Stressed? Take a breath and have dessertEat This! Thursday, December 8th, 2016
“Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not!” – Author Unknown
Holiday stress is a widespread problem. A majority of Americans report feeling “extreme stress” this time of year; lack of money, crowds and shopping decisions, obligatory parties, pressure to please family and friends, all the while bombarded by media images of happy smiling families enjoying the perfect holiday festivities.
If you’re feeling stressed out, then my advice is to stop worrying, take a deep breath and have some dessert. And there’s no better place to unwind than Blackmarket Bakery.
Blackmarket Bakery, the award winning Orange County-based purveyor of exquisite sweetness, recently opened their newest location in Normal Heights. “Butch” and I popped in one afternoon to check out the digs. Exposed HVAC overhead. White walls with plenty of wood and metal accents. Well stocked shelves. Indoor/outdoor seating. The air redolent with the aroma of roasted coffee and fresh baked bread.
The brief menu offers breakfast and lunch sandwiches, cakes, cookie sundaes and beverages, featuring Black Horse coffee. Breakfast “eggywhiches” include eggs, ham and cheddar cheese on a brioche bun, or Roma tomatoes, avocado and red onion on toasted sourdough, but we were there for a late lunch. We placed our orders at the counter then retired to the sunny patio.
We sipped our beverages while waiting for our food, a Pumpkin Pie Soda for Butch, and Stone Go To IPA for me. Bottled by Maine Root, the pumpkin flavor is notable in the sweet and bubbly soda, but takes a back seat to pie spices like allspice, cinnamon and ginger. The light bodied IPA, 4.8 percent alcohol by volume, hits the nose with giant peach, citrus and floral notes and then pleases the tongue with grapefruit and lemony hops before a long bittersweet finish.
Our sandwiches arrived steamy hot from the grill in mere minutes. Butch enjoyed the Wild Thing ($9.25) while I scarfed down a Gobbler ($10.25). Wild Thing, served on a brioche bun, is a savory blend of button mushrooms sautéed in butter with roasted garlic, scallions and balsamic vinaigrette, topped by bacon beneath a blanket of melted provolone and brie cheese. Yummy! Gobbler combines tender turkey breast with smokey bacon, sweet apples, tangy plumped cranberries and gooey melted brie between slices of grilled Dutch crunch bread slathered with basil mayonnaise. Divine!
We satisfied our sweet tooth with a couple of tarts. Butch said the Cloud 9 ($5.25), a mound of light-as-air coconut crème drizzled with caramel sauce and topped with toasted coconut, is “provocative” and “delicate”. My Black Bottom Crème Brûlée ($5.25) featured a layer of chocolate ganache beneath velvety custard topped by a thin crust of torched sugar. Richly satisfying.
Blackmarket Bakery, a welcome addition to the neighborhood, has only been open a few months, but they are already seeing a steady increase in customers, and the casual friendly cafe will only become more popular. As one might expect, they are getting slammed with holiday orders. Don’t stress about the perfect dessert for your holiday feast; let Blackmarket Bakery do all the work, but please allow 72-hours for all cake orders.
Everything Blackmarket serves, from breads to pickles to bacon pecan brittle, is made in-house, so you know it’s as fresh as can be. Do yourself a favor this hectic time of year. Take a few minutes to stop, relax and eat this, hungry readers. You’ll be glad you did.
4686 30th Street
Mon. – Thurs. 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Fri. – Sat. 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sun. 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
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