Artist, author, and cookie activist Jasmine Cho knows about baked goods. Her beautiful cookie portraits of people of color — with global, local or personal significance — are renowned. She shares with TABLE readers some lovely sweet-tooth opportunities.
3337 Penn Avenue
I religiously follow Lola’s social media every week to see what specialty donut they’re offering. Their menu of Filipino-inspired brunch foods is amazing, but the donuts (created by Zoe, co-owner and pastry chef) are a draw. Some of my most memorable favorites are ube cake donuts, birthday cake donuts (with a mini slice of funfetti birthday cake and candle on top!), and classic chocolate glazed.
1806 Chislett Street
When I’m in the mood for something magically rich andlight, I need a slice of Ka-Fair’s crepe cake with raspberry sauce. Their chocolate cake is also a favorite.
609 S. Trenton Avenue
When I get a hankering for something extra-chocolatey, I love a couple of pieces of Madeleine’s bouchon. They’re like an elevated, brownie-like pastry topped with powdered sugar. One or two pieces should be enough, though I always fight the urge to get more.
2427 S. 18th Street
I never had a proper sticky bun until I visited the Flour bakery chain in Boston, wildly famous for their ooey-gooey sticky buns. To my elation, I can satisfy my urge for sticky buns right here in Pittsburgh at 350° Bakery. Paired them with a cup of cold brew (*chef’s kiss*).
2119 Murray Avenue
When I’m craving just a touch of something sweet, our local Asian bakeries are the best places because their pastries are known for being light on the sugar. I love going to Sumi’s to grab a coffee bun and mocha bread. The coffee bun is a soft and airy milk bread topped with a cookie-like crust with the perfect amount of coffee flavor. The mocha bread is arguably an even softer bun filled with a whipped mocha buttercream that’s more akin to Swiss meringue than American buttercream.
2034 Murray Avenue
I’m a sucker for Allegro Hearth Bakery’s hamantaschen. They’re a fully plant-based bakery and café, and I don’t know if that’s what’s behind the magical texture of their hamantaschen, but they’re like a cross between a cookie and a pie. As much of a chocolate lover as I am, I actually prefer their apricot and blueberry fillings.
107 Penn Avenue
Head chef Tevin James is a culinary genius. I am in love with everything he’s created on ECHT’s menu, but, for the longest time, I was treating myself to their grilled pound cake for what seemed like every week. The last time I was in, I had their French Toast Bake with crème anglaise and pomegranate seeds, and it was truly ambrosia.
Story by Jasmine Cho / Styling by Anna Calabrese / Photography by Dave Bryce
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