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Taking the sweet pulse of Kansas City...


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Fellow K.C.'ers and friends of the K.C. metro area:

I need some help: I'm in search of high quality locally-owned pastry, dessert and speciality sweets-makers in the city (ie. non-restaurant, non-chain establishments).

Just to give a lead, creamy and irresistable gelato at The Sweet Guy in Parkville, buttercream-layered cakes at Andres near the Plaza, and of course, the bijou darlings at Christopher Elbow Chocolates downtown all come to my mind... but then again, I'm really a novice when it comes to the "sweet side of life." :wink:

Would love to hear what tops you mavens' lists of specialty sweets-makers!!

Ulterior Epicure.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I've confessed to not having a sweet tooth so many times on this forum that I should recuse myself from this topic, but I do have to take treats to work from time to time and the sugar-hounds there always get excited when they see that I've been to Napoleon Bakery on Westport Road. They have filled the gap left when La Bonne Bouchee closed, for the midtown area IMHO.

The have great breakfast and lunch fare, as well, and lovely loaves of bread.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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... and the sugar-hounds there always get excited when they see that I've been to Napoleon Bakery on Westport Road.

Ahhh, yes , a worthy suggestion...

U.E.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Not to burst your bubble or anything, but I'm not sure how locally owned Andre's is. We have two Andre's Pastry Shop and Cafes here in Houston. I dunno if it's just some sort've coincidence that there's the same logo for the name and the chef lookin guy, but my mother frequents one of them down here. I will say though, that their pastries are pretty good.

But yeah, I guess this subject is a little off topic.

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Not to burst your bubble or anything, but I'm not sure how locally owned Andre's is. We have two Andre's Pastry Shop and Cafes here in Houston. I dunno if it's just some sort've coincidence that there's the same logo for the name and the chef lookin guy, but my mother frequents one of them down here. I will say though, that their pastries are pretty good.

But yeah, I guess this subject is a little off topic.

:shock: Anyone got any info on this?

U.E.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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...so, the houston's branch is just an outpost for the kansas city "flagship...?"

u.e.

[edited to add:] p.s. here's an even more exacting link.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I haven't been there for many years, but Wally's Pastry Shop on North Oak Trafficway (north of the river), used to be a favorite!

I'm hoping someone has been there more recently and can give a report.

Oh right - Wally's has been great, but would also benefit from a more recent report...

U.E.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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  • 9 months later...

There's been recent discussion about gelatos and ice creams on another thread and I've taken the liberty to re-locate that discussion over here.

Aaron Deacon had asked for suggestions on gelato at Balsano's on the Plaza. I commented on their gelatos here.

Well, Aaron, your wish is my command. The balmy weather yesterday gave me the perfect excuse to scoot on by Balsano's for another tasting. This time, I tasted:

Apple Caramel Spice (which replaced the earlier Apple Spice) sorbetto: Improvement on the older version - this time it was less crystallized than the last time - it tasted creamier, although this was a non-dairy product. I wonder how they made "caramel" without dairy in a supposedly "all-natural" way? :hmmm: Still, very good. Not like apple filling any more; tastes more like apples toffee.

Pumpkin Spice: Boy, was it ever. You could really taste the pumpkin... the spices were just a compliment. It was a lot more mellow than I anticipated... but, very pumpkin-y.

Tiramisu: Tasted more like ameretto than rum... not my favorite.

Pistachio: Was glowing green... the guy behind the counter swears it's all natural, but I certainly have never seen any pistachios naturally that shade, or shall I say, luminescence of green. It tasted alright though - managed not to be the consitency of clay, like some overly-thick pistachio gelatos tend to be.

Espresso: More like cafe au lait. For a strictly dark coffee-drinker like me, this was candy. Not my favorite.

Vanilla Irish Cream: Can we say verysweet? Yes, it was very sweet - but I did enjoy the flavor despite the saccharin distraction. The vanilla held its own against the nice cooling Irish Cream. But, personally, it was way above my sugar-tolerance to stomach more than a small bite.

Butter Brickle: Passable - there was a lot of crushed nuts scattered across the top, which was nice addition. It managed to be somewhat complex in flavor, not just the cloying sweet buttery-caramel-y impression that most butter brickles leave you with.

Coconut: Ehh, good, I've had better.

