Rave for Tartes Bakery in Old City Philadelphia
So, I ventured over to Tartes on Friday to pick up some dessert for a small dinner party we were throwing over the weekend. I got there at noon and they were not open yet- they said come back in 5 minutes (in not the kindest way). I came back 10 minutes later and was checking out the window and the list and I nicely asked the girl working in there if they had everything in stock- and she told me with a bit of attitude that they were finishing up the board with todays specials. So, I was a little taken back by not receiving the most courteous service so far, but I had ventured 8 blocks in the sun and humidity on my lunch break- so I decided I might as well try some of their goodies. This was my first time here and I had no clue about the process- the board, walking up to a window to order, etc... Maybe she just assumed I had been here before and knew the drill. The bakery is located in a little pink building that houses a kitchen. You walk up to a glass window- like at a water ice stand, and they have some items in window without labels for you to view. You do not actually go inside shop- you order at a window.
And boy, was I happy I stuck around! I ended up buying 4 different individual tartes (the coconut creme, choc hazelnut with graham cracker crust, and chocolate covered creme brulee were all the die for) and I was so impressed. They are rather large for individual tartes- I cut all 4 into 4 pieces so my friends could try each. While they were on the pricier side- they were well worth it. If you want a full sized pie/tart, you need to order ahead. They make all of the individual sized ones into full pies. I will be going back. This place is a must try and now my new favorite bakery in center city!
The coconut tartes are really good there...also the molasses cookies with the granulated sugar are killers too!
Tartes is the best. Theresa, the owner/ Pastry Chef is really a lovely woman and running the place by herself mostly I can see how you think customer focus is not her main priority. But hey, this is Philly. I take this as her charm. She is in the middle of pumping out production for the window, for restaurants and for parties. It's 1/4 the attitude you get from ordering a steak wit or wit out the incorrect way and no sign designatin' the proppa language to do so in.
The Coconut Cream Tart & The banana Cream Tart are indeed incredible...inconsistent crust? too thick..the crust is so good and she always has so much of the good stuff I couldn't say...and my glutinous nature doesn't always give time to give crap. They are just the good. You also hit it in the Spice cookie but her true gem is in her cakes.
She did the cake for my wedding, and I was not sure what to expect. Sitting down with her she was so wonderful for the 2 of us - and she made a rolled fondant that was actually edible...not just this thick slab you can build a house with. Butter cream well....PLENTY of real butter. I am NOT a cake person, but for 12 months I keep asking my wife was it time to bust out the top and dig in.....we ate leftover cake and I tell you - no offense to anyone else's wedding I went to ...HANDS DOWN I never tasted a better wedding cake EVER.....it might not have been the biggest...but pretty, sharp and simple but I'd buy at a restaurant....
thinking now....we should have froze more...
She made minis for us as well and I bought minis from her for functions at work - HUGE HIT....she's a talent....
bakeries are hot - take some attitude - the tartes are sweet enough....or eat some mass produced crap and leave me with secret....