by Nell Alk.
What used to be Cocoa V recently reopened as Blossom Bakery, a new go-to for all your sweets needs. Formerly a romantic chocolate shop, the space now feels friendlier with bright lighting in place of dim, plus fresh white walls to herald the new beginning. Dimensions have shrunk somewhat, but with the sizeable front window and the door flung open, the atmosphere is anything but stuffy. Conversational customers and upbeat, knowledgeable staff round out the inviting vibe. And, while it is close quarters (intimate, in a good way, would be more accurate), it ain’t slim pickin’s.
Indeed, the menu boasts a surprising range of eats and treats, both savory and sweet. Those familiar with the other members of the Bakery’s family—Blossom, Cafe Blossom, and Blossom Du Jour—won’t be surprised to learn that no animals were harmed in the making of these goodies, though they might still be surprised at how much gustatory pleasure has been gained in the process. In addition to old favorites, like their yummy, crumbly-crusted vegan quiche and the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted, newbies abound. From their pain au chocolat (chocolate-stuffed croissant) to a shredded coconut cream-filled chocolate cookie sandwich, dieters and diabetics beware: Blossom Bakery brings it. Then again, BB is thinking about those who seek low or no sugar, too. Their raw key lime pie, which was silky smooth, tangy-tart, and impossibly refreshing, boasts no added sugar. Gluten-free options are also readily available, from red velvet cupcakes to chocolate chip peanut butter cookies.
What I can’t stop fantasizing about? The jalapeño cheddar corn muffin. Gluten-free and made with tapioca-based Daiya cheese, this hot little number had me at nom. I was just sad I had to share. Other favorites include the apple pie (just like mom used to make), the Betterfinger shake, and the kouign-amann (pronounced “Queen Aman”). The latter is a Brittany, France-originating pastry to which BB does some serious justice with flaky layers of rich dough accented with sugar and salt, then toasted on top for an extra special finish. These, we’re told, along with the croissants and quiches, tend to sell out on weekends within two hours of opening. One more reason to become an early bird.