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Oct 4, 2000 02:40 PM

Pies/Cakes at "Coffee Shops"

  • z

Where do the pies and cakes at NYC places like Joe Jr.s, Three Brothers etc. come from? I can't imagine that they make them in the back. Who makes them? Is there a central baking location? In addition, today I saw many that had missing slices. Who orders them? Just wondering.

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  1. I have no idea where these treats come from, and I acknowledge that they are frequently subpar (though sometimes they surprise you). But I must admit that on occasion I'm one of the people who orders a slice of yellow cake or cream pie from the rotating case. It's a comfort thing, pure and simple. I know it's never going to be that good, but sometimes I just crave a crappy sugar rush. Definitely tied to memories of the bakery cakes friends would have for birthdays or cupcakes on napkins eaten during class parties. So call it nostalgia...I guess it's one of my own Yannis.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Lauren

      Check out "Diner Desserts" by Tish Boyle. You can't help but love it.

      1. re: Lauren
        Frank Language

        "So call it nostalgia..."

        Nostalgia is the word: when I was about eleven, I came to New York with my family and we ate at the "Excell", a Greek coffee shop in the East 50s. Although I was about to be put on a draconian 2000-calorie-a-day diet, I got a hamburger and a piece of lemon-meringue pie with rubbery meringue. I'm pleased to report that I've never since had meringue as awful as the topping on the piece of pie I had that day, and I'm often compelled to test that ordering a piece of lemon meringue.

        A lot of these resaurants specify that their baking is done on premises, and I notice that their rolls taste very similar to the brownies and muffins; makes you think they must be from the same mix.

      2. Maybe those "delicacies" come with slices already removed, just like tip jars at Starbucks et al are always loaded with cash and coins.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bob W.

          I think they take slices out of these when they put them on display, so that people will see what they look like inside, which is usually more interesting-looking than the outside.