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Jan 1, 2012 05:34 PM

Short Order, Short Cake, Single Origin...Nancy Silverton at the Farmers Market

After a few weeks of multiple tries, here is my quick take on each of these Silverton properties at the Farmers Market.

Short Order: The burgers were fine but nothing special. If you want to sell $14 burgers in this town, given the intense competition, you really have to do better. I tried the Frisee Lardon Raft, an open faced burger topped with frisee dressed in a light vinaigrette, lardons and a fried egg. The components were all very good, but the burger didn't come together. It felt like an egg on top of a salad on top of a burger, not a single composition. I also sampled the patty melt with pimento cheese sauce, which was good but not any sort of revelation and the pimento cheese sauce was reminiscent of ball park nacho sauce, though less gloppy. The "Short Order Spuds" though, are fabulous. They are little deep fried potato pieces, like quarter slices of a small potato. The cut gives lots of good surface area for frying and you can get them with truffle salt or dipping sauce. I could see running to the take out window for these while at the Market, but doubt I'd make a special trip for these and certainly not for the burgers.

Short Cake and Single Origin, despite having two names are really a single coffee and pastry stand (sort of like Cognoscenti Coffee and Proof Bakery in Atwater...I guess multiple names for the same place is a trend now) located where Thee's Bakery used to be. Nancy knows pastries and the ones I sampled here were very good as expected. I'm already addicted to the chocolate bear claw and the brunette (not a brownie or blondie, but a brunette, get it?) with pine nuts and thyme is also a winner. I didn't try any actual cakse (they sell smaller cakes but don't seem to sell slices) or the savory pastries, but I will get to them eventually.

The Coffee at Single Origin is pretty typical Third Wave, which is a good thing. In my experience, "third wave coffee" is almost always very good. This doesn't rise to the level of the best in town, but it's quite good and finally offers a decent espresso at the FM. They use Verve coffee from Santa Cruz.

Short Cake and Single Origin are the type of places I will probably stop at everytime I'm at the market, and maybe even make a special trip for if I'm in the neighborhood. Short Order, not so much.

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  1. I think your assessment is right in the ballpark. I've been to Short Order twice so far, and Short Cake about a half dozen times.

    My first burger at Short Order was a disaster (80% raw) and my second was the Turkey Burger which was decent but not something I'd order again. I did also love the Spuds, though I would never pay $2 for the dipping sauce again. I thought it tasted terrible. And the whole place is just way too expensive for what they're delivering.

    Short Cake on the other hand has mostly been a pleasure. Loved all of the pastries I've tried, with the exception of the Twice-Baked Brioche which was kinda cold and stale (I think they stuck me with a day-old slice). But I actually think that the coffee is the real star there. Regular drip not so much, but the espresso drinks are better than any I've had at Intelligensia or any of the other high-end locals. Very glad to finally have a decent coffee purveyor in the neighborhood.

    1. Thanks for your post sku! I've pretty much visited all the 3rd wave shops and was a little skeptical about Single Origin, especially since I have no real desire to visit Short Order (I'm over the whole gourmet burger thing). Anyway, I was planning to be at the Grove today anyway and decided to stop by...

      Although the entire Grove/Famers Market area was slammed, the folks at Short Cake were calm and friendly. And they seemed to have more than enough staff to keep the items moving and stocked! The drink menu was clearly posted and questions answered enthusiastically. Originally I was going to get the New Orleans Iced Coffee... but the barista sold me on Aunt Nancy's Shakerato, 4 espresso shots+honey+ice cream blended.!/Dommy_in_LA/st...

      OMG! It was just pure coffee deliciousness. The floral notes of the espresso totally came through thanks to the honey and the ice cream was the perfect carrier to highlight the complexity of the roast.

      As for the Shortcake, I LOVED that they had several regular savory offerings. I ordered the Spinach+Mushroom Bun Bread Pudding and asked them to warm it up.!/Dommy_in_LA/st...

      Another winner. It was rich, but not heavy or overly eggy or salty (faults found often in most savory bread puddings). Although it didn't look like there was a lot of mushroom or spinach, their flavor was infused nicely though each bite.

      So looking forward to trying more!


      10 Replies
      1. re: Dommy

        What other baked goods were there? that espresso cooler drink sounds good.

        Does this new bakery have the feel of a La Brea Bakery backed when it opened by silverton close to 20 years ago?

        Thanks. Also, which potato spuds or fried potatoes are the ones to get at Short Order????
        And what burger out of the beef burgers are good to get there? and how's that ahi tuna burgers? (just a sop to non-meat eaters, or good stuff)????

        1. re: kevin

          I liked the thyme/comte croissant as well; the only other savory pastry I saw on my trips was a cheddar bacon croissant. There were a number of pastries, brownies, cookies and cakes.

          The potatoes are called "Short Order Spuds" on the menu. Didn't love any of the beef burgers and didn't try the ahi burger.

          1. re: kevin

            I recommend the patty melt and the malts are great too, loved the coffee one.

