- Kelli Weiss Mar 10, 1999 09:10 AM
Can you reccommend a good source for muffins and
bagels for a small brooklyn cafe?
There was a posting on the "Outer Boroughs" a few weeks
ago; it had to do with how Marquet Patisserie was
selling wholesale, with I think their info, and the
pastries were at Bean and Berries on 7th Ave. I went
there on that recommendation, and they were great, as I
remembered them being. Maybe try them.
I've been out of town for a bit and duing my chowhounds catch-up I noticed your request.
There is a Brooklyn bakery/cafe that I can recommend for their muffins without hesitation.
TWO LTTLE RED HENS (priviously known as Faith's) in Park Slope on 8th Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets.
Their muffins are stellar, not the gargantua style but the type where flavor, texture and consistancy are the obtained goal.
My favorite is the chunky apple; moist with an appropriate proportion of apple hunks which don't overpower the sweet cakiness of the muffin which is crowned with a sprinkling of cinnamon strussel.
When I get a muffin at "Hens" it's invaribly the chunky apple, but I'm assured by customers and actual lip smackin' observation that their other muffins easily pass muster.
I feel I would be remiss if when commenting on "Hens" not to mention a few other highlights not to be overlooked:
First and formost; thier gingerbread is simply the best, much too good to waste on construction of houses and such, it's a square of moist, rich, full flavored sweet & spicy ginger with an aroma that'll not only knock your socks off but switch your left sock to your right foot and your right sock... There's a wonderful consistency of density to lightness with a skin of concentrated flavor on top. With a cup of their very good coffee it's difficult to be occupied with your day to day, to day to day goings on.
Also of note are their very special fruit tarts which have been improved upon and carried over from their Faiths days. Some notables are the; Key Lime Tart with a sprinkling of crmson linguinberries, the Almond Cherry tart, the chocolate silk tart and the french apple tart with an apple sauce type fillng. The tarts are sold in various sizes: for myself; just give me a 6" and a fork and I'm happy.
Their fruit pies are also excellent. My favorite is the Dutch Apple with an excellent large chunk strussel topping and just a hit of cream floating the apple fillng. The crust is, by my taste lust right; crispy, flakey with a rich butter aftertaste. Many believe The Little Pie Company on 44th off 9th the make the best Dutch Apple in the city; they call their version a Sour Cream Walnut. I believe Hens' Dutch is far superior due to their temporence. Little Pie is too rich. Yes there can be too rich, in cooking and wealth. In this case their, Litle Pies' Dutch is a cloying softball of butter and butter and cream. Not that I havn't enjoyed it when that was what I was looking for. After a breakup... But it's a fried dough crust bowl filled with apples, butter and cream. Hens' dutch apple is perfected moderation.
To reheat the pie at home I suggest; turning the oven to 500 degrees, turn it off, wait 5 or so mins. then place the pie in the hot, turned off oven until it's crispy and on it's way to cooling. At this point reove the pie from the oven, take the Hagen Das out of the freezer and serve in 10 mins. as the pie is warm and the ice cream is just begining to soften.
One more thing about Hens while I'm at it; other then the extrodinary fruit bars (the rich apple crumb, a knock out), very good tid bit vanilla cookies, fine 6" specialty cakes of many descriptions (see B'klyn Black Out) and from time to time if you catch it right the .50 grab bag of day old treasures; the people and the atmosphere are the warest and friendliest in Brooklyn. A borough of warm and friendly people. Yes that's right. True soul people. They'll always give it to you straight.
Although for relaxing and reflecting Tartine in Manhattan is on par with Hens, it's the people that give Hens its edge. From Marie Louise, the owner, a Texas native who came to NY with a big heart and a mixing bowls, whos moms' hand made aprons hang for sale on a rack near the door, to Tracy, the anchor who knows and cares what's good and can be better, to Alex, the head bakers baker who will regularly come out of the kitchen to ask how you liked something, truly proud and rightfully so of his work, to all the girls and Mark; kids really who work the counter, who are "good kids" sweet, smart, and a good bet for the future. They'll gladly and truthfully tell you what their favorites are or where they got their nails done or who likes who this week. As they see you comming up the block, your reflection in the window, they'll being to prepare your morning "usual". How unusual is that in this day and age. Brooklyn, the real soul people! As you sit there sipping your coffee, reading your paper, smelling the aromas of life, butter, roasting peacans fresh eggs and sugars comming from the ovens you feel alive, that you are spending a half hour in a worthwhile moment of a rich life.
Hope you like the muffins.