Cupcakes Gourmet in Philadelphia, PA

my favorite cupcake

Cupcakes Gourmet
279 East Swedesford Road
Wayne, PA 19087

my favorite cupcake

Imagine my surprise when I find out that the little cupcake bakery next door to the Panera I’ve been studying at all week was the winner of Best of 2008.

The story from the owner, “In early 2006, Maki’s daughter Chloe was born. The first two weeks of Chloe’s life were uncertain and fraught with major health concerns; doctors suspected she had a rare eye cancer. Miraculously, Chloe’s eye cleared up, and turned out to be perfectly healthy. In celebration of that miracle, Maki marked Chloe’s first birthday with a party, baking over 100 cupcakes for the occasion. The beautiful and delicious cupcakes were such a hit that Maki began thinking about opening a cupcake business. Soon after, Maki’s close friend Heather was asked to provide food for a large church event. Heather decided to make cupcakes and enlisted Maki’s help to design them. The two of them enjoyed their creative collaboration so much that they decided to forge a partnership.”

So after seeing all the signs, I knew I had to try one of my favs, the red velvet cupcake. It was moist but my goodness, the frosting on top was heavenly! Just perfect. It was bursting with flavor but not heavy. It perfectly complimented my cupcake. mmmmmmmm

 

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Athan’s Bakery in Brighton, MA

almond croissant

Athan’s Bakery
407 Washington Street
Brighton, MA 02135

the bakery

This Greek bakery is a Boston favorite and well known for its baklava. I had a google offer for this place, paid $10 for $20 credit (I don’t think many people have redeemed theirs because when I paid with mine, the girl behind the cash register was having difficulty and tried to make me pay twice…….i’m gonna chalk it up to inexperience). I’ve been to the other location and parking is not easy there. This one is located at Brighton center and parking was much easier.

almond croissant

We tried 3 different pastries and 1 chai tea latte for $20. The Chai tea latte was the bitter watery kind, I wouldn’t recommend this for future customers. The almond croissant was moist and soooooooo good.

chocolate croissant

The chocolate was light and chocolate-y. Very delicious. Kinda weird, they don’t have the croissants out on display, they keep them on the cooling racks behind the counter.

chocolate cake

I forget the name of this scrumptious dessert but it has chocolate and hazelnuts! ‘Nuff said!! Am I right? this was so delicious! My brother and I were fighting over this one dessert. The Brighton location offers a full restaurant menu and the bakery side is not as strong as the other location.
Athan's European Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Cafe Belle Madeleine in Las Vegas, NV

intense chocolate

Cafe Belle Madeleine
3655 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109

the front

I had the chance to check out this bakery while Joe gambled for a bit in the casino. The cigarette smoke really bothers my eyes and so I had decided to go read at a cafe while he played texas hold ‘em.

lots of choices

There were so many choices, I had no idea where to begin. This place was the perfect little smoke-free quiet nook to get some quality reading done.

intense chocolate

This chocolate was filled with pistachio cream. So good! But pretty expensive. i had pretty much resigned myself to pay a hand and foot for eating out everywhere in Las Vegas (ok may not everywhere, can’t forget the fast food chains on the strip).

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Honeydeux in New Orleans, LA

shaved ice

Honeydeux
1912 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA

new frozen dessert place

Honeydeux has opened up nearby where the former Jackson restaurant was (some of you may remember some bad blood between me and the chef at Jackson and so I had avoided this area of Magazine st for some time). But when I saw shaved ice signs, I had to check it out. I got a chance to speak with the owner who actually brought the Asian shaved ice idea from Star Ice in Houston, TX to New Orleans. I’ve noticed there’s  been a sudden tide of frozen dessert places in New Orleans (Red Mango, Pinkberry, etc), but this is unique and there are tons of Asians in New Orleans looking for some Boba tea and shaved ice.

ambiance

The ambiance is set up like a modern diner, with stools set around a counter.

shaved ice

the asian version of shaved ice comes with yummy condensed milk which gives extra flavoring to the fresh fruits and shaved ice. Star Ice and Honeydeux both like to top their with an additional scoop of ice cream. Love the condensed milk! The mango and strawberries were super fresh. I hope to come back and try some other fruit combinations.