            1. re: AAQjr

              i'll maybe try the patty melt or nancy's burger next time. though with the patty melt i'm slightly wary of the pimento cheese, is it a mixture of cheddar and cream cheese, etc???

              what coffee do you get here? the pour over?

              and it looked like they had these bunsen burner looking things, do they employ a variation of that here sorta like balcony cafe on sawtelle.????


              1. re: kevin

                Standard Southern recipe is 4 parts shredded cheddar, 2 parts cream cheese, 1 part mayo, plus cayenne and garlic powder, and of course chopped pimentos. Sounds vile, or at least like something Grandma would serve her bridge club (which it is), but even us Yankees can get addicted to it. It would not be my choice for a patty melt, but if Nancy likes it I'll have to try it.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  I may try it too, i had a feeling it was a vile sounding foodstuff.

                  oh, and in the south they usually eat it spread on sandiwch bread with maybe some lettuce and tomato but never in a patty melt, correct?

                  Thanks. Decisions, decisions, decisions, next time i'm at short order.

                2. re: kevin

                  At short order I get the coffee malted shake. At Short cake I get the macchiato which is usually my espresso beverage of choice.

                  I personally don't think the patty melt needs improveing but it really does work.

            2. re: Dommy

              I'm duly impressed.

              I have to say, if I had a drink with four espresso shots, honey and ice cream ... I wouldn't sleep for a week.

              It sounds really tasty, but ... wow ...

              1. re: PaulF

                If I have any more than a single shot of strong espresso, i'll be ill for days on end.

                And yet, maybe the ice cream cushions it a little.


                1. re: PaulF

                  LOL! I am lucky I am not sensitive all to caffeine... I usualy have a cup of coffee in the afternoon or at night, just to help unwind. For me, it's more about the flavor than the jolt.


              2. What does third wave mean? i missed the boat on the whole coffee thing the past few years. or rather the terminology of third wave.

                also, it was too hot so i tried an iced late today, they wouldn't make iced capps for some reason as well as a slice of chocolate cardammon cake.

                And from short order i did have their spuds, the potato wedge style fries that you mentioned and they were not half bad though nowhere near great. i still have to try the burgers though. it seemed like they were pretty busy for only being open a couple weeks now.

                2 Replies
                1. re: kevin

                  Their spuds/fries and other sides i've noticed tend to be underseasoned and improve greatly with a bit of salt which you have to ask for.

                  2nd wave coffee is the begining of the specialty coffee movement by the Peets and Starbucks of the world. 3rd wave takes off from that with micro roasters, direct relationship with farmers, ristretto.. The Intelly's and Lamills' of the world

                  1. re: AAQjr

                    Thank you. If you are within the ballpark, you summed it up in a succint, informative nutshell. Please excuse my ignorance on the matter as well as my not having to sift through hours of reading about the intricacies and various coffee movements.

                    i think you are right on the short order spuds. i liked it, but it was missing the salt. next time i will spring for it with the truffle salt.

                2. tried the bakery today and got a parm scallion scone. it's very tasty. i also bought a bag of coffee. the employees are overly friendly and chatty and helpful to the point of me feeling a tiny bit overwhelmed. also, i hate when i pay with credit card and it's like am i expected to leave a tip when you're not even making me a coffee? cash is easier, loose change i get and i probably would have thrown some in the jar if i paid cash b/c they were so over the top friendly, but i dunno, i get confused with stuff like that and when these people are so chatty i feel like they expect it and i feel like a jerk when i cross off the tip line.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Clyde

                    I hate to also be on the minority on this, but I completely agree with you. Some place give you a receipt with no space for a tip so you don't have to feel obligated unless you really do want to tip.

                    And they are very informative, especially when I ordered my short order spuds on the other side.

                    i'll have to say even though the prices overall are quite pricey, they are not that bad when you compare the bakery goods and coffee to a joint such as Huckleberry where the prices are truly astronomical.

                  2. Tried the Brunette today, and I think it may be my favorite so far. One of the hallmarks of this place seems to be that everything is under-sweetened. Nothing is flashy, or overwhelming. More refined/reserved/mature. And good.

                    Also tried the Cold Brew, which is a winner as well.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: wutzizname

                      Nancy Silverton's motto has long been "sugar is not a flavor."

                        1. re: Dommy

                          So is their supposed to be nary any sugar, or cane sugar for that matter in the new-orleans cold coffee brew at Short Order even though the menu notes that it is made with sugar (I believe)?

                          Also, dommy, i didn't notice the espresso cooler you got on the menu? Did you get it from Short Cakes or Short Order??? thanks.

                          1. re: kevin

                            The motto is in reference to the baked goods. New Orleans Style Iced Coffee should have some sugar. I've even had it from places like Blue Bottle where they make it with sugar.

                            The Espresso Cooler is called Aunt Nancy's Shakalatto (or something like that). The Barrista running Single Origin is Nancy's nephew (Although he does have a substantial barrista background)



                            1. re: kevin

                              The Cold Brew is sweetened, but very lightly, to my taste. Also includes some kind of dairy (milk or cream?) and there is a hint of chicory in the brew as well.

                              1. re: kevin

                                No, they use sugar. But lightly.