Reviews of Crixa Cakes in Berkeley?
Can anyone offer an opinion?
Really good. A chowhound favorite, apparently. Berkeley cops hang
out there, like its some kind of gourmet donut shop. There are tons of
posts hereabouts, going back a few weeks or years, about Crixa. All still
valid. They've been open for five or so years and are consistently good.
Last fall, they had the single best pumpkin pie I've ever eaten. I don't get
over there enough to know if it's a regular thing or just a seasonal
special but if you see it, eat as much of it as you can.
I've only tried a few things at Crixa, with mixed results. Late last summer I had a piece of fresh peach pie that was divine - the essence of summer peaches in a delicious crust. About a month ago I had a similar, open-faced pie, but the filling was rhubarb cream. I love rhubarb, by the way. But the pie was a big disappointment - stingy amount of filling, and the crust tough - neither crisp, flaky, nor crumbly. In other words, it tasted day-old.
Also, around Christmas time, I tried a ginger cookie. It was awful - it tasted like dry, dusty old spices. A disgrace when compared to Bakesale Betty's divine ginger cookies with a real ginger zing (I think she uses chopped candied ginger) and a slight saltiness that is the perfect counterpoint to the ginger.,..
There you go. Different people have different tastes. If Crixa is nothing else, it is consistnt. I've never seen them have an off-day. I think the same items that you tried would not be any different than when I tried them.
I really liked the rhubarb cream pie with big juicy perfect pieces of rhubarb and some cream is mixed into the juice, the filling lovingly cradled in a flakey, buttery crust with just the slightess sprinkle of sugar.
Haven't tried Bakesale Betty's ginger cookies that I remember, but I liked Crixa's ginger cookies.
The best thing that Crixa does, IMO, are the buns. The Pogácsa is like the best biscuit you can ever imagine. I love the light and elegant bulachki. I had an amazing kolachy still hot from the oven. The only bun I don't like is the saffron bun.
The cream cakes get mixed reactions on the board. I don't order cake often, but I really liked the Jamaican rum choclate cake that had intense chocolate flavor. The Rigo Jacksi is pretty fine too. I wasn't that fond of the Russian cheesecake or the puncsa torte.
The coffee cakes are all wonderful, moist and buttery. The ginger cake and apple cake are especially good too
The cookies are good but the ones with rosewater sometimes are a little heavier on that flavor than I prefer.
I do love the ruguleh which is flakey and has those wonderful poppyseeds that are almost chocolatey
They make a nice baked piroshki
The frosting on the New Orleans Bourbon Cake was very, very bitter. It tasted like black coffee frosting. Not my thing.
The Bizet with Cream was delicious--light, airy, and not-too-sweet.