But it sparked this post. See, the bakery is just amazing. And we have several local bakeries that are just awesome. For being in little old Utah County, and not, say, in New York or Paris, we do pretty well for ourselves in the bakery department. So, without further ado, my favorites, in no particular order.
- Kneaders. This is a Utah chain that has spread to Arizona. Aside from the customer service, which is less than stellar even in off-peak hours, everything I've had here has been great. They are a cafe, so they have sandwiches and salads, but they also offer all-you-can-eat cinnamon french toast with caramel syrup, strawberries, and whipped cream in the mornings for about $5. I can't eat more than a plate, and Jeff can only eat one extra slice, that's how big they are. But they are so yummy, especially when strawberries are in season. They also sell artisan-style bread, and they have the best baguettes I have found in Utah. That is actually how I started going here: a French professor I had once brought in baguettes and cheese for us, and said he had purchased them here. And my favorite treat is the lime tart. Yum.
- Flour Girls and Dough Boys. This is another artisan bakery, and claims to be 100% artisanal (no yeast). It's located in Lehi, Utah, and is AMAZING. They have a little bit of everything, and are also a cafe. Their sandwiches are delicious, and I wish I lived closer. As it is, we only get to go when we're passing through Lehi. They have divine cream puffs and cream cheese brownies, not too mention the cookies. Oh, the cookies. Shortbread chocolate chip, and Oatmeal chocolate chip stuffed with coconut and pecans. Really, just yum.
- Sweet Tooth Fairy. I have to admit, the first time I visited, I was not impressed. Their selection was, in my opinion, pathetic. I remember seeing only a handful of cupcake flavors and a few cookie flavors, in addition to a few boxes of cakeballs. And I couldn't fathom spending $2 on a cupcake, so I got a cookie, and it was okay. But. My sister-in-law, when visiting us, brought half a dozen cupcakes from her favorite cupcakery (which shall remain nameless to protect the not-so-innocent) and I thought they were pathetic. I didn't say this of course...how can you tell someone that they paid $3 for a sorry cupcake? The thing is, they were really sweet and they fell in the middle. The bakery had piled on frosting (probably close to 3 inches, easy) which covered the fact that they had fallen in the middle, but also made them extraordinarily sweet. They tasted fine, if you could get past the toothache. When she came again, I picked up a half-dozen from the Sweet Tooth Fairy, and wasn't expecting much. I just did it because I thought she'd appreciate it. But they were astounding (this coming from someone who doesn't LOVE cake)! So much better. They weren't drenched in frosting, but were as perfectly balanced as possible. They did have more flavors than I remember seeing the first time I visited, and they had some really good ones. I tried (halves or quarters, of course) chocolate marble, German chocolate, toasted coconut (my favorite), cheesecake, dulce de leche (I only had a bite of those two) and chocolate peanut butter. They were all great. They were all moist. They weren't too airy. And not one of them had fallen in the middle. The first store is in Provo, but they have opened stores in Draper and St. George. The owner has also appeared on Rachel Ray with her cake bites. Next time I want $2 cupcakes, I'm so there.
- The Chocolate. Last, but certainly not least. As mentioned, these are in no particular order. This is where I bought the mini cake for our anniversary. This is such a fun place; it's a cafe, but they just sell desserts and coffee. I visited once on a Friday night and the line was out the door. It was great to see it so busy, because that means it's doing well, right? The only thing I haven't loved has been the mint brownie. But guess what? I don't like mint brownies, so that's hardly fair to judge them based on that (Jeff picked it out and I didn't have the heart to tell him no). They have an amazing turtle tart, which happens to be gluten free. Yes. And you can't tell it's gluten free. They also sell an array of cupcakes and other sweet things (not all are chocolate...). Love it. They have the MOST amazing vanilla cake I've ever tasted. Whoever said vanilla is bland has not tried this cake. I'm telling you, I love chocolate. But the chocolate cake was a disappointment after the vanilla.