Actually, you could say it’s cake and art.
Yesterday, I had occasion to take lunch at Alon’s Bakery and Market in Dunwoody. It’s been around for twenty years now, currently with locations in both Virginia-Highland (near the Mistress of Sarcasm’s old haunts) and in Dunwoody (in the space once occupied by Eatzi’s). But somehow, despite my love for Things Foodie, I had never managed to make time to set foot in the place.
Oh. My. Gawd.
There’s a whole section with various prepared foods: salads, meats, vegetable dishes, you name it. There’s a deli counter where you can get a sandwich made to order. There’s a huge array of exotic gourmet comestibles, most of them with ridiculous price tags.
But then there are the cakes and pastries. Feast your eyes:
An amazing mouth-watering array of jewel-like cakes and other Miscellaneous Goodies.
In my experience, when cakes look this good, they generally disappoint when it comes to taste and texture. But the one little treat I permitted myself - a flourless chocolate soufflé cake - was delightful, with rich chocolate flavor and a dense (but not too dense) consistency. I would bet that each one of these jewel-like confections tastes every bit as good as it looks. Damn.
There’s even a honkin’ impressive Cheese Aisle.
Cheeses. K. Reist, does this look good!
I will definitely be back. There are about ten thousand things at Alon’s I want to get my mouth around... eventually.
Postscriptum: Later the same day, I found myself standing in front of the Display o’ Humongous Cakes at the Marietta Diner. [In Georgia, as it is in New York and other states in which diners may be found, there is apparently a law on the books that requires such establishments to have a big-ass display case filled with cakes, located as close to the front door as possible.] The cakes were each the size of two cinderblocks laid end-to-end, and each was decorated in a completely over-the-top manner. The contrast with what I had earlier seen at Alon’s could not have been sharper: it was New Jersey versus Paris, the average Wal-Mart shopper versus Audrey Hepburn. Quantity versus quality.
And yet, in the world of cake, there’s a place for both... because even a slab of Humongo-Cake can taste mighty good!
Friday, May 18, 2012
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I've seen tons of Korean bakeries that aspire to produce these sorts of cakes. You're right about the disappointing contrast between the cakes' look and their taste/texture. They appeal to the eyes, but don't always deliver to the taste buds.
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