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Cake and the Beanstalk

Before heading over to Reading Terminal Market to get some hot donuts, we stopped at Cake and the Beanstalk for a few coffees and bites. It’s an adorable, colorful, and whimsical bakery and cafe on Locust. The owner was a pastry chef at several leading restaurants in Philadelphia before opening up his own place. There’s all kinds of baked goods that change daily. They also have coffee and tea happy hours.
We got a slice of the strawberry pound cake. Ooh… this thing was unbelievably dense and moist, sweet and delicious. I could have eaten the whole damn cake!
Here’s what I would say is the best darn iced latte in the entire city. I’m not sure what kind of magical milk they use, but this is the creamiest and dreamiest, yet strong latte I’ve had all summer. I challenge you to find a better one! And two people can’t be wrong, right?
Although it’s a small space, there’s plenty of seating in this extremely colorful Dr. Seuss inspired room. There’s also a teeny little outdoor area. Or you could chill in the big window seat by the bakery counter! I can’t wait to try more of their sweets!
Cake and the Beanstalk on Urbanspoon

1st Birthday Hoopla

The 1st birthday for a korean baby is a big deal. I mean it’s a huge deal. It’s bigger than what a sweet 16 would be, what turning 21 would be. It’s a true celebration and people tend to go all out and fest. My nephew just turned 1 and his mom went absolutely bonkers preparing for the little kid party of the century. It was a rainbow theme and there were decorations galore. It’s amazing just how many different ways to decorate people can come up with. The internet is apparently a great source for all kinds of random party stuff.
One of the traditional things you have to do with the baby is a fortune telling ritual where the baby picks what career he/she will end up having. A bunch of objects that represent things like athlete, lawyer, entertainer, etc. are laid out and the baby is free to pick an object of their choosing. This signifies what they will be in the future. It’s corny but it’s fun to see. Baby E picked entertainer. Somehow, I don’t see this happening.
My mom did not feel like cooking, and who really wants to cook a bunch of food by herself for 20 people, so instead, we got catered food from Kobawoo in Elkins Park. And let me tell you, it was all good. Here is the galbijim.
Pigs feet! I did not partake in this. But apparently, it was quite good.
Here is some marinated spicy squid and a bunch of banchan.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a party without a bunch of jeons. There was a spicy kimchi one, a fish one, and a plain old chive one. I particularly dug the kimchi one.
Japchae! Have you ever been to a korean party of some kind and not had japchae? And here’s some cucumber kimchi.
Big hunks of fish. There was so much food in my mom’s house it was ridiculous. All I kept doing was encouraging people to eat and take food home.
But aside from the proper dinner food, there were plenty of other foods and edible decorations. There was a giant selection of different kinds of dduk, korean style rice cakes. These thoroughly took me back to the motherland. I don’t eat dduk often, but when I have it, and when it’s good and fresh, I really enjoy it. See those little decorations with the beans? My sister-in-law made those, by hand, bean by freakin bean! I was impressed.
Here’s some more dduk, a different kind, as well as a plethora of fruits. I think they each probably symbolize something, but really, they’re also just colorful. This particular kind of dduk was actually my favorite.
This was the first of the two birthday cakes. This was a korean style cake made out of dduk. It’s super cute, huh? And those watermelons? Courtesy of yours truly. My first watermelon art, but I think they turned out pretty well.
The piece de resistance though, was the regular birthday cake. Courtesy of the baking artists at Night Kitchen bakery, this super adorable cake was really the hit of the party. They did an amazing job following my slapdash mock-up of what we wanted. I’d never had a fondant cake before so I really didn’t know what to expect. Everyone I had talked to before said that they made really tasty cakes. It was a vanilla cake with lemon curd, and indeed, it tasted great! It was super moist and there was a thin layer of cream in between the cake and the fondant, so even with the odd tasting fondant (not odd in a bad way, just odd) the whole thing was great. It was a little bit sad hacking into this thing that was so super cute, but everyone enjoyed it. Sure, the baby didn’t get to eat this cake nor will he remember it, but I think everyone else will. Ok kiddo, we’ll see you at your next birthday!

Paris Baguette Cafe

Inside the H Mart building in Elkins Park, there are a bunch of little shops, including Paris Baguette. It’s a korean chain that you may find around the country, in neighborhoods that are heavy on the korean.
It’s a bread and pastry shop… but they don’t sell hoagie rolls and macarons. It’s a korean-french bakery so mostly, it’s a bunch of sweets. There’s some loaf breads but lots of individual cakes and pastries. There pan and filled breads, donuts, pies, and such.
Here are some of the really pretty cakes.
They also have some loaded waffles.
Here are just a few of the dozen random breads I picked up. They’re all good in their own way. It’s a good thing I don’t live near here because I would probably eat way too much of it!

Paris Baguette Cafe on Urbanspoon

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