If you love dessert...
- Jared Nov 21, 1999 08:29 PM
Where are some of the best desserts in Manhattan (no, Jim, its not Brother Jimmy's)...the Magnolia Bakery in the West Village. WOW! Has anyone else been there? The cakes are great, but the best thing they make is the banana pudding with vanilla wafers.
For much better banana pudding go uptown (a trek, but worth it) to Charles' Southern Kitchen (2837 Eighth Avenue (between 151/152 Streets), 212-926-4313).
I love the soggy mixed-in 'Nilla Wafers, too. Real soulfood banana pudding always has 'em (plus folded-in meringue, too)
Sorry to disagree, the cupcakes were as dry and tasteless as the atmosphere was as heavy with west village pretension. From the outside it has a quaint homespun charm, but the bakers here have obviously not progressed from their Betty Crocker oven days. If this is supposed to be classic, then my wife's chocolate chip cookies should be on the menu at Bouley Bakery. The place also is totally filthy...Not a good sign for a Bakery...Sorry, but there is MUCH MUCH better in the city than this poor excuse for classic homestyled baked goods....Gave them 3 chances, and was disapointed each time.
Granted there is absolutely nothing "professional" about Magnolia, I think what they do they do well. It's also one of the few bakeries in the city that serve traditional fluffy layer cakes.
Granted there is a lot of attitude, granted the help wouldn't be qualified to work at a Rite Aid, granted it's very stuffy inside - but where else can you find icebox cake made with chocolate wafers and whip cream or freshly baked German chocolate cake. (I don't generally eat cupcakes, so I cannot comment on them.)
As for the lady who feeds her five year old daughter purple icing and rainbow sprinkles - well...I won't go there.
Meee-owww! It's not that New Yorkers don't know where Bouley Bakery is--and I'm kind of addicted to their beeswax-coated canelles myself--but Magnolia is a horse of a different breed, and has never pretended to do anything but simple home-style baking for customers who aren't quite sure how to turn on their ovens. I like their cheeseball red velvet cakes and such. And if you could see the look of absolute rapture on my five-year-old's face when she is allowed to pick out a purple-frosted cupcake with rainbow sprinkles, I doubt you'd be such a grouch.