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May 7th, 2014 WW Staff | Market Guide
 

Market Guide 2014: Sweets

marketguide_2014(sweets-quin)QUIN - IMAGE: Natalie Behring

Annie’s Donut Shop

3449 NE 72nd Ave., 284-2752. 

Annie’s never changes, even when its owners change. I don’t know how that is. But the doughnuts remain cheerily old-school and never oversweet, with little hints of tang in the applesauce, buttermilk bars and raspberry fritters. The shack of a shop still looks like a refugee from a movie about the 1960s-era unemployed, but like much of Roseway, it is comfort that has gently aged into itself. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: Applesauce cake doughnut, buttermilk bar, plain ol’ glazed or a mixed dozen.


Blue Star Donuts

1237 SW Washington St., 265-8410, bluestardonuts.com. 

Blue Star Donuts was poised to become the Salt & Straw of doughnut shops, a much-hyped specialty fryer of eccentric $3 brioche—blood orange and ginger, or chocolate ganache that’d stagger Papa Haydn’s fans—with lines extending out the door even at off-hours. It has instead, thankfully perhaps, become merely part of the West End landscape—accessible for passersby. Avoid those over-frosted lavenders or blueberry bourbons, however, in favor of the doughnuts that add savory to the sweet, such as its excellent hard-cider fritters, and meat concoctions like the fried-chicken wing ring. What you wanted from a maple-bacon bar at the crammed Voodoo Donuts is in fact here, with bacon bits crumbled delicately across the surface of a subtle maple top. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: Anything unfrosted. Fried chicken yes, bacon yes, fritters yes.


Cacao

414 SW 13th Ave., 241-0656; 712 SW Salmon St., 274-9510, cacaodrinkchocolate.com. 

Got $22 burning a hole in your pocket? Or an angry girlfriend to appease? Consider the Porcelana bar from French company Chocolat Bonnat—made with translucent (no, really) beans from an ancient Venezuela plantation, its flavors imparted from the Lake Maracaibo soil, it has a finer pedigree than Winky, that Norwich Terrier from Best in Show. Luckily for those who can’t drop $22 on candy, the knowledgeable staff at this 8-year-old chocolate emporium will gladly let you sample just about anything while providing plenty of guidance. Offerings swing local—Portland’s Cocanu offers bars with hazelnuts and Fernet or cacao nibs and Pop Rocks, while Xocolatl de David, also based here, adds caramelized bacon or southern black truffle to its slabs. Don’t leave without ordering a three-shot flight of drinking chocolate. REBECCA JACOBSON.

Shopping list: Dick Taylor black fig chocolate, Batch PDX truffles, Soma chocolate-covered toasted corn, drinking chocolate.


Candy Babel 

1219 NE Alberta St., 867-0591, candybabel.com.

Local is overplayed. Go international. After trips abroad, Babel owner Amani Greer decided that America’s high-fructose, fake-colored junk was giving candy a bad name and so started her little Alberta Street shop devoted to the GMO-free and corn-syrup free among imported candies and licorice, including some seriously heavenly green-apple army soldiers from England, an array of honey tubes in different subtle flavors and a wall of hard licorice that’ll have you in the dentist’s office in a week. And starting in spring? Housemade, fair-trade cotton candy in crazy flavors like chai and lychee. MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Shopping list: Gummy soldiers, gummy fried eggs (yum), licorice anything. Mix-n-match at $8.99/lb.


Cool Moon

1105 NW Johnson St., 224-2021, coolmoonicecream.com. 

In a town where ice cream shops make their name on the number of incongruous ingredients they can pack into a scoop (Vegemite, Gouda and durian, anyone?), Cool Moon stands out for its restraint. That’s not to say its offerings are uncreative—take the kulfi, flavored with cardamom, pistachio and rosewater, or the cayenne-inflected spicy Thai peanut—but they’re balanced. The salty caramel won’t give you an alkaline assault, and the chocolate sorbet is decadent without tipping into excess. You’ll be glad for that maturity of flavor when braving this parlor on a warm day as it teems with waterlogged children from nearby Jamison Park. REBECCA JACOBSON.

Shopping list: Ice cream, duh.


Cosmic

817 SE 34th Ave., 894-8980, fizzportland.com. 

At nouveau soda shop Cosmic, the guy behind the counter makes a thick-frothed egg cream from a meticulous instruction book, and informs me that neighborhood kids come in every day, post up at the counter and order like wizened pros. They always know what they want. There’s bulk candy, Skittles, and soda from Moxie to Cheerwine. No one orders egg creams. They order milkshakes. But the old-time sodas are a distraction. The children here are forming their own memories of new, strange treats: mango licorice, hot-pepper gummies, bacon-flavored cotton candy. If bright-painted Cosmic is still around in 90 years, it will look very strange to the children of tomorrow. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: Moxie soda, Mason’s root beer, bulk candy ($7.99 per pound), bacon cotton candy.


