Batch on W 10th -- un-hidden gem
On a prime block in the west village (albeit perilously close to the cursed space that currently houses Bar Blanc) is Pichet Ong's delectible and unique carry-out, two-seater pastry cafe, Batch. As a longtime neighborhood resident who is (like many) always mystified at the endless crowds of Sex in the City tourists and others lined up for an hour to get one of Magnolia's dry and uninspired cupcakes, I'm even more amazed that the new Batch isn't mobbed 24-7.
Last night after a (perfectly OK, but nothing to write home about) dinner at Kingswood, we passed on the restaurant's dessert list and went to Batch on our way home instead. I've been a few times and always been very happy with the treats, but the selection just keeps getting better. Last night we had what I think is a new item, a green-tea-cake and mango "tiramisu" (a tiny bit savory, mostly tart and creamy, insanely good). He's also added to his extensive selection of cupcakes and now has added raspberry, lemon, and green tea/dark chocolate (among others) to my old favorite, the salted caramel & carrot cake. Another real standout is his coconut calamansi cake (creamy, light, and with the tart-and-sweet southeast asian calamansi citrus flavor as the main note). The prices are not dirt-cheap, but totally easonable for what he puts into it ($2.50 for a cupcake, $4.95 for a slice of cake. He also has a great selection of chocolates and truffles, but at $2.50 each those are a bit higher per morsel.)
So why does it seem like this place is never crowded (last night, we were one of two parties who walked in over 20 mins on a beautiful Friday night), when folks are clamoring to pay $150 a head next door at the same chef's P*ong restaurant, where the main draw is dessert anyhow?
Out of paranoia that this take-out gem in my neighborhood may not last if the customer flow doesn't increase, here's a call to the 'hounds to check it out! Now, while the weather's nice, is the perfect time -- armed with 20 bucks and a blanket, two or three can load up on tasty treats and walk five minutes west to Hudson River Park for a sweet-tooth fiesta.
I finally got to try this place on Sunday morning. Unlike Cimui's, the girl at the counter was terrible and seemed like she was doing us a favor. I found it strange, especially since Pichet Ong was in the back. Wondering how she is with the customers when the boss isn't there? Or perhaps she was hung over and just resentful that she had to work on a Sunday morning.
This is what we tried:
chocolate bacon cookie -- good, but I didn't taste any bacon. However, I got the texture of some bacon bits in the cookie.
Devil's food cupcake -- Delicious, dark and chocolaty
Vanilla cupcake with chocolate icing -- You see the vanilla beans in the cupcake and tasted a lot like vanilla. Thumbs up.
Salted caramel carrot cupcake -- Loved this one. Great combo and I'm always a sucker for salted caramel.
Red velvet cupcake -- Good, but not great. I prefer Mitchel London's for the red velvet as I find the texture better, and there's more of a pronounced cocoa taste.
Lemon cupcake -- My favorite. Refreshing, bright.
I ate them hours later. So they weren't straight out from the fridge case. They were good. I loved the interesting flavor combos. I loved that there was a surprise in the middle of each cupcake. In terms of texture, my preference is for Mitchel London overall. They manage to get a terrific moist lighter crumb that I found Batch to lack. Wish I could combine the strengths of Batch and the strengths of Mitchel London into one. But overall, a very good place for cupcakes. And SOOOOOO much better than the overhyped Magnolia.
reviving a pretty old thread, here...
my SO and i pretty much retraced PSS's steps, today: we had brunch at kingswood. (that space is beautiful, one of the most charmingly designed / decorated restaurants in nyc. but the food, while solid, was not great.) afterwards, we shared a chocolate cupcake with green tea frosting and raspberry (?) filling at batch. we ate the cupcake too cold -- straight out of the case -- which hurt the flavor and texture, I know. the cake part was moist and delicious, but the frosting had the mouthfeel of crisco and only the mildest hint of green tea. cocoa nibs were sprinkled on top, which added a nice crunch and textural contrast. next time, i'll wait for the frosting to warm and try again.
the two women who were at the counter were really nice.