This was the third and final stop on my father and my Gulf Gate area foodie tour today and the only one that didn’t blow us away. The case of goodies looks simply awesome when you first walk in, but I should have trusted my initial instinct about bakeries who put sprinkles on rainbow cakes. It’s just not right, and usually indicates that they don’t really know what they are doing. Beautiful cakes and cookies are nice, but if they don’t taste as good as they look I won’t be back.
We ordered rainbow cakes, (wrong consistency and flavor of the cake, chocolate that was too thick and kind of weird tasting, and the sprinkles, ugh) biscotti (totally wrong texture, not hard or crunchy enough), an almond macaron (which was spelled incorrectly as a macaroon, which it definitely was not) and a raspberry linzer tart that was very sub par.
So yes, maybe I’m just a spoiled NYer with parents from Brooklyn who was lucky enough to grow up with access to some of the best cakes and cookies in the world, and maybe I should have turned and left when I saw the sprinkles (which, by the way I DO love on my ice cream but don’t want anywhere near my beloved rainbow cakes) but I didn’t. Oh well. Two out of three ain’t bad.
And yes, I will be eating salad for dinner tonight.
I’m a snobby, partly Italian, New Yorker but I was “raised”, per summers, in Tampa Fla/St Pete/Sarasota (which, from here, I’ll refer to it as from Tampa, since that is where the Cuban influence historically had the most impact/influence for those area) and I learned that that area of Florida has a very distinct way of doing their baked goods that I’m told is heavily influenced by a Cuban/Tampanian palette. It doesn’t compare to the palette you’re used to for bakeries in NY, its just distinctly “different” and while it at times chases away those looking for a more traditional expectation of baked goods, for Tampanians, this is ok. It took me a while to get used to it and I no longer try to compare it. In time I learned to appreciate its uniqueness and as a kid, I used to pretend that I had traveled to Cuba and was on vacation eating exotic foods (it was the only time my mother would let me drink Cuban coffee as young as 10 yrs old). Now, all these years later, I can tell as soon as I walk into such a bakery, what to expect for my palette. Its not for everyone, but don’t tell one from Tampa that.