NFT Radar: A La Mode Pies

2011 was the Year of the Pie, with shops springing up all over Seattle. Our offerings were even featured on a Food Network special about the rise of the pie across the country. The people had spoken. Cake was dead. They wanted crust and fruit filling and mounds of cream. A la Mode gave competitors a big run for their money. While pie men came and went (R.I.P. Piecycle), they expanded, going from just an online retailer (with home delivery) to brick-and-mortar when they opened their café on Phinney. Now you don’t have to give 24-hours notice to enjoy their incredible desserts, which include crumbly French Apple, Mexican Chocolate Mousse, Bourbon Butterscotch and a Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tart that renders your fork useless with its gooeyness. See their website for more mind-blowing regular flavors and check with the café often for their rotating flavors. Sour Cherry was a recent gladiator in their grand pie arena. You can still order whole pies online for a very reasonable $25, but it’s a lot more fun to mix-and-match slices for the complete a la Mode experience. Don’t forget a quart of Bluebird ice cream from their freezer to fulfill your pie destiny.

 

Source.

My Seattle

One of the best things about my job at NFT is that people ask me for advice on where to go. If you’re curious about what I usually recommend, I’ve updated my Custom Map with some of my new favorite places, as well as the timeless classics. (Anyone can create an account and do this, BTW.)

See my list and map here.

NFT Radar: Holy Cannoli

You may not have been aware of this, but for many years now, there has been a tube-shaped hole in the Seattle pastry scene. Fortunately, Detroit transplant, Adrienne Bandlow, has just the cylindrical pastries to fill it. Namely: Four varieties of cannoli (traditional Detroit custard, mocha, chocolate and rum raisin) and three different Stromboli (hog, chicken and vegetarian). They’re pretty small, so you’re going to need to buy a couple of each. Fortunately, they’re also crazy cheap (plus, you get price breaks for half and whole dozens). Let’s face it, Seattle is so hurting for cannoli, that they don’t even have to be that good to make me happy. But they are good. They are excellent, in fact. A word of warning for Sicilians: Bandlow does her cannoli Motor City Style. That means custard instead of ricotta and marscapone. But don’t worry. They will still hit your Italian spot. There are also a couple of salads and sammies on the menu if, for some insane reason, you’re not there for the star attraction. All this, plus extremely friendly service will make you a loyal customer after one visit. Bandlow should be canonized for ending the Seattle Cannoli Famine. Holy Cannoli indeed.


2720 3rd Ave
www.holycannoliseattle.com

Source Link

NFT Radar: Nook

All For The Nookie!

Seattle was once known as a granola hippie town. Now, it’s all about flour and butter. Following the heels of the pie renaissance, an apprentice of Top Chef’s Richard Blais and former Mad Woman/self-taught baker opened up a cafe that specializes in biscuits; REALLY AWESOME biscuits. They’re buttery as hell without leaving you feeling like you’ve just taken a dip in a deep fryer. You can eat them plain, with a variety of gourmet toppings, or in breakfast sandwich form. For lunch, they offer creative warm sandwiches on Grand Central Bakery bread, rotating soup, and customizable grilled cheese with twelve options. Weekends, they do a biscuit brunch. The selection includes poutine biscuits and strawberry shortcake. I’ll let that sink in… Nook is as cozy and adorable as the name suggests. Owls and Mason jars abound. Small booths line the left wall and there are smaller booths by the window. It’s like eating in your hipster grandma’s kitchen. The downside is the limited hours (Tue-Fri 8 am-5 pm; Sat 8 am-2 pm, Sun 10 am-3 pm). Fortunately, they have plans to extend them through dinner. They’ve also applied for a liquor license. Good thinking. Maybe all this extra fat will help us get through the endless winter.


4525 University Way NE
206-268-0154
www.nook206.com

Cross-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: Bottega Italiana

People say gelato is better for you than ice cream but it sounds too good to be true. Still, when there’s a gelato place in your neighborhood, it’s difficult to stay away. Bottega Italiana follows suit with being irresistible, but they aren’t exaggerating when they say that their gelato isn’t bad for you. It’s not as healthy as, say, a big bowl of spinach, but indulging isn’t going to negate your time at the gym either. As if that weren’t enough of an excuse, they use only natural, local and seasonal ingredients. Whether you’ve chosen to live dairy free, or nature chose for you, you can still enjoy one of their vegan fruit flavors. Those who can’t say no to creamy goodness will be pleased as punch with one or more of their year-round flavors like hazelnut, pistachio, and caffe. If you feel the need to be responsible, you can make a meal out of it by adding a lunchtime pannini and real Italian espresso. But remember, it’s low fat. So if you’ve had a hard day (or want to make a good day better), go ahead and get that double scoop. We won’t judge.


409 NE 70th St
www.bottegaitaliana.com

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: Peaks Frozen Custard

Molly Moon can’t be everywhere at once. And that’s just fine because my neighborhood has frozen custard. It’s like ice cream but smoother and, thanks to an egg yolk infusion, probably worse for you. That’s also what makes it so damned tasty. It’s slow churned to eliminate ice crystals and maximize silkiness. They have to make it fresh every two hours. This delicate process makes frozen custard a little more special. Even if you think their two constant flavors, chocolate and vanilla, sound ordinary, they have an ace in the hole. Alumni Flavors of the Day include Peanut Butter Cookie Dough, Salted Caramel Cashew and Chocolate Malt Madness. On holidays, they get sassy with themes. Valentine’s Day had Raspberry Red Velvet Cake. On May 5th, those mad geniuses made Horchata with Abuelita Chocolate. Cinco de Licious! If you really want to be a hero, you can bring a pint or two home. Peaks isn’t just frozen treats. They also do lunch by way of paninis, veggie chili, and stratas. Kiddies can enjoy the rocking moose and the rest of us can scam the free Wi-Fi and occasionally hear some live singer-songwriter types. But isn’t frozen custard enough of a draw?


1026 NE 65th St 98115
206-588-2701
www.peaksfrozencustard.com

X-Posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: Stella Cafe

Everyone knows that Seattle loves coffee. So it’s surprising that it took this long to get an authentic Italian cafe. Stella fills that void with ease. The Vespa in the window tells you they’re bona fide before you even order your espresso. You may think a shot isn’t your thing, but that’s because you’ve never had it the Italiano way. It’s not bitter like that Starbucks crap. Their dark Roman blend is brewed just right, covering every shot with a thick layer of “crema”. This is the magic of espresso and it lends sweetness to every nutty sip. Afterward, you will feel relaxed and pampered instead of jittery. Of course, Italians also like to eat and Stella serves up the classics with perfection. Choose from 9 huge Panini for under $6 featuring a variety of meats, cheeses and vegetables. They have the Sweet-tooths covered too. If you’re a native Seattleite, chances are you’ve never had a proper Canoli. Now is your chance to try these crispy, creamy confections of perfection. The portions are small so you don’t have to share unless you want to. They haven’t forgotten about the Panetone either. This light, sweet fruit bread is served grilled. La Vita es indeed Dolce!


1224 1st Ave 98101
206-624-1299
www.stellacoffees.com

X-posted from Not For Tourists.