 

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Pinkberry in Boston, MA

joe's

Pinkberry
288 Newbury St.
New Orleans, LA

Newbury st

I love walking down Newbury St. in Boston. It’s fun to see how many stores they try to cram into one block (there’s a downstairs, a upstairs and a regular entrance all in the same area………there really is no organization to the numbers of the addresses on the blocks (like  in Philadelphia, one block is one set of hundreds).

something new

I figured since I wasn’t payin for my dessert, I would go all out. I got to try the new pumpkin flavor the guy behind the counter suggested some cinnamon on top which totally made it amazing. So I got the pumpkin w cinnamon, some peanut butter crunch (pulling out all the stops!), mochi and heath bar bits.

joe's

Joe got something like my usual creation from Pinkberry. The regular yogurt and all fruits (altho he did personalize it with the chocolate chips). The service here was very friendly and awesome at letting us sample the various yogurt flavors.

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Red Mango in Baton Rouge, LA

my creation

Red Mango
10001 Perkins Rowe
Baton Rouge, LA 70810

the front

I love Red Mango so much that even though the one in Harahan closed, I drove from New Orleans to Baton Rouge to check out this one.

self-serve yogurt

the girl behind the counter hands out mini cups so that you can go from station to station sampling various flavors. My new favorite is white peach.

self serve toppings

Unlike the stingy servers at Pinkberry, you can pour on your own toppings. of course they charge you buy the weight, but at least you can put on as many toppings as you want.

blueberries

look at how fresh the fruit selection is!

my creation

my creation has mochi, mangoes, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries and banana on white peach frozen yogurt.

Red Mango on Urbanspoon

Yogurtland in New Orleans, LA

my creation

Yogurtland
4903 Prytania St.
New Orleans, LA

the front

Well look who’s finally joined the New Orleans frozen yogurt scene! Welcome, Yogurtland! I’ve been expecting you!!

ambiance

This is like the more affordable version of frozen yogurt done right! When we walked in, we were handed several sample cups (most stores are super strict on limiting the number of samples you get). Joe and I had enough to sample at least one of each flavor (there are like 10? 12?)

lots of candy options

Don’t forget, you can put as much frozen yogurt and toppings as you want, but they will charge you by the price. Now I am pretty used to my order and expect it to come out to about $10 at Red Mango (at Pinkberry, they control how much frozen yogurt you get and how much of each topping so they can’t really be compared to these self-serve places) so imagine my shock when I went to ring up my order and it was only $4!!! Hello, Yogurtland! Goodbye, Red Mango (that is all the way in Baton Rouge).

lots of fresh fruit options as well

The service was friendly, the place was uber clean (just opened up 3 weeks ago) and the toppings looked amazing. On top of that, the flavors were delicious. Not too much tart.

Joe's creation

Joe went for the chocolate milk shake flavor frozen yogurt with mochi, cookie dough, chocolate chip and honey.

my creation

I went for the red velvet cake batter (that’s right!!) with mochi, twix (uh huh!), and toffee bits. Heaven! I’ll definitely be back.

 

 

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Jungle Cafe in Houston, TX

black forest cake

Jungle Cafe
9889 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX

the front

we came here for some desserts. they are all very prettily decorated and at extremely high prices! overall, i thought the quality was good but not great especially in the flavor category.

pistachio cake

this cake had a velvety pistachio flavor to it. it was very rich.

black forest cake

i was excited for this cake because it was supposed to be a chocolate cake that tasted more like a brownie. the star of this dish was the chocolate macaroon. it was light and airy and flavorful.

Gambino Bakery in Metairie, LA

rusty sign

Gambino Bakery
4821 Veterans Memorial Blvd
Metairie, LA

rusty sign

i wasn’t too happy with this place. When I walked in with my camera, they said no pictures allowed when I know for a fact other people have taken pictures in here of their cake displays. Oh well.

red velvet petit four

I had a whirl of petit fours. I couldn’t make up my mind and so I love these little tiny cake slivers. It’s just enough to appreciate the taste but not enough to drive you to the gym.  The cakes here are moist and flavorful. My favorite had to be the butterscotch petite four.

butterscotch petit four

I asked the woman working there what is the most popular cake flavor and she said the almond cake. I tried it and was more impressed by the red velvet and the butterscotch.

almond

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