Friday, May 6, 2011

Fresh Baked Friday: Bartram House Bakery

This week's Fresh Baked Friday comes to you courtesy of my last fling with high-cal sweets for what I hope to be a very long time.

Sigh. Dieting sucks.

Last week on my way to some serious retail therapy at Tanger Outlets in Washington County, I stopped at a place that had caught my eye many times before.  I'd never been to Bartram House, but any business with the word "Bakery" in its name certainly strikes my fancy.

So knowing that my "diet" was about to start in a matter of hours, I made a point to stop in for some sweet smells and what I hoped would be some delicious goodies, too.

It's a small but charming little place with a few tables for folks to enjoy the coffee (and free wifi) and a sandwich or those who are just too excited to dig in to their croissant to wait until they make it home.

I admit, I stared down the cases and menu for an awkwardly long period of time before I decided I couldn't decide. There were so many options from a classic BLT to a gourmet grilled cheese, delicious looking salads, quiche, breakfast sandwiches and loaves of bread.

But I wasn't there for savory.  Oh no, I was there for the sweet stuff.

Even amongst the amazing looking cakes, pies and tortes, my eyes were immediately drawn to something adorned with Oreo cookies.

I knew I wanted to take one home with me, but I couldn't stop there.  I asked the woman behind the counter what her favorites were.  She smiled and told me "everything."

But she strongly recommended the Chocolate Caramel bar.  A chocolate cookie bar with chalked with coconut and walnuts, delicious chunks of real chocolate and gooey caramel holding it all together. So of course, I had to give it a try.  But as she began to ring me up, a beautiful red velvet cupcake caught my eye. I had her add it to my order.  As something of a self-proclaimed cupcake connoisseur, I couldn't leave with out seeing how their rendition of a classic favorite stands up.

The "Oreo cookie thing" turned out to be a chocolate mousse cup. The "cup" part being hardened chocolate so literally every piece was oh-so-very edible.  The contrast of the solid chocolate with the creamy mousse and caramel that lay inside was so super gooey-licious. I was skeptical to share with my fellow FORT who accompanied me in this tasting.  She made the same face I did after one bite. A face that can only translate to "omg."

The Chocolate Caramel bar was slightly less glorious for me and even less for my FORT who is far from a coconut girl.  Did I enjoy it? Certainly.  But sadly I couldn't bring myself to eat the entire thing.  There are a lot of elements to it that make this bar perfect for sharing.

But the cupcake -- dear lord my fresh-baked-friends -- this thing was amazing.  Not too light, not too heavy and a cream cheese icing that makes Philadelphia proud to be in business. Normally I'm a tough cupcake critic.  But this one passed the test.

Restaurant Info:
Bartram House Bakery
Address: 4120 Washington Street, McMurray Pa (in the strip next to Franco's Trattoria)
Phone: 724-260-0702
Monday - Thursday: 7 am - 10 pm 
Friday & Saturday: 7 am - 11 pm 
Sunday: 8 am - 4 pm
Reservations: Seats about 40, but no need for reservations
Price: $$

Cliffs Notes:
Chocolate Caramel Bar @ $3.99
Berry Mousse Cup @ $3.99
Red Velvet Cupcake @ $2.50
Diet Pepsi @ $1.00
Total with tax: $11.54

Overall Opinion:
I'm definitely glad I stopped by.  Overall, fellow FORT and I had pleased palates and my mousse cup and red velvet cupcake were a wonderful send-off to my sweet-eating days.  I would very strongly recommend it to anyone who lives out the Washington/Peters/McMurray way.  Stop by for breakfast OR dessert!  They also cater both soups, salads and sandwiches or cakes and treats. I can't wait to go back when this cursed diet is over and eat me an ENTIRE key lime pie!

Bartram House Bakery on Urbanspoon

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