Delicious Donuts

12 SE Grand Ave., 233-1833, deliciousdonutspdx.com. 

Delicious Donuts is like an American version of Penny Lane, where the fireman rushes in, and the policemen swap shaggy dogs across varnished tabletops, over coffee or smoothies and some of the best doughnuts in the city. Boun Saribout’s welcoming smile and perfect doughnuts brighten up a truly dingy street corner often home to a few guys trying to put together enough change for a tallboy at the Plaid Pantry. Tuesdays at Delicious, $1 will net you a “Bad Boy” doughnut that normally costs 50 cents more: a glazed fritter big as a preemie, or the shop’s masterpiece of a cinnamon swirl. Just take care: They’re likely all gone before 9 am. Portland police shift change is 5 am, and they’re early responders on the scene. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: Bad boys on Tuesdays. Bad boys anytime. Also, anything coconut-related.


NEW! Hattie’s Sweet Shop 

4185 NE Fremont St., 477-0497, hattiessweets.com.

Hattie’s hedges its bets. It’s part kid candy store, part grown-up nostalgia, with weirdo fruit chews among an array of bulk candy sharing space with Gilliam hard candy sticks, Necco wafers, old-school taffy and a wide array of licorice from Holland and elsewhere, served in bulk. A more interesting bulk proposition is Hattie’s array of chocolates, which include some of the best turtle candies (a concoction of dark chocolate and caramel body, pecan head and legs) I’ve heretofore known. The shop rounds out the selection with a pile of terribly expensive and terribly good imported French, Italian and German chocolates. MARTIN CIZMAR.

Shopping list: Bulk turtle candies or fudge ($8.99 per pound), bulk licorice, posh seasonal candies like handmade candy canes.


Helen Bernhard

1717 NE Broadway St., 287-1251, helenbernhardbakery.com. 

I like to the think of the danishes and turnovers and sticky buns at Helen Bernhard as pounder pastries. Bucking the trend of delicate macarons or faux-virtuous whole-grain scones, this Irvington bakery is staunchly old-school. The place opened in 1924—at the time, the Bernhard family lived in a house next door—and I doubt the menu has changed much in the last 90 years. The no-frills shop has wood-paneled walls, plastic folding chairs, an entire wall of bread and display cases with yeasty cinnamon rolls the size of your face (opt for glazed over frosted), obscenely overstuffed strudel and bear claws bigger than the paws of Canada’s biggest grizzly at about $2 apiece. REBECCA JACOBSON.

Shopping list: Cinnamon rolls.


Lauretta Jean’s

3402 SE Division St., 235-3119, laurettajean.com. 

Lauretta Jean’s has a very specific vision of comfort. Spice Girls, Sister Hazel and ’N Sync play through on the Monday morning stereo. But when Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” (R.I.P. Jani) comes on in this Division Street pie shop, the man behind the counter puts down his knife to click past it to Sixpence None The Richer. Equal attention is paid to the quiche, with perfect little hunks of ham and a buttery crust you’ll actually be glad to get to. And the buttered biscuit, a tower of light golden dough. And the Caesar salad, which employs dark, bubbly blackish-green kale that looks like lizard skin and stands up to the umami piled upon it. Oh, and the apple brandy blackberry pie? Tastes so good, it’ll make a grown man cry. MARTIN CIZMAR.

Shopping list: Pies rotate, but the apple brandy blackberry hangs around more than most.


NEW! Maurice

921 SW Oak Street, 224-9921, mauricepdx.com. Closed Sundays.

Sunnily domestic train-car bistro Maurice, named after chef-owner Kristen D. Murray’s pet rabbit, wears many hats, from cafe bruncherie to provincial French dinner and wine spot to high-end constructed dessert eatery. So you’d be forgiven for forgetting it’s also a lovely little bakery and pastry counter that stays open till 10 pm Thursday through Saturday, offering hefty $3 scones with rotating marmalades, little macarons made with bitter hops, lemon bars, milk-jam butter cookies and bird seed nougatines: Each one is a small, esoteric delight, just like Maurice. MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Shopping list: Oh, the pastries change on whim. But there’s always a scone with lovely and unlikely jam.


Nuvrei Patisserie & Cafe

404 NW 10th Ave., 972-1700, nuvrei.com. 

While Nuvrei has an impressive cafe menu of sandwiches and other eats—the croque monsieur is on point—the real attraction is in the basement. Originally a subterranean bakery, Nuvrei’s downstairs space now also serves as a venue to showcase its famed French macarons ($2.50 each). The adjoining flower shop makes for a pleasant backdrop in which to sip on espresso and delight in the macarons or any one of the fresh pastry selections. Prices range from $2.50 to $5, but the ambiance and decadent aromas are free. GRACE STAINBACK.

Shopping list: Six-pack of macarons ($18), sablé breton galettes.


