Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mariposa Bakeshop

I always have a pile tasting notes, from a variety of events, laying around.  Since I only publish once a day to my blog, and I like to do real restaurant reviews within a day or two of my visit, things like my reviews of chocolates, ice cream, bakeries, and whatnot tend to just get queued up, until something inspires me to post.

The other day, a friend asked what my favorite flavor of ice cream at Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous was.  Instead of a simple short answer, I wrote her a post.  I have two friends who are now gluten free, and I wanted to give them some tips on gluten free places in the area, and thus, this post.

A few years ago, Ojan was experimenting with a gluten free diet.  A couple weeks in, he was certainly missing gluten, so I set out on a mission to find a replacement.  I didn't have to look far.  Just a few feet away from where I normally picked up bread (Acme bakery, in the Ferry Building), was a tiny little kiosk selling some gluten free goods.  We tried a number of assorted items, and although most were pretty obviously gluten free and not particularly tasty, the sour cream coffee cake was surprisingly good and memorable, to the point where I continued getting it long after he stopped avoiding gluten.

Since then, they've expanded into a full storefront and carry many more items, ranging from basic breads, to bagels that they'll toast and top, to muffins and other breakfasty goods, to cookies and pies and even frozen pasta and pizzas.

I don't really have a reason to go there anymore as I have the choice to eat gluten, but if I were avoiding it, I think they are probably the best bakery in the area, and they certainly have a large selection.
Storefront in the Ferry Building.
  • Breakfast Baked Goods
    • Bear Claw: Tasting notes: very dried out and not very good at all.  Almond filling was unremarkable.
    • Cheese Danish: Tasting notes: Moist danish, sweet cheese filling, slivered almonds.  I loved the addition of the almond to this classic pastry.  Quite tasty, and I'd gladly get another.
    • Chocolate Donut with Vanilla Frosting: Tasting notes: Chocolately, moist, would never know it was GF.  [ Great deep chocolate flavor, moist, nice frosting, good crunch from sprinkles.  Very good, and certainly didn't taste gluten free! ]
    • Cinnamon Roll:  Tasting notes: Didn’t like the mouthfeel of the roll, not much cinnamon flavor, but good icing on top. [ Great cinnamon flavor, moist, good icing ] [ Roll was kinda gummy and strange, clearly GF ]
    • Sour Cream Coffee Cake: "Layered with a sweet and crunchy walnut and cinnamon brown sugar streusel".  Tasting notes: Moist, buttery, absolutely delicious streusel topping.  I'd never know this was gluten free, and would gladly get it again.  Favorite item they carry, by far.
  • Muffins
    • Banana Chocolate Muffin: “A fluffy banana muffin with sweet mini chocolate chips”.  Tasting notes: Incredibly moist, tons of banana flavor.  Really quite good, would never, ever know it was GF.
    • Pumpkin Muffin: Tasting notes: Really great pumpkin flavor, nicely spiced.  A little dry. [ Really nicely spiced, raisins inside. ] [ Dry, but nicely spiced ]
    • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin. Tasting notes: kinda dry.  Very spiced.  Chocolate and spices worked well together.  Didn’t really taste pumpkin.
  • Breads/bagels
    • Baguettes, rolls, etc.  Tasting notes: I've tried a number of the standard bread items, and they were all pretty bad.  Stale tasting, strange consistency, etc.  Clearly, gluten free.  I wouldn't get them again, but I have the choice to eat gluten, so I can't really say how I'd feel if I had no other choice.
    • Bread with cinnamon and sugar on top: Tasting notes: good cinnamon sugar, but meh overall.
    • Sesame bagel with cream cheese and cucumbers: Tasting notes: Nice chew, nice seeds on crust, wouldn’t know it was GF at all. [ Bagel ok chew, decent cream cheese, crunchy cucumber slices ]
  • Savory
    • Spinach and Ricotta Empanada.  Tasting notes: Surprisingly tasty, good spinach flavor, nice ricotta, hearty tasting dough.
  • Pies
    • Cherry Pie: Tasting notes: This was really good!  The crust was really hearty tasting, not at all a typical pie crust, but I liked it.  It went really well with the cherries.  The whole thing wasn't very sweet, and I could even imagine having it for breakfast, like a cherry pot tart or something.
    • Pecan Pie: Tasting notes: I adore pecan pie, but this wasn't that great.  The pecans were a little soggy, the filling didn't have that classic sweet taste.  The crust was really not very good, not flaky, not buttery, and reminded me of crackers more than pie crust.  Maybe it was good for a vegan and gluten free pie, but I didn't care for it. [ The pie filling was ok, fairly sweet, lots of pecans.  The crust was awful, like cardboard, clearly gluten free! ]
  • Desserts
    • Penguinos and Polar Bears: These are their chocolate and vanilla, cream filled, cupcakes.  I know I've tried them both, but I lost my notes on them.  I guess they weren't that memorable.
  • Cookies
    • Coconut Macaroon: Not good.  Just a pile of coconut with strange binding.
    • Italian Wedding Cookie: Buttery shortbread rolled in powdered sugar.  Pretty good!
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