HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


Miette: Myuck!

  • m

I gave Miette in the Ferry Building market a second chance today at lunch and was unfortunately disappointed. A while back I tried them out when they were at the farmer's market further up the Embarcadero. The tea cake I tried was flavorless and undercooked. I called them up to mention it and was offered a free cake the following weekend, but that one was also undercooked. Just looking at it's misshapen top should have been a clue to the baker.

I tried them out again today and went with a simple vanilla cupcake with chocolate buttercream frosting. The cake was dry and a tad tough. The frosting was remarkable in that it had such little flavor I wondered exactly how they did it. At $3 a pop, they're definitely not bargains especially given their minute size. i give them a 3 out of 10. Nothing at all like Magnolia or other cupcake bakeries in NY. I prefer any old supermarket over Miette.

On a more positive note, the twice baked brioche from Lulu Petite is worth trying. I believe the brioche is baked once, and then filled with marzipan and other goodies before a second baking. i give it a 7 out of 10.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Thanks, Matt! I was thinking of giving them another try, since I'm in the Ferry Building a couple of times a week, but I see the emperor still has no clothes.

    Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      One of the things I love about Chowhound is being warned away from places like Miette that I pass regularly and have deceptively nice-looking food!

    2. Funny that the owners are reported to be dot com refugees because their web site hasn't been updated in months. The home page still announces that they will be opening their first retail outlet in the Ferry Building "in October."

      I even emailed them about this last month. Never received a reply and they still haven't updated the page.

      I appreciate the warnings as the cakes sound great, if expensive, from the descriptions on the web page.

      1. c
        ChowFun (derek)

        My experience exactly!
        Pretty, expensive and remarkably tasteless!!! How do they manage it??

        1. I have continuously been gifted with Miette dross. Why, oh why do my well-meaning friends think that this stuff is good and will appeal to me? They all know I like to bake myself, and therefore I'm probably a pretty tough critic. I know -- this is a question for me to ask my friends not Chowhound -- but it never fails to amaze me how often people show up at my house with "a little something" from Miette.

          The last thing I remember being brought to my house was an elaborately decorated and frosted "Meyer Lemon" cake. I am not kidding you when I say I'm relatively certain that the frosting had Crisco in it. I cut it at dessert and served it my guests (who were the people who brought it, I was trying to be polite), and not one person finished their rather small pieces. My husband cleverly begged off when he saw the lable, saying "I don't really like lemon" -- Ha! I pushed a few bites around on my plate after tasting it, and then (since this was dessert after a dinner party) brought out the port and chocolates. Every one of the chocolates (truffles from XOX, of course, a real SF treasure) were devoured, while the cake languished on the dessert plates.

          I even tried to give a little bit to our two dogs. They sniffed at it interestingly in their bowls, took a taste, and didn't finish it! These are dogs!!!!!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mrs. Smith

            Congratulations! Your dogs are truly chowHOUNDS.

          2. I agree, I had one of their cupcakes and it was dry and sunken and tasteless. I also think their customer service could be better as they are not very friendly there.

            1. Miette cupcakes and cakes are very very pretty and taste very very bad. People get wooed by the pretty and the Ferry Building location and think they must be good because of them both. I like their mini scones, but that's about it. A few months ago, actually, I was in line to get a few scones in front of people who had never been there before and were discussing what cupcake to get, and then asked me what my favorite was, and I had to tell them that I didn't like any of the cupcakes.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JasmineG

                Thanks for the comments on the cupcakes. I'd heard some good things about them (when, oh when, is the cupcake craze going to go away?) and thought maybe Miette was improving. But "dry and tasteless" sure sounds like the old Miette. A chowhound (who shall remain nameless) who worked there briefly told me that as a trained pastry chef, she was overqualified to work at Miette.

