Fooding Project Concept

I don’t want to wind up spending my summer working at the bakery the same way I spent the summer a couple of years ago working at Blockbuster: putting in 30 or so hours at a place where I’m, in all honesty, not-so-well-versed in the product. While I most definitely enjoy seeing movies, the combination of not having much time outside work to make full use of my rental privilege of 5 free movies each week and the lack of someone to spend movie-watching time with made for a decidedly film-free few months of employment at an entertainment giant.

In order to encourage me to sample more of our options at the bakery, I’m declaring a new project that doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to myself. This idea will serve a multi-fold purpose: I’ll become knowledgeable about the tasty treats at my bakery, I’ll have something new to write about at least once each week, and I’ll encourage other people to be equally inquisitive with boulangerie-centered foodstuffs!

Guilty Pleasure Sundays will see it’s first entry on June 11, wherein I will describe at least one baked good sold by La Bonne Boulangerie that I have eaten that day. If I can possibly manage to try everything (that I’d actually like to try–and I’m not allergic to) by the end of the summer, I’ll consider it both a success and an invitation to switch it up to treats from other local eateries. 🙂

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a couple of reviews of things I’ve already tasted…

Banana Nut Muffin
Our muffins are the standard, generously-sized hunk of quickbread baked by most American bakeries. Where they deviate from the formula is with their yogurt-enriched batter base. The result is an incredibly flavorful and moist muffin, with a slight tanginess to balance out any breadiness and the sweetness. I think it also has the effect of enhancing the flavors of the particular muffins–even though this muffin only has a swirl of fresh banana purée in it instead of all throughout, the taste of banana permeates the entire muffin with rich, real fruit flavor.

One peeve of mine when it comes to any baked good featuring some sort of “add-in” is a too-generous hand with the addition. Nothing can ruin a banana nut muffin faster than the presence of too many walnuts. The name of the food is banana nut–not nut banana. ;P Since nuts in general tend to be very flavorful and can easily overpower any dish, the line between “enough” and “too much” is very fine. Somehow our baker has perfected the art of balance with our muffins because the every-few-bites presence of a perfect walnut was enough to have a pleasant nutty flavor in the muffin and an intermittent hunk to delight my teeth with something to chew down on without being the least bit stronger than the banana flavor.

Overall, I’m not exaggerating nor am I patronizing when I say that this was hands-down the best banana nut muffin I’ve ever had. Between the surprisingly intense moistness and the wonderfully natural and fresh flavors, it’ll be extremely hard to top.

Low-Fat/Grilled Veggie Wrap
Yes, you read that name correctly; my bakery actually sells wraps. We also have (all homemade of course!) soups, salads, fruit bowls, focaccia and croissant sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, dips, fresh mozzarella, and other market-type goodies. La Bonne is actually both an authentic European-style bakery and a café. 🙂

Of all the sandwiches we offer–and there’s actually quite a few!–the veggie wrap was of course the first to catch my eye and hold it long enough for me to drop the $6.99 to take it home. After popping open the package to discover a hulk of a halved wrap inside, I actually think that while it sounds a little overpriced for a simple sandwich, the amount of food is truly rather impressive. At this point I’ve already had this sandwich twice, and being famished the first time after not eating a bite all day, I did actually eat the entire thing at once, but the second time I bought it, I found it was absolutely plenty for two meals for me.

What inspired me to have this wrap twice within a two-week timeframe despite having the option of trying many other different sandwiches is the mind-blowingly-delicious quality of the veggies. Seriously, whomever devised the recipe for the marinade our owners use deserves an award and already has my undying love. On top of being infused with fabulous flavors, the veggies were perfectly grilled–the zucchini and summer squash weren’t at all too mushy, the asparagus was pleasantly crisp, and the red peppers had incredibly sweet, charred flavor.

Even something as seemingly insignificant as the wrap itself clearly receives the same level of intense attention as the vegetables. Thanks to its immenseness, the sandwich is as I said, a substantial portion. It also holds up incredibly well: even cold, it doesn’t crack, tear, or break but rather maintains a level of chewiness that is really quite enjoyable and nicely conducive to wrap-consumption without wrap-disassemblage.

All in all, I’m willing to bet this sandwich will be gracing my table again sometime soon and many times after. It’s flavorful, satisfying, and definitely well worth the expense!

Pizza and Muffins and Curry and Coffee…!

Looking over my Flickr account, I’ve eaten quite a bit of yummy things and not taken the time to write about it here! That’ll change right now, then.

A little over a week ago, my sister decided she wanted to make some garlic knots at lunchtime, so we ordered a pizza to go along with them from the only place near campus that was delivering that day, Cosmos Café. The timing wound up perfect, as the pizza arrived just as the garlic knots were coming out of the oven.

Homemade Garlic Knots
Garlicky dough-knots
While they were certainly fresh and delicious, my sister and I agreed they could’ve used a bit more garlic-and-oil topping. Next time, we’ll be keeping that in mind. At the same time, we found that her baking stone makes a wonderful difference with the texture of the bread. The outside gets a nice, dry crust while the inside stays perfectly soft. While lacking a little in the flavor department, these garlic knots had truly authentic dough.

Cosmos Pizza with Peppers and Onions
Cosmos pizza with peppers and onions
The pizza was pretty comparitive. It did possess the thin crust, not-to-much cheese, and yummy veggies that comprise my pizza preferences in those areas, but the sauce was just good, not fantastic. It well-satisfied my pizza desires, though, and I would definitely order from Cosmos again.

Another Pizza Shot
I ate it–yep yep!
Here you can see that the cheese and crust are in balance. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when pizza has more cheese than crust. That’s plain just too much greasiness, ick. At the same time, I much prefer thin-crust pizza to Sicilian-style, so dramatically more crust than cheese is also in the Terrible Pizza section of my book. This pizza could’ve had less cheese and that would’ve put it into the Perfect Pizza section, at least with respect to cheesiness, but it was certainly far from disagreeable. :]

Hmm…I think if I don’t paginate this entry, it’s about to get excessively long, so continue on to the full entry page if you’d like to read more about what I’ve eaten and cooked and eaten again!

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