Off day at Lakota Bakery?
So I had heard so much about this place and having run my bi-monthly Penzey's run, I stopped by yesterday. Well, not only could I not see what the craze was about, I thought the cookies were TERRIBLE!
My friend and I each got three different cookies so we could have a sampling. Not one of them was good. And we are both serious bakers. Specifics below:
Apricot Linzer - this cookie SHOULD have been a buttery sable topped with a flavorful apricot jam. Instead we got a soggy, gummy base topped with a very pretty sampling of what could have been ANYTHING; it had virtually no flavor.
Chocolate Ginger - while it had a nice cocoa flavor, the total lack of any ginger flavor left it tasting completely bland, as if not only the ginger was missing, but the vanilla and salt as well.
Florentine - Florentines should shatter, leaving a toffee flavor rich with nuts and a smoky melting of chocolate. As with the other coated cookies (see below), the chocolate on this cookie tasted waxy and bland. The cookie was chewy and sticky and bent in half before it broke.
Lemon Macaroon - This was overwhelmingly sweet, so much so that neither of us could finish our half. The lemon flavor was good but was completely overpowered by a tooth achingly sweet icing and a coating that, while I am sure was made from white chocolate, tasted like those nasty candy coating discs they sell at WalMart.
Big Mac (chocolate dipped almond macaroon) - I had high hopes for this cookie as it appears the most in reviews for this bakery. However, more of that strangely waxy not-very-chocolately chocolate covered an almond macaroon that was so heavily dosed with almond flavoring that it made the backs of our throats burn.
My friend also tried a walnut crescent and pronounced it gummy and bland and dropped it back into the bag.
So, did we hit them on a bad day? While she and I are major bakers (we both bake at least five times a week) and I am a former food professional, and I know we can be picky in that we will say "Oh, this would be so good with _____" or "I would love this with a little more _______", we were shocked that this bakery would get any good reviews turning out what we tried yesterday. We both agreed that if *we* ended up with final product like what we had, we would throw it out rather than serve it to friends.
Don't know what happened. If I had your baking experience, I would have asked some questions(nicely) if there was someone aside from the sales/counter help around.
I only go there on occasion but the Florentines are my favorite. I'm not as particular as you but they've always had good crunch and chocolate for me. Same with walnut crescent, macaroon, and anything else -- it's always excellent.
Maybe an off day? Maybe trying to use cheaper ingredients rather than raise prices? I'll have to stop by, next time I'm in the area.
Interesting, I find the ginger ones pretty gingery, and I've never had problems with their walnut crescent cookie - always crumbly! And their Florentines are always crunchy - may be you got one that was under-baked? And as to the waxy chocolate coating... well, I've never detected any waxiness. Anyways, I was quite surprised to read this overly negative review... are you sure you weren't the one having a bad day??
I am amazed at your reiew. I have been buying Lakota cookies for my company events since before they had a shop there. The employees would ask me if I was getting them for the event and looked forward to them
The quality has always been consistant and people love them. the rum balls are to die for, as are the almond macaroons, florentines, walnut crescents, coconut macaroons and lintzer cookies. I no longer live in Arlington I am downtown so it is difficult to get to Arlington but as my son was in town last weekend with his wife I made a special trip there to pick up a dozen. The only draw backs I see (as I also now work downtown) is....... they do not use a delivery service like Dining In.
I would encourage you to try them again.
I'm personally a big fan and love a combo lunch of Savory Plate across the street and Lakota for dessert. I can't imagine much better for an indulgence of a lunch.
Are there any local bakeries that meet your technical expectations for the variety of cookies that Lakota makes?