Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oatmeal-raisin cream pies

We just came back from Maine, where our friends have a lake cottage that they generously loan us on occasion. Near the cottage, in Buxton*, is a little local grocery store called Plummer's. We discovered last summer, and reaffirmed this past weekend, that Plummer's makes unbelievably good oatmeal-raisin cream pies. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it's basically two oatmeal-raisin cookies with a sweet cream filling sandwiched in between. What makes the Plummer's version so perfect is that the cookies are outstanding: chewy, moist, just the right amount of spice. They also have a good cookie-to-cream ratio, which is something I've discussed previously.

If you happen to find yourself near Buxton, Maine, be sure to stop by Plummer's and look for these cream pies near the checkout counter or in the bakery area.

*You get 10 points if you know the relevance of Buxton, Maine to The Shawshank Redemption.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pineapple milkshakes

Sometimes the best foods are not the ones that are the most sophisticated, but the ones that hold nostalgic value. Of course, they still have to taste good. Such is the case with the pineapple milkshake, a concoction I used to get at a hometown sub shop called All American Hero. The pineapple milkshake was pineapple sundae topping blended with vanilla soft serve ice cream and milk. Despite its tendency to clog up the straw, this was always one of my favorite treats: the perfect blend of creaminess, tartness, and sweetness.

Today, I was at Spadafora Slush, a local slush and ice cream stand, and I was craving a pineapple shake. They didn't actually have milkshakes (or frappes, as they'd be called here in metro Boston), but they did have something with "tornado" in the name, which was a choice of sundae topping blended with soft serve. Without the milk, the consistency was more like that of a Dairy Queen Blizzard than of a milkshake, but the taste was similar, and I realized that I still love the flavor, all these years later.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Papa Gino's Cinnamon Sticks

Papa Gino's is a pizza chain here in New England. Its pizza and other food isn't very good, but I occasionally stop in the one in Medford Square because they have Coke Zero in the soda fountain. Yesterday, I was in the mood for something sweet (there's a surprise!), so I ordered some cinnamon sticks. These are similar to the cinnamon sticks sold by other pizza chains: essentially, pizza dough topped with cinnamon and sugar and served with frosting for dipping.

They were pretty good. Sorta like cinnamon toast, but thicker and doughier. The frosting had no flavor, it was just pure sweetness, so I didn't use very much of it. Still, it made a satisfying accompaniment to the otherwise far-too-nutritious chicken Caesar wrap that I was having for lunch (not from Papa Gino's).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Molten chocolate cake? I think not.

Have you ever had a really great molten chocolate cake? If you have, then you know that it is typically a moist, individually-portioned cake that is deliberately underbaked so that the middle gets hot and gooey but doesn't set. Thus, when you cut into it, the "molten" chocolate in the center oozes out, mixing with the cake into a rich, tasty feast.

When I ordered a molten chocolate cake at Bugaboo Creek Steak House, I didn't expect it to be great, but I did expect it to be decent. Unfortunately, the dessert failed to live up to even this modest expectation. Rather than a rich cake with a gooey center, I received a dry cake with little taste, topped with hot fudge sauce and accompanied by a scoop of ice cream with fake vanilla flavor. The fudge sauce actually wasn't bad, and if there had been more of it, it might have better masked the lousy cake, but there wasn't enough sauce to get a decent sauce-to-cake ratio in each bite.

This is the third time I've had a disappointing dessert at Bugaboo Creek, so it's probably the last time. If it weren't conveniently located halfway between our house and that of our friends with small children, I'm not even sure I'd go back.