The red velvet cookie sandwich at Frost Me Cafe & Bakery
A couple of youngsters I know were on spring break and asked if they could go out for a special treat. Muffins.
Granted, I haven’t been a kid for quite a while now, but I don’t recall muffins being near the top of my list of special treats. But, it being spring break and all, who was I to argue? I searched around for a bakery that serves muffins, and found one in Little Italy.
555 West Date Street, Suite A, San Diego
Frost Me Cafe and Bakery opens its doors onto the Piazza della Famiglia, which used to be a short block on Date Street. Now transformed into a pedestrian plaza, complete with paver stones and a tiered fountain. One of several shops fronting the piazza, Frost Me is easy to spot, thanks to a storefront that is — and I don’t use this term lightly — adorable, lined with umbrella shaded patio tables and huge planters overflowing with succulents.
An adorable storefront on the Piazza della Famiglia
We walked inside, and I pointed to the part of the glass counter featuring the daily assortment of muffins: vegan banana pecan, lemon cranberry, and blueberry topped with streusel crumbles.
Bear with me, though, because muffins covered only a small shelf in a large case filled with indulgent pastries. Eyes went wide as the kids comprehended the many special treats that might supersede muffins. They agreed to split a blueberry muffin ($4.95), but we would also pick out a few gems from the rest of the case.
Chocolate dipped macaroons make it tough to say no.
They decided to pass over cheddar and chive biscuits ($3.50), mixed berry scones ($4.50), and pecan tarts ($4.75), but we did grab a cinnamon roll topped by a generous spread of glaze ($4.95).
While I set my sights on a ham and parmesan cheese croissant ($4.75), they were more interested in cookies, which lines up more with my own memory of childhood. It was a tough choice between the chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookie ($2.25) and the chocolate-dipped macaroon ($3), so in the end we wound up with both.
A huge dollop of glaze on a fresh cinnamon roll
Okay, to be honest, the macaroon was for me. I couldn’t resist its toasted coconut crust.
I picked out a fruit tart ($4.95), my thought being that fresh berries could still be considered healthy, despite the silky bed of custard they lay upon. But when it came to the red velvet sandwich cookie ($3.75), I can make no pretense. That was purely for the gluttony and the photo op. Its rainbow sprinkles make it something of a star attraction for this bakery, which started out as delivery only, and has since gone on to win an episode of the Food Network show, Cupcake Wars.
A fruit tart made with indulgent custard
Probably if I had kept that last tidbit in mind, our little muffin outing wouldn’t have turned into a 30-dollar pastry run. Lesson learned: don’t walk into a shop known for producing wedding cakes, unless you’re prepared to eat a lot more than muffins.