Overall, this batch of gelato was noticeably more creamy in conisistency than last time I was in (maybe four months ago?) - perhaps because they've adjusted the temperature in the refrigerated case? Maybe they tweeked the recipe? Dunno. I will say, that this time, the guy working behind the counter mentioned that they use 2%... although negligible, it is slightly more fatty than the non-fat skim they mentioned last time I was in.

There were probably a good two dozen flavors in all. Off the top of my head: Chocolate-Hazlenut, Chocolate Strawberry, three kinds of sorbetto including a berry one, Wedding Cake (I get the heaves just thinking about the nasty "Cake Batter" they sell at The Cold Stone Creamery, so I avoided this one), and some others that appeared rather pedestrian to me... I mean, sheesh, I did try like half the case. Now it's time for you all to round up the rest! Oh, and bring plenty of pocket change - a small scoop starts off at $3.50... by the time you get to a large, it's upwards of $5/$6...

Here are the various other ice creameries and gelateria's mentioned in various and sundry threads:

Murray's Ice Cream & Cookies in Wesport. Still have yet to make it there. DOH!

The Sweet Guy in Parkville. The best I've had in KC, by far... limited selection, but consistently the most authentic and creamy stuff around!

SPIN! Neapolitan Pizzeria, also along the 119th corridor. I say have your pizza and head on over to....

Dean and Deluca's in Town Center Plaza - where I saw a vanilla malt that made me pause. Scoot along, we've got the ginormous beacon of light across the way that is the new C&B to see...

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Murray's Ice Cream & Cookies in Wesport.  Still have yet to make it there.  DOH!

I just got a new ice cream batch call from Murray's... they currently have carrot cake ice cream but it will be the last time before they close for the season! I can't remember when they close but I'm guessing soon. Gotta go get myself a qaurt of the stuff before its all over! :biggrin:

"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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So u.e., have you taken yourself down to 119th across from Sprint World Headquarters to check out the Artisian Francais yet, their pastries are pretty excellent. If not, you need to get out of up north more often.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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So u.e.,  have you taken yourself down to 119th across from Sprint World Headquarters to check out the Artisian Francais yet, their pastries are pretty excellent.  If not, you need to get out of up north more often.

Yes, I have, and might I say, everytime I've been down there, they're either closed or sold-out... in which case, they might as well be closed. :sad:

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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So, dropped by the Pastry Goddess at the Briarcliff Shops (Shoppes? There are so many "fancy ways" of spelling that word nowadays)... anyway, right off of Highway 9 and 169. Unable to drag myself down to Artisan Francais (*fistshakes at lucky wench*), I hoped to score myself a 1/2 dozen almond croissants, which I had coveted on a previous trip. All sold out. Of everything. 10 a.m.

Will try again soon!

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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So, dropped by the Pastry Goddess at the Briarcliff Shops (Shoppes?  There are so many "fancy ways" of spelling that word nowadays)...  anyway, right off of Highway 9 and 169.  Unable to drag myself down to Artisan Francais (*fistshakes at lucky wench*), I hoped to score myself a 1/2 dozen almond croissants, which I had coveted on a previous trip.  All sold out.  Of everything.  10 a.m. 

Will try again soon!

dude, you just have to drag yourself out of bed earlier in the day. 10am and you expect lots of goodies, that is faith.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Oh, joie, if you only knew. I've been up since 6.30... but, not being a pastry "god(dess)," or a sweet tooth, they were not foremost on my mind... *sigh* Will try harder next time, for you. :smile:

Edited to add: And, yes, it was my 10th (yes, count that - tenth) stop on my whirlwind Saturday morning run + errands. I guess next time, I need to make that 1st...

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I can attest to the quality of the goodies at Murray's, Napoleon's, Pastry Goddess, and Artisan Francais (Saturday morning is NOT the time to show up and expect full trays at those latter two, however).

Did you know about Foo's Fabulous Frozen Custard? (which, by the way, is opening a new shop in Leawood).

Come visit my virtual kitchen.

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Alas, I can also personally attest to the sad situation over at Café Aponaire in Waldo. I want to like them, really I do, but today was just the last in a series of disappointing encounters.

