When Stumptown first opened, pastries were supplied by Cafe Pedlar, a parade of olive oil bundt cakes and pretzels. Then the lineup started to include croissants from Ceci-Cela, and now? A whole line of sweet and savories baked by the Breslin, under the same roof of the Ace Hotel. I first got wind of this when a reader, Jeff, emailed me about the lemon curd filled meringue. It sounded absolutely gorgeous.
I went to Stumptown yesterday morning in search of the meringue. "Oh, the lemon curd meringues? I don't think we're doing those anymore—but maybe they'll bring them back eventually," the barista offered. I'll keep checking! For now, you'll just have to be satisfied with the current selection of Breslin goods, which are, in fact, pretty darn swell.
The Fougasse ($3.50, at top) was one of those things that you knew would be delicious just by looking at it. Like a olive oil-slicked cross between Sullivan Street's pizza bianca and puff pastry. Savory, and perhaps a little too greasy, the bite is liberal with salt and crisp potato bits. A craveable snack.
The bacon roll, a single bite of bacon and cheese rolled in puff pastry, was overpriced at $2.50. I'd pass on this, and stick with the Fougasse above.
The Palm Sugar Popper ($1.25) is a winner. It looks like one of those mini brownie bites you can buy by the bucket at grocery stores, but this little number, sticky moist and sweet, hides a gooey caramel-like filling that won't leave you with a toothache.
You can also pass on the Conversation Cookie ($2.25), a soft molasses cookie. Decent, though unremarkable.
But do go for the Beet Cupcake ($3.25)—tall and somewhat unwieldy, with a tower of buttery cream cheese frosting. The cupcake is so very distinctively beet in flavor, you could not mistake it for anything else—which I loved. Dense and tender to the touch, with hazelnuts mixed into the cupcake batter and sprinkled atop the frosting.
Stumptown (in the Ace Hotel)
20 West 29th Street, New York NY 10001 (map)