top Pot Doughnuts -downtown concocts a decadent yeast raised, fried doughnut ring draped in maple cream icing and topped with caramelized bacon, christened "The King's Rings"!

We will feature a very limited number of these at our Downtown 5th Avenue Location only on both Friday January 7th and Saturday January 8th.

Due to high demand, we will be limiting sales of the doughnuts to 7:00 AM - 10:00 AM on both days.  Limit one per customer.

These luscious doughnuts are offered to commemorate the King's Birthday and also the 14th Annual Seattle "Elvis" Invitationals!

At this point, I've given you the knowledge: use it wisely. Find directions to the 5th Avenue Top Pot on their website.

Tuesday
Jan042011

Cake Byte: Australian Cake Baking Competition in Seattle

Delicious Lamingtons and more!If you're an Aussiephile (what do they call people who are really into Australia?) and live in Seattle, this one is for you.

Australia Day is coming up, and there will be a big celebration at Seattle Center. But the best part? There will be an Australian Cake Baking Competition. Yes, you heard me correctly. Here are the deets:

Australian Cake-Making Competition

The cake can be made at home and brought in on the day of Seattle's Australia Day Celebration – any time before 2pm on January 22, 2011.

Each cake goes to a table of 6 judges where it is evaluated on presentation (25%) texture (25%) and taste (50%)

The application form is attached. As it is tied into the BBQ competition ignore all that aspect and just tick the cake box and send to the PNWBA or you can pay on-line at www.pnwba.com

You do not need to enter the meats or be a member of the PNWBA.

Australian Cake

What is an Australian Cake? It can be something typically associated with Australia such as a pavlova or lamington. Or a cake associated to an Australian ingredient such as Queensland pineapple or Darwin mangos. Or an international cake of any type such as chocolate cake or cheese cake that is decorated in an Australian fashion with things such as the Australian flag, kangaroos or Koalas.

Entry fee of $10 – Anyone can enter

First Prize $100!

Make at home and bring in on the day.

Still need some ideas?

 Find out more about the Australia Day Festival in Seattle on the official website.

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