Among other problems ranging from annoying to unhealthy was this little gem: I ordered three cute little cream puffs to share with my family. The server, using a large waxpaper sheet, managed to mangle all three of them so badly that not one of them made it to the plate intact. Their chocolate glaze was smeared all over the plate, and one was smooshed face-down in the mess. The server looked at me sheepishly and said, "Um, is this okay?"

What could I say? "How on earth can you, in good conscience, charge me full price for this mess?"

"Can I speak with your manager?"

"Don't you have any pride in how you present your wares?"

"I have to wonder what you do when nobody is watching..."

"I'm just sharing with my toddler, and he's going to do worse that that to them."

Since I'd already paid, I actually said the last thing, and silently resolved not to return. But even if that hadn't happened, the bitter, burned, strangely soy-sauce-flavored "hash browns" would have done the trick.

You know, three years ago I lived within walking distance of an Austrian pastry café. Albert Kutternig would have torn a server like that into little tiny pieces.

Come visit my virtual kitchen.

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Well, Aaron, your wish is my command.

Thanks! I must say, however, that on top of my initial mediocre experience at Balsano's, the following flavor descriptions

very pumpkin-y

not my favorite

glowing green... tasted alright

Not my favorite

verysweet...saccharin distraction

Passable

Ehh, good, I've had better.

failed to sway me to indulge this exhortation:

Now it's time for you all to round up the rest!

Instead, we satisfied an ice cream obligation on Saturday with a trip to Murray's. I love the idea of infusing a delightful ice cream parlor with the smell of fresh-baked cookies. I loved the reality of it as well.

Tried four flavors: TNT (toffee, nuts?, t...? sort of a caramel toffee crunch), pink grapefruit sorbet, de-mint-ed, and chocolate coma.

All were terrific, though I was especially taken by the clean and true flavor of the pink grapefruit sorbetto.

The other three all had chunks of stuff, and the chunks had a very pleasant, "real" seeming chunkiness to them. I preferred the chocolatey chunks in the de-minted to a standard version of mint chocolate chip.

I only had a bite of the chocolate coma, but it was a rich, truffle-y indulgence.

And the TNT, which I ordered mostly for myself, was very good as well.

Charming place all around...we'll definitely be back. And next time I'll get a cookie.

In other ice cream news, anyone been to Sheridan's Frozen Custard on 75th and Metcalf? I didn't find anything in a search, but I don't know how well the search function here works.

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Instead, we satisfied an ice cream obligation on Saturday with a trip to Murray's...

Tried four flavors: TNT (toffee, nuts?, t...? sort of a caramel toffee crunch), pink grapefruit sorbet, de-mint-ed, and chocolate coma.

TNT = toffee 'n' truffles

I was there Saturday night, too, and ran off with a quart of that sorbet! I also had a double dip of TNT and Chocolate Coma... great minds chow alike, I suppose. :wink:

Did you see that the last day they're open is Dec. 3, and they're giving a deal on packed frozen goodies?

Come visit my virtual kitchen.

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TNT = toffee 'n' truffles

Thanks!

I'll credit the grapefruit and the coma to my 2 year old, who said he wanted the pink and the brown. He's a savvy flavor picker, that one.

I didn't notice the December 3rd sell by date and meant to post about that as well. My subconscious must have suppressed that information in hopes of maximizing the amount of ice cream left for purchase when I get there.

I was sorely tempted by a quart of the carrot cake ice cream, but we weren't heading straight home...about the fourth time this weekend I was burned by not carrying a cooler in my car.

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Did you see that the last day they're open is Dec. 3, and they're giving a deal on packed frozen goodies?

:shock:

What? Closed by Dec. 3 - who's going to fuel me through the dire months? When do they re-open... I'm assuming they will reopen. :unsure:

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Did you see that the last day they're open is Dec. 3, and they're giving a deal on packed frozen goodies?

:shock:

What? Closed by Dec. 3 - who's going to fuel me through the dire months? When do they re-open... I'm assuming they will reopen. :unsure:

u.e.

u.e.

Yes they will re-open, she closes down every winter, usually by the second or third week in November so we should count ourselves lucky this year. I think she re-opens in mid to late March if I'm not mistaken.

Dave

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Well, let's hope we're lucky again on the opening date - let's hope that you and I can both celebrate our birthdays right with a nice bowl of Murray's!! :wink:

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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