Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sugar Spoon

Wherever you go, there's a coffee shop.
In this case, a shop with coffee and all the associated hot beverages, and some of the best pastries and desserts I have ever tasted! Anchorage has a plethora of this type of place - independent little beverage and sweet shops that range from darling to funky to utilitarian. This place is of the funky variety, with sort of modern takes on classical deserts.
I knew I would like the place as soon as I saw the menu. Thank God, their drink sizes are "small" "medium" and "large". It irks me beyond all sense and reason when places have these nonsense size names - it's just pretentious. And they insist on using their terms, like a toddler who has to tell you about how he went potty all by himself. If you say "small coffee", the cashier will smirk at you, and say "Did you mean a venti?" I want whatever one is the small one. You go ahead and call it whatever makes you happy.
Well, anyway, now that the rant is out of my system - back to the Sugar Spoon. My visit there was part of a "girl day" I had with some ladies from work. We went to the Anchorage Museum to see a bead show, and then went for coffee and desserts. We all got the beverage of our choice, then buzzed between our menus and the showcase up front, trying to decide what we wanted. Everything looked so good and so interesting! (As indeed it all proved to be, but I am getting ahead of myself.) We decided to each get something different and then share bites with each other. I got a stonefruit tart, which was a slice of plum in a ground almond filling inside a buttery puff pastry casing, with a red wine reduction and candied almonds. It may sound like there were too many things going on there, but it was incredibly delicious. The rich ground almonds played against the crispy crust and the crunchy whole almonds, and the wine sauce added a bit of tartness that cut the rich flavors of the rest of the dish. Another lady in our group got a slice of a lemon cake and cream thing that was very tart and sweet, and basically tasted like sunshine. A third member of our party got black rice pudding, which was forbidden black rice cooked in coconut milk and cardamom with stawberry lime sauce - which was very tropical and delicious too. The fourth lady in the group got a chocolate mochaccino creme pie slice, which had layers of chocolate, coffee, and white chocolate creme and a chocolate crumb crust. That too was delicious. I don't have fuller descriptions of the other ladies' desserts, because I had a bite of each, which is not enough to fully consider the wholes.
We did tell our waitress that they could make a mint (which, by the way, they have mint chocolate pots du creme that I intend to try on my next visit!) by offering sample plates with little bites of a selection of their desserts. She just said "We don't do that." We know, but we wish you did. Well, guess I'll just have to go back!

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