Monday, March 8, 2010

That One Tooth

It used to be hard to satisfy Tooth in the Heights. You know Tooth: the one in your mouth that makes you blow your diet, that craves sugar and butter mixed together with flour and more sugar. There is DaCapo's, but their hours aren't the most convenient. There is El Bolillo, but it's hard to walk/bike there, especially with Main under construction and it has to be the destination. You rarely hit El Bolillo on your way to somewhere else.

These days, however, Tooth is finding it easier to get its way. First, Jennifer Diaz started Porchswing Desserts here in the Heights, baking cakes and pies that are to die for. She started selling them at Antidote and I have satisified my Tooth several times because of it.

Now, Dessert Shoppe is open on 19th between Colina's and Penzey's Spices. Conveniently located off the Nicholson Bike Trail, you can satisfy your cravings on foot, by 2 wheels or by 4. They are open at 7:30 AM for that croissant on your way to work and are there until 8:00 PM if you want to treat your Tooth after an early dinner.

I stopped in last week to see how many ways the 4th generation Heights sisters could satisfy my large and very demanding sweet tooth.

As I was surveying the cases, I noticed 4 large, square cakes along the bottom. They call them "Log Cakes" and they are, indeed big logs of cake which you can buy by the slice. On the day I was there the offerings included Red Velvet with Cream Cheese frosting, Italian Cream Cake, Chocolate/Vanilla stripe with pastry cream filling and Chocolate/Chocolate. I opted for a slice of the stripe to eat there.

An entire Log Cake, available by the slice

I worried about my slice being dry because it was on the end of an already cut log but I was so wrong. It was moist and delicious. The pastry cream was smooth and the chocolate frosting was rich. Oddly, there was something nice about a rectangular piece of cake over a wedge. Maybe it was the equal amounts of cake:frosting:filling? Obviously they bake these logs for a reason! I actually lost my receipt somewhere in the bottom of my black hole of a bag, so I can't quote you an exact price for this little slice of heaven, but I think it was around $3...

Digging in to my slice

After I ate my cake, I was in a serious predicament. I couldn't do a post about 1 dessert! I just had to buy a few more for the road. Plus, I have an Official Tasting Assistant (or OTA) at home.

For the house I picked up a decorated cupcake. They had blue or pink flowers, as well as some puppies and Elmos. Know this ahead of time if you think you're going to get your child a plain, old cookie. Elmo is an eye grabber! Since I was taking it to go, I opted for the blue flower. It got a little squished in the box, but that didn't bother my OTA. He found the frosting quite nice and the cupcake itself was moist and just sweet enough. There are some other more well known places in town that specialize in cupcakes. This was simpler but it was better than any I've had at one well known location.

Partially smooshed doesn't matter when it comes to taste

My OTA gives the Dessert Shoppe cupcake a solid "A"

I also brought home 3 cookies, a bag of Shamrock sugar cookies and an eclair. Oatmeal raisin is my husband's favorite and he really enjoyed this one, but he found he liked the peanut butter even better. I ate the chocolate chunk. I found it soft without being too mushy but it lacked that little salty after taste that I really enjoy in a Triple C (which is how we refer to chocolate chip cookies in our house). It wasn't great but it wasn't bad. At $.85 each, Tooth can't complain though. The cookies are a great grab and go treat.

The Shamrock sugar cookies were nice, solid cookies. Firm and sweet with sugary cookie frosting (which hardens like a glaze). Hubs and I each ate one but I wasn't compelled to chow the whole bag. Yes, I am known to do that. The force is strong in Tooth. 

There was one major disappointment, though. It was the eclair. These have been one of my fave treats since childhood and something I just don't see offered as much here as they are back East. I was giddy with excitement but when I bit in, it was very dry and brittle with not enough cream in the middle. Also, it had been sliced in half the long way. I'm guessing this was to put the filling in but all the best eclairs I've ever had always filling piped in. The one from Dessert Shoppe slid apart while I was eating it. Bummer. Two bites and the rest went in the trash bin.

Luckily, the very pleasant memory of my log cake sustained me and I know that there will be something I can indulge in when Tooth starts to act up. Next time I go, I'll be trying another long time favorite: the cream puff! The giant muffins (blueberry, blueberry/cranberry, chocolate chip) looked amazing, with crusty, sugary tops. I can see my OTA happily digging in to a blueberry.

When the family rode our bikes up to the 1st Saturday Arts Market, Hubs popped in for a couple bottles of water and a peanut butter cookie. He was pleasantly surprised that the water was only $1/bottle. Good to know for those rides when you forget to bring H2O; being able to get Tooth off your back at the same time is an added perk.


  1. I went last night to satisfy my tooth - but they are CLOSED on Mondays! (and Sundays)...just fyi

  2. I must find this place - especially after your comment about the cupcake! My sweet tooth drives many of my life decisions. I too tried that unnamed "popular" cupcake place after all the hype I had heard and was grossly disappointed. Quite possibly the only cupcakes that I did not finish eating (got 5 flavors and had a tasting at work - nobody liked any of them.)
    I must find Dessert Shoppe!!!!!

  3. Well, I tried this place today based on your recommendation. I got there around 10:30am and they had not put out any cakes yet (still baking). So, I settled for some chocolate chip cookies. I have to say, I was pretty disappointed. They were not very flavorful, even though they looked really delicious. I've certainly had better. I would like to try again and hopefully hold out for a cake slice, but won't be getting the cookies again.

  4. I went there last Saturday, and got one of their cranberry & pistachio muffins. I ate half of it on the way home - moist and tasty. I'll be returning to try other items for my Tooth.

  5. I can vouch for their mini fruit tarts.
    Yum! My other half adored the chocolate dipped strawberries.

  6. 3 words...Italian Creme Cake! It is delicious and out of this world! I wont admit to how many times a week i have one :)