I found heaven
Ok…I admit it, I thought I fell in love with Extraordinary Desserts about 2 years ago when I got my first cake there for my birthday. But it was a false love. I thought I really liked their cakes, which I’ve tried 3 of them along with the coffee cake and chocolate chip cookie. I really thought it was the best, but I was tricked by their pretty presentations with the flowers and gold leaf and sauce presentations. I was a fool blinded by the desire to find the ultimate cake. I think in these last few months, I’ve finally come to realize that I really didn’t like ED all that much! The cakes are much too dense and waaaaay too sugary for any normal human being! Even for those who LOVE sweets! Their coffee cake was not bad, but not outstanding. The chocolate chip cookie was good due to the high quality chocolate they use (Valrhona), but the cookie dough itself was only fair.
Yet, somewhere in my chaotic mind…I still cling on hope for this place (despite the terrible and slow service). And finally today….I found justification for that sliver of hope!
My friend “L” came downtown on her day off to visit me. She had been wanting Extraordinary Desserts for sometime, so we went for lunch.
I got the feta cheese panini ($10).
Grilled eggplant, tomato, feta, mixed greens, and pesto on toast from Bread & Cie. I’ve posted on Bread & Cie on their sweets which were pretty good, but their bread is hands down, some of the BEST in San Diego. The bread and feta made this panini good. There was just enough feta on the toasted bread to give it a light saltiness and the soft cheese contrasted with the crunch bread. The tomatoes, eggplant, greens were all fresh, and the pesto was delicious but I wish they had put a little bit more on it! Oh well…pretty good overall.
And with the panini was a apple, corn, and pepper relish? It was sort of sweet and I enjoyed it too. It was very refreshing.
My friend got the caesar salad ($10) and we were both taken back at ED presentation of it! I mean look at it! If you’ve never had the caesar here, you would be too! It reminded me of a flower pot!
Inside the “pot” was a generous amount of shaved parmesan cheese and croûtons. Once she hacked into the salad, she proclaimed, “This is so good!” I took a piece of lettuce to try out the dressing and found it to be a little too tangy for my taste buds. And I told her that, which “L”responded, “That’s probably why I like it – the tanginess.”
“L’s” salad came with toasted bread too, the same as my panini, and she couldn’t stop herself from eating it. I don’t blame her!
We wanted something sweet but neither of us was sure of what to get. I wanted a slice of cake, but everytime I think about ED’s cake, the sick feeling of sugar-overload invades every part of my body. Thus, each time I think of getting a slice of cake from ED, I change my mind. However, I did want to try the roasted coconut cream torte. (There are 2 things that will always get me: peanut butter and coconut…as you will see.) But all that was left in the case was one lonely slice that looked like its been in the case for a few days…not appetizing at all. So that desire died quickly. What was I going to get???
After looking at all the dessert offerings, none of which really grabbed me. I saw the biscotti (whole pieces) when we first went in, but I was hesitant. I’m very picky with my biscotti. I think it’s one of those things that because it’s so simple, it’s so hard to get it right and make it good. And I wasn’t about to spend $2.75 (?) on their chocolate almond biscotti. Then I saw by the cookies area, biscotti ends that were being sold for $0.50. Score! I could spend a little to get a taste of it. Along with that, I got the dark chocolate tea cookie that I’ve always seen but never tried. When ordering, I asked our waitress if she could get me one of the bigger pieces of the biscotti end. She said “yeah,” but I got one of the smallest piece there was. Maybe she was partially blind.
The biscotti was mediocre and was not even worth my 2 quarters, especially when our waitress told me she would get me one of the bigger pieces. Never again.
The dark chocolate tea cookie ($2.50) on the other hand….
Oh. My. Goodness. That first bite of the dark chocolate cookie was…nirvana. I was (to put it lightly) ecstatic! If any man wanted to give me the perfect gift….it would be a bouquet of red roses along with these cookies!
I had just found what I have been searching for a VERY long time. The perfect cookie. It was soft and moist, just enough butter, and the best part: chocolate without the sickening sweetness. The flavor of the chocolate was upfront and full bodied. There was nothing that blocked the flavor from giving me the full impact and embrace it I did.
The last time I had a cookie like this was when I still worked at a bakery, and my boss made the most delicious chocolate cookies with a dollop of german chocolate-like icing. The cookie was moist and soft, the chocolate was pure and unhindered (pre-icing), and since then…there has not been a cookie that has matched it. I use that cookie to compare every chocolate cookie I taste. I wish he never left. He was one of the nicest, funniest, and most talented baker I had the honor of working for. If anything, he made me want to go to Europe and learn the art of baking. I am still trying to find a sacher torte that is up to par to exceeds his.
“L” got the peanut butter shortbread ($2.50).
Anything with peanut butter is usually automatically on good terms with me. I LOVE peanut butter anything. My favorite sandwich is peanut butter and coconut! Sounds strange? Well if you think about it, Thai cuisine pretty consists of these two flavors. Anyways…I’m getting off topic…
Now although my chef never made a peanut butter cookie, ED’s peanut butter shortbread would probably be something he would make. Perfection. This cookie had the same softness of my dark chocolate tea cookie, but it had the texture of shortbread (eg. very buttery). However, the saltiness of the peanut butter and the sweetness of the rock sugar edge, helped balance the butter in this cookie. Now I have a cookie to set the bar for all future pb cookies!
So what’s the lesson I learned today?….There is always hope for everything and it is not worthless to cling on even the smallest bit of hope you have for anything. Hold on to that hope and one day, you’ll find that one thing that makes it all worthwhile.