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Bristol Farm Bakery Treats?

How do people feel about the Bristol Farm bakery cases in general? Or, in particular, the one on Westwood south of Wilshire.

I saw some beautiful cupcakes yesterday. Enormous, with cute chocolate corkscrews mounded onto chocolate frosting in a huge mushroom dome. The specialty cakes were also beautiful, especially a white one decorated all the way around with icicle shaped chocolate cigars.

I had other Memorial Day plans, but was very tempted. Are they worth returning for?

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  1. I've tried a very decadent and beautifully made chocolate cake from the Bristol Farms bakery before, as well as some of their breads. I'd say the quality is pretty high. The prices are a bit up there as well but I think overall, it's a good value.

    1. The chocolate brownies that I had at the one in Pasadena are out of control. So yummy!!! They're addicting.

      1. I do the one on Sunset and Fairfax. Love their evilly delicious and gorgeous little mini-cakes. Not a fan of their sugarless chocolate cake -- but might never be a fan of such an abomination regardless of baker.

        1. Ask for a sample. They are very generous with samples (at least the Pasadena store is).

          1. their cupcakes are beautiful! so, i was tempted to try the chocolate cupcake at bristol farms in redondo beach. i was disappointed, they were very dense an pretty dry and the chocolate flavor was not as strong as i usually like.

            1. i love their chocolate chunk cookies, they remind me of the old school david's cookies. also, love their thumbprint cookies and lemon tart. i bought a chocolate cake over someone's house and it went instantly. everyone loved it.

              1. I tried a Smores Bar at the one on Beverly and Doheny and it was pretty awful. I probably shouldn't have gotten a S'Mores bar to begin with.

                1. I love their peach pie, full size for a last minute pot luck item, and individual size to gorge in front of the tv. Sometimes the full size for gorging!

                  fyi, one of the times when I was desparately seeking a bday cake, I found out from the bakery person at BF in South Pas that their cake mix and frostings come from the same source that supplies supermarkets like Pavilions. So you're not getting better quality than regular supermarkets, you're just getting a prettier cake.

                  1. I do like Bristol's giant oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies--flavorful and surprisingly moist for such monstrous size in a pre-wrapped cookie. Have not much liked the breads I've tried (Gelson's breads--both at Victor Benes and the much underrated Gelson's house brand loaves--are much superior, especially when sold fresh). The cakes and cupcakes, for the most part, are prettier than they are tasty--although there have been exceptions, I remember getting a pretty good black-and-white there once (not as good as Junior's, however).

                    In general I think that Westwood Blvd. branch is inferior; this may be less of an issue with the pre-wrapped baked goods which are presumably coming from a central source anyway but at the former Chasen's (Beverly & Doheny) I do think you're likely to get fresher stuff and a better variety. I live closer to the Westwood branch but will usually go the extra miles to the other branch.

                    1. Try their chocolate chewies. (not positive about the name though) Crisp on the outside chewysoft on the inside chocolate meringues with walnut pieces in the center. They have them in Pasadena. (closest thing I can find to the best cookie on earth-- the raisin chocolate chewies at Whole Foods in Palo Alto, which I haven't been able to find anywhere else) These ones from Bristol Farms are really good too, surprisingly chocolate-y for such a light cookie.

                      3 Replies
                        1. re: maudies5

                          um, it isn't very helpful to contribute a judgement like that without qualifying your opinion.

                          1. re: maudies5

                            i agree with maudies5.
                            those chocolate chewies things were expensive and not very good.
                            first of all they were not helped by the overwhelming, somewhat bitter walnut taste. would have tasted better if they used roasted almonds or pecans.
                            secondly, imho, the combination of the two textures didn't work. i would have preferred it if they had stuck to the crispy meringue texture all the way through.
                            thirdly, they didn't have much of a chocolate taste to me. (maybe they should try using a good quality cocoa powder, or maybe more cocoa powder). because of the lack of chocolate flavor, the overwhelming flavors that came through were those of plain sugar and bitter walnuts.

                        2. i know this is an old thread but i was just at Bristol Farms yesterday and wondering if those cakes are worth it. they all look so good! Any updates since 07'?

                          1. I think their bread could be much better, frequently too many ingredients/additives that should never be in bread!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: sel

                              ot, but
                              their deli items also contain additives that shouldn't be in them. . .
                              their deli guy told me that not one of the items is additive free, not one.
                              if whole foods can serve good-tasting additive free deli items, certainly bristol farms should be able to serve at least a couple .

                              the fact that they get so many of their bakery items from the same supplier that makes the stuff for pavilions demonstrates their basic approach--they sell much the same stuff as lower-level grocery chains but gussy-up the appearance.

                              1. re: westsidegal

                                yes, i also noticed that they have an excessive amount of additives in products that should be super simple like potato bread. the second ingredient in their matzo ball soup is MSG but i'm sure that comes from using the matzo ball mix. this lead me to wonder if i should save a few bucks and go to pavillions or better yet skip both and head straight to JJ bakery or Euro Pane. The latter doesn't always carry cakes so it's always a crap shoot. The goods looked great in the case and the big 4-0 is coming up. I wanted to celebrate with a fun indulgent cake and they looked like it fit the bill...

                                1. re: trolley

                                  If it were MY "big 4-0" there would be no contest. EuroPane is just about my favorite bakery in S. Cal. Bristol Farms isn't even in the running! In my book it is like trying to decide if a celebration burger should be from McD OR ....insert your fave $12 - $22 upscale burger...

                                  Euro Pane Bakery
                                  950 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106

                                  1. re: sel

                                    and i wholeheartedly agree that euro pane is delicious but they don't always have cakes. i suppose i can order one. so if you liken bristol farms to mcd's then i'll just have to get over my fantasy that they're as delicious as they look. i'll settle for a cupcake at bristol someday and find a suitable cake for the big one. thanks for re-directing me sel!!

                            2. I've always liked the Bristol Farms bakery. Love their squares of Texas chocolate cake and pumpkin cake. Delicious and moist without having to buy a whole cake. Have had good luck with most of their cupcakes. And, when I can find it, they have dynamite slices of chilled lemon cake.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: JeffSD

                                I don't know jeffSD but maybe you caught them on a good day b/c the cupcake I had yesterday was AWFUL! I ordered a red velvet and while the swirl of the frosting was pretty decent the cake must have been like a week old. the cake portion tasted like an old fridge and the crumb had consistency of a dry sponge. blah!

                              2. they used to have orange biscuits that were shaped like a cinammon roll. i absolutely loved it. it came in chocolate, cinammon, or orange. the oragne was my favorite. they haven't had them in years. but it was awesome. if anyone ever sees this again or knows where i can find something like it, please let me know. thanks!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Clyde

                                  Those were great - something similar that I love even more is Gelson's orange muffin tops. If you liked the orange biscuits, I think you'll love these!

                                    1. re: torta basilica

                                      i got an orange muffin top last night- mmm! eating it right now. it's not the same as the biscuit but really wonderful in it's own right. thank you!

                                      1. re: Clyde

                                        You're oh so welcome - yes, totally different, but if you're into baked goods with orange. One caveat, though - the whole muffins aren't nearly as good - much less streusel & icing :( Stick with the muffin tops.

                                  1. I like the pecan bars and the apple cinnamon bars I've had from the Beverly Hills branch.

                                    1. Used to be a reular at the Bristol Farms bakery in Mission Viejo. After they closed up and abandoned south OC, I haven't been able to hit any of the other locations. The cupcakes as others have mentioned are very good and most of the pastries and breads are of likewise quality.