It's hard to miss the pink-and-yellow Winnebago at the Northeast corner of Cartlandia. It looks like something out of a children's book. With her rosy cheeks and white hair, Jennie Goodrich, the woman behind the sliding window at Cake on a Hot Tin Roof, does too.
"I raised kids and I was a teacher," she says, "and I don't remember people saying 'thank you' very often. Now that I make desserts, I hear it all the time."
Few meals at the Cartlandia pod are small enough to leave room for dessert. Just three carts down, Goodrich's son and husband sell foot-long sandwiches at Cheesesteak Nirvana. But Cake on a Hot Tin Roof—there's a little corrugated metal on display to justify the ridiculous name—is worth a trip to Southeast 82nd Avenue on its own. Goodrich makes a crisp marionberry strudel ($4.50), lathered generously with fresh-made whipped cream, that strikes a perfect balance of tart and sweet. Her creme brulee ($4), torched to order, is fluffier than most, with a crust that tastes vaguely of campfire marshmallows. Cupcakes ($2.50) come topped with enough creamy cherry or lemon icing to last to the bottom of the treat (though preserving that icing can prove structurally difficult). The chocolate mousse ($4.50) is surprisingly airy and looks small upon ordering, but between the three additional chocolate toppings—chips, dark chunks and cocoa powder—and a richness that grows with each bite, it's hard to imagine anyone leaving unsatisfied.
Of all the items we tried, only Cake on a Hot Tin Roof's raspberry cheesecake ($4.50) could be described as standard. Goodrich says she doesn't like cheesecake. She says a lot of things, actually, which was half the fun of visiting her magical Winnebago.
- Order this: Bienenstich ($4.50), a two-layer pastry topped with candied almond slices and loaded with cream and custard that spill out when you take a bite.
EAT: Cake on a Hot Tin Roof, Southeast 82nd Avenue and Harney Street at the Cartlandia food-cart pod. 2-8 pm Monday and Thursday, 11 am-6 pm Wednesday and Friday, 11 am-8 pm Saturday. $.