Puddin' by Clio opened last Friday on St Marks Place, and by the end of night, they were nearly sold out of everything. (Congrats!) The menu is divided into three main sections: puddings (with toppings), parfaits, and cakes. At $5 a slice, cakes are the best deal, and my favorite part of the menu. Selections change daily but keep your eye out for a towering slices of devil's food cake layered with a salted caramel baked ganache, peanut butter pudding, and a lavish dark chocolate glaze to finish. It's as indulgent as it sounds, and you'll want to pair this with coffee (Stumptown) or tea (Harney & Sons) which they serve as well.
Parfaits are pre-assembled creations, $6.50 for an 8-ounce jar, and $9.25 for a 12-ounce jar. Highlights? The Banana Cream Dream (large jar pictured in back): a lush, pure banana pudding meeting crumbled banana cake, whipped cream, and graham cracker crumbs. The satisfaction it offers is very different from that of the playful Nilla Wafer Banana Pudding from Sugar Sweet Sunshine. Clio's interpretation is more sophisticated and restrained. (There's a time and place for each.) The Coconut Cruise parfait is also a good bet, calling up tropical dreams with fresh pineapple dotted in vanilla beans, coconut-soaked lime cake, and a thick, voluptuous coconut pudding, all atop a graham cracker crumb base.
But if your goal is to keep things simple, Clio offers eight types of pudding served plain. There's a chocolate—a dark, intense number made with chocolate from Iceland-based Nói Síríus; there's also vanilla, butterscotch, coffee, and lemon, just to name a few. She also does a classic Rice Pudding, appropriately creamy and paired with a dusting of sweet Vietnamese cinnamon. Add a topping ($1) of housemade cherry compote to the pudding to take it right over the top. I'll be returning for this and another slice of cake!