Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pie Hole

An American classic, served just fine.

Pie lovers are a devoted lot. While a cookie monster can be sated with a brownie, and cakes, cupcakes and baked breads can be interchanged without seriously gypped feelings, people who love pie, really love pie and are evangelical about their favorite slice. This is something 22-year-old Little Pie Company gets. In addition to seasonal flavors, their menu includes little pies, whole pies, and slices in about 10 varieties.

Their success is as varied as its menu.

The best seller, Sour Cream Apple Walnut, is a richer version of the American classic. The sour cream lends a nice savory flavor to the thinly-sliced Granny Smith apples that are layered beneath a brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and walnut crumble top. The pie is served warm with whipped cream (albeit it Redi-Whip).

The Mississippi Mud pie is less pleasing. Also heated, the combined German chocolate, brownie streusel and Oreo cookie crust is like eating warm brownie batter—a bit much. It'd probably be better served chilled. The Banana Coconut Cream Pie is a mash of bananas and coconut cream—a light, yummy balance.

Both the midtown and MePa locations offer old-fashioned soda fountain counters so you can eat your pie (or sundae, or cupcake, or cheesecake) in-house. While there, indulge your voyeuristic side and spy the pies in their various stages of baking in the open kitchens.

407 West 14th Street between 9th and 10th

424 West 43rd Street between 9th and 10th

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Patriotism is a Cupcake

Homemade Bakeshop by Kitchenette
383 Amsterdam

Kee'p 'em Coming

Thompson Street, now twice as delicious.

Go, Kee! Expanded space and macaroons on the menu. Her chocolates are just the prettiest - check out the perfect Guggenhiem swirl of the Honey Saffron, the present perfection of the Hazelnut Praline, and the boldly beautiful truffles dusted in almonds, sesame seeds, and pistachio nuts. The expanded menu with more exotic flavors ups the ante for every New York chocolatier.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Cupcakery, Cool

An unsung cupcake bakery in a city crowded with competition.

There’s nothing precious or pastel at Bruce’s Cupcakery—a welcome departure for those of us who don’t want to feel like we should be wearing ballet flats or reading Candace Bushnell in order to eat a cupcake.

But this humble corner spot deserves the spotlight for another reason: “cupcakery” is a cool term, unemployed by the legions of places pawning cupcakes in this city. And Bruce’s delivers on a range of mostly delicious options. They’re divided into frosting flavors and toppings, each of which comes with either chocolate or vanilla cake. The cake, unless it’s more than a day old, is a good foundation that’s firm, moist and not saturated with sweetness. The frosting is slathered on thickly, from the rims upward to the center, creating a half-inch-thick dome. A sprinkling of confections is added when the flavor calls for it. The Caramel Top, for example, has walnut bits and caramel drizzlings. The Oreo cupcake has crushed bits of Oreos, and the Hazelnut Top, well, is decorated with almond slivers.

For an innocuous bakery in a rarely-trafficked part of town, these are worth an afternoon visit.

Bruce’s Cupcakery
1045 First Avenue at 57th