Adventures in Eating & Cooking
10/12: First Sunday in Pitt, we got a group together for brunch at Cafe Raymond in the Strip District. Not exactly the cute sit-down restaurant I had in mind, but they served some solid breakfast staples. I think this little shop is more of a cute grab-n-go place with a bit of a grungy ambiance. But there were a few long tables crammed together in the cafe, enough to seat our big group of 8 at least!
The Apple & Oats Pancakes were quite delicious. Not the best because they skimmed on the fluff and erred on the softer side, but I’m pretty particular about pancakes and these were still pretty palatable. I really liked the thick slabs of apple nestled within the bed powdered sugar. But of course one can never go wrong with powdered sugar & dough!~
Had a bite of Gulnarnarnar’s French Toast w/ Berry Compost & Blueberries and felt a pang of regret for getting the pancakes. The gooey fruity compost really highlighted the dish. It contained a balanced level of sweetness that bathed the eggy bready toast, which was soft, fluffy and absorbent of the yummy compost.
After brunch, we wandered around the Strip for cute stores and culture. There was a Sunday stand on the streets selling various pastries and delights… we couldn’t help ourselves. I have a severe weakness for cannoli, delicious Sicilian rolls of ricotta-based or mascarpone cream. I decided to go bold or go home with chocolate cream, which I might prefer to the classic white cream. The reasons being: 1) I’m a chocoholic 2) For some reason, most of the classic cannoli I’ve tried have too sweet of creams. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been eating non-authentic, overly sweetened cannoli all my life, or because my tolerance for sugar is lower than most. I’m sure it’s probably the former, but I’ll have to go to Italy myself one day to find out. For the time being, I’ll stick to chocolate cannoli!
I’m embarrassed to say I forgot what this is called… but it’s pretty darn delicious! I will just call it crunchy cinnamony pastry (since I’m not that creative). I think I should have eaten this faster because I saved it for a day and the dough had kind of hardened up (if it wasn’t already). The cinnamon sugar these pastries are rolled in make these somewhat memorable. I think it would have been better to stuff the inside with cream and walnuts rather than paint a layer over the top, because I really didn’t taste much of it over the thick dough.
Too a bite of my friend’s Lady Luck. I haven’t heard of this particular pastry before… but it must be a Pittsburgh thing since I’ve seen a lot of these sold in the old-school bakeries in the city. I could see why Lady Lucks are a thing here, because the whole pastry is very light and airy. This sugar-dusted puff has many thin crisp layers, similar in concept as a croissant but texture more like a palmier or phyllo dough. The cream filling is also very light and airy, pretty much like whipped cream. Lady Luck really a simple pastry and easily enjoyed by everyone, thus making it a classic.