Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Friday, May 18, 2012


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:

Alon 3
Alon 2
Alon 4
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.

Alon 1
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!

1 comment:

Kevin Kim said...

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.