NEW! Petunia’s Pies and Pastries

610 SW 12th Ave., 841-5961, petuniaspiesandpastries.com.  

Since last spring, Lisa Clark’s been slinging gluten-free pies, cinnamon rolls and cookies out of her hilariously sunny Barbie-doll house of a storefront at Union Way, near high-dollar jeans and tchotchke shops. Forget the limited, crumbling wholesale Petunia’s treats you’ve seen creeping around local cafes: The storefront offers up a spilling cornucopia of cute; with Chocolate Chipper and Whoa-Reo cookie sandwiches ($2.50), thin-mint brownies ($3.75) and pecan sticky buns ($3.75), alongside a newly minted savory menu that includes vegan, gluten-free biscuits and gravy. It’s like somebody finally realized they could gentrify vegan without even a whiff of granola. But there’s one treat that’ll draw in the wholly gluten tolerant. That raw strawberry pie’s a goddamn treasure. Plus, hell, they’ve got cider and wine. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: Raw strawberry pie, raw strawberry pie, raw strawberry pie. Also Whoa-Reos with salted peanut filling.


NEW! Pip’s Original Donuts

4759 NE Fremont St., 206-8692, pipsoriginal.com.  

Places that call themselves original are rarely original—merely old. But oh-so-twee Pip’s actually has its own unique style of doughnut. They are, indeed, pips; rings so tight you could wear them on your pinky, with a light, caky rise and a satisfyingly crisp exterior. The menu’s equally a pip: Your only options are cinnamon, Nutella, and sea salt and honey, aside from inspired specials such as a Meyer lemon & Madagascar pear doughnut tartlette. In this little blue-skied shop with calico wood on its counter, those salt-honey doughnuts will make the salt and caramel at Blue Star seem uncouth, food for sticky-fingered barbarians. Eat a half-dozen all by yourself, and you’ll walk out lighter than when you came in. MATTHEW KORFHAGE. 

Shopping list: Sea salt & honey doughnuts.


Pix Patisserie

2225 E Burnside St., 971-271-7166, pixpatisserie.myshopify.com. 

When Portland’s macaron doyenne Cheryl Wakerhauser installed Bar Vivant during a 2012 consolidation of Pix Patisserie on a dry stretch of lowish East Burnside, the bigger room allotted for tapas necessarily surrendered Pix’ past date-night atmospherics. There remains a steady stream of confectionery shoppers drawn not just to the standby rainbow of macarons but also more whimsical concoctions: a $7.50 pumpkin-brulee flapper-topped Icabod Creme with almond, pecan and caramel, say, or a rosemary ganache that looks like a forgotten Pink Floyd album cover. JAY HORTON.

Shopping list: Fleur de sel chocolate, blue cheese truffle, macarons, Earl Grey ganache. 


Ruby Jewel Scoops

3713 N Mississippi Ave., 505-9314; 428 SW 12th Ave., 971-271-8895; rubyjewel.com. 

The muted colors adorning Ruby Jewel’s original scoop shop embrace overcast skies as neatly as their honey lavender ice cream fits a lemon cookie sandwich. While newer entrants in an evermore-crowded local dessert trade distinguish themselves through weaponized sugar and showily bizarre amalgams of flavors, this enlightened grande dame of creameries saves its constants of scoop ($3.50), waffle cone ($4.50), or pint ($7) for an array more redolent of dairyland domesticity than tourist trapping. Even the rotating flavors veer homespun. Keep a close eye out for the measured bite of gingerbread, say, or brown sugar sour cream’s complicated pleasures. Each batch comes and goes, and yesterday don’t matter when it’s gone. JAY HORTON.

Shopping list: You can leave with either pints or sandwiches. Leave with both.


Sprinklefingers & Quin

Sprinklefingers: 3300 SE Belmont St. Quin: 1022 W Burnside St., 971-300-8395, quincandy.com.

Baker and confectioner Jamie Curl’s announcement that she was shuttering her wildly popular Saint Cupcake early this year was greeted with howls even as cupcakes descended to Ugg boot status in fashionable baking circles. Curl had already moved her focus to Quin, her tiny confectionary in the Union Way mini-mall that looks a bit like a consumer electronics boutique, with a tiled cascade of silver packaging and colorful insides—a Pantone set in sweets. There’s not even a cash drawer, only a little iPhone and Square appendage. It is a rare beast: a socially intimidating candy shop.

Quin’s candies—lollipops, gumdrops, caramels, fruit chews—are stratospheric in price, at $8 to $12.50 for 20-piece bags. In the case of the lollipops, this pricing is pure hubris. But then you pop your first Dreams Come Chew into your mouth, and it feels like Starburst if Starburst were made of heroin and fruit juice. (It’s actually butter, not opiates.) You do the math in your head, arriving at 60 cents per chew. It’s worth it. Oh, God, it’s worth it. There’s no way it would be legal to place these near schools.

Sprinklefingers opened in the former Southeast Belmont Saint Cupcake space in front of Noun boutique, and there are still a limited supply of cupcakes in the pastry case (still damn good), along with rich brownie squares and other baked treats. Quin candies take up the body of the room, however, scattered on shelving and available by the piece as if a dive-bar cigarette. Like any addict, you’ll wander down Belmont and poke your head in the shop. “Got any loosies?” you ask. Of course they do. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: Black pepper caramel, Dreams Come Chew candies, cupcakes.

 
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