                1. re: JasmineG

                  I am exceedingly fussy about bakery items. Seriously, I am a bakery slut. I try them all. I seek them out and travel many miles just to get to one I haven't tried. I don't like the ginger cakes/cupcakes at Miette because they are far too gingery for me, but those chocolate cupcakes are great. I've had a handful in the last 6 months, and they were generally quite moist and flavorful. I hate it when you try a chocolate item at a bakery and the chocolate flavor is undetectable (Noe Valley Bakery, I'm lookin' at you!). That isn't the case at Miette. Maybe their output is just really inconsistent, because I really think sometimes those cupcakes are awesome. I hate their cookies.

                2. it's funny - every saturday i stand there and look at everything for about 5 minutes. but i never buy anything. i don't know why.
                  a sixth sense maybe?.

                  i once bought a french friend one of their eclairs and a macaroon which they were happy with.

                  i heard they actually have a wonderful grapefruit cake (this from someone who doesn't generally have a good thing to say about them otherwise) but i have never seen it myself, esle I would give it a try.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Sixy

                    I thought the macaroons weren't bad but nothing to go out of my way for. Never bought them again.

                  2. I recently bought the "pickniker" (sp?) carrot cake, and it was the most adorable thing ever. Unfortunately, it was dry and flavorless. I would rather eat entenmanns to be honest.

                    1. Tried them back in July... yes their stuff is VERY DRY. Took one bite and was choking already and looking for something to wash it down with. I'd rather eat cardboard.

                      1. After seeing their beautiful cakes, I tried the vanilla "tomboy"- chocolate cake layered with vanilla buttercream. The counterperson suggested I leave the cake at room temp if I was to serve it later that day. Bad advice! I have to agree that the cake was a disappointment- dry cake and greasy frosting. However, I was surprised to find that after refrigeration, the cake was passable- maybe the chill brought out more of the flavor? Cake seemed slightly fudgier, the frosting so much better when firmer. Would I bother with a Miette cake in the future? Not at all, especially when there's much better out there. The macaroons were pretty good though...

                        1. I hate to be the voice of dissent here, but I had a cupcake with strawberry frosting there two weeks ago, and the frosting was pretty good. Not greasy, or too sweet, with a good fresh strawberry flavour. Haven't tried any of their other goods, though, so cannot comment on those.

                          1. You people are way too harsh. The people at Miette are totally lovely and make delicious treats. Obviously none of you have tried the to-die-for macaroons. If you look on other posts, you'll see that many other people are die-hard Miette fans.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: rworange

                              I have also wanted the pretty cakes at Miette to be as good as they looked...alas they didn't even come CLOSE....totally tasteless..each time...never again for me!

                              1. re: BrunoB

                                I've had the macaroons. They're one of the better things I've had at Miette, but they're "to die for" only if you haven't had French -style macaroons at other bakeries. Feel Good bakery in
                                Alameda and Bay Breads in San Francisco, to name two, do the same style better.

                                Even if other people are "die-hard Miette fans" that doesn't mean my opinion is any less a valid reflection of my experience. And how "lovely" they are has nothing to do with anything.

                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                  I've also had the macaroons, and was disappointed. French-style macaroons usually pack intense flavor (chocolate, pistachio, rose, whatever), Miette's tasted they were filled with buttercream.

                                  I tried their cookies, and was also underwhelmed. Between my somewhat limited experience, and the majority of the comments, I'm just not inclined to spend more money there.

                              2. I decided to re-try a Miette cupcake today, as I seem to be the only person on Chowhound who likes them. Would it be dry, crumbly, and tasteless? NO! I got the "Classic" and really paid attention to the quality and flavor. The Classic is a dense (yet quite moist!), not overly sweet chocolate cupcake with a meringue-like frosting. The frosting was perhaps a little too sweet, but the whole thing was delicious. A very adult cupcake.

                                Because it was the Fungus Festival this weekend, many vendors had mushroom-related offerings. Miette had candy cap mushroom shortbread that was actually quite good. I usually can't stand their cookies, but I bought a bag of these for a fairly reasonable $5.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Atomica

                                  I agree. The chocolate cupcake at Miette is delicious and "very adult." I don't understand why most Chowhounders don't like it. I've only eaten them on weekday afternoons, does that have something to do with it?