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Entries in Homewood (2)
I have been somewhat dismissive of the cupcake craze, having had too many cupcakes in my time that were all about being cute rather that about tasting good.
Dreamcakes Bakery in the Edgewood area of Homewood has changed my mind. This bakery makes cupcakes that are both beautiful and delicious, in traditional and unexpected flavors.
It was my birthday this week, so I decided to treat myself. After a wonderful lunch at Jinsei Friday (yep, they're serving lunch now, and the tempura green beans, served frites style, rock), I looked up Dreamcakes on my iPhone, since I had heard so much about them.
It took a while to make up my mind. So many flavors of cupcakes! Plus brown sugar pound cake, brownies, and French macaroons!
I decided to stick with cupcakes, since this was for my birthday.
I chose two favorites that, according to their website, are in the case every day: Chocolate High and Caramel Sea Salt Mocha. My other choices were Lemon, and one I forget the name of, but it featured sour cream, poppy seeds and colorful sprinkles.
A few that looked enticing but I didn't get: Peanut Butter Cup (Devil’s food cake filled with chocolate ganache & topped with creamy peanut butter buttercream, a chocolate drizzle & a peanut butter cup candy) and Cloud Nine (Angel food cake with a light whipped topping); and Over the Moon (white velvet cake, vanilla cream filling, intense vanilla bean icing and topped with white chocolate curls.) There were banana cupcakes, strawberry cupcakes, blueberry cupcakes, wedding cake cupcakes, cookies & cream. Some cupcakes have a filling in addition to icing, and most have some sort of treat garnishing the top. On the Chocolate High, it was a malted milk ball.
My complaint with most bakery cakes and cupcakes is they taste too much of sugar and fat and not much of anything else. This was not the case with Dreamcakes, where there was a wonderful balance of sweet with each cupcakes' individual flavors as well as salt to counter the sweet. The texture was delightful, as well. No gummy, spongy, or dry and crumbly cupcakes here!
Dreamcakes also does custom cakes for any occasion, including weddings. And they can do them gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free or vegan. (Sorry, no sugar free.) I think I know where I'm ordering this family's next birthday cake!
Afraid the cupcakes didn't last long enough to get photos, but check out Dreamcake's photo albums on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dreamcakesbham.
Had lunch with a friend last week at DoDiYo's, where Tria Market used to be in SoHo Square in Homewood. Didn't get to try enough for a full-fledged review, but definitely was enough to make me want to go back and try more.
The menu features not only authentic Greek dishes, but also ones influenced by Spain, Italy, France, Turkey, the Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East.
First, they bring little chunks of bread, sort of like a foccacia, with a delicious feta spread. For an appetizer, we shared an order of Spicy Stuffed Peppers “Piperies Me Tyri," which translates to “bull’s horn;” long, spicy green peppers stuffed with feta. They weren't really spicy, but they were delicious. The feta stuffing was not as salty and tangy as you might expect, and the tomato sauce featured whole garlic cloves cooked until they were soft and mild. A couple other appetizers that caught our eye were Greek Meatballs “Keftedes” (lamb meatballs with harissa, a North African hot-pepper paste), a trio of sausages, and tiropita (Greek cheese and phyllo pie).
For our entrees, we both chose from the "Traditional Slow Foods" section, which features dishes such as moussaka, pastitsio, roasted leg of lamb and short ribs. Each was served with a small salad, very pretty with fresh greens and matchstick-cut radishes and carrots.
I was very happy with my Eggplant with Basil and Tomatoes, or “Imam Baldi," a Turkish dish which the menu says translates to "the imam fainted." It's a classic meze of eggplant, garlic and tomatoes sautéed in olive oil and served hot.
My friend had Stuffed Grape Leaves, or Dolmades, grape leaves stuffed with rice and ground beef in a lemony avgolemono sauce and served hot. These were large and plump, the filling was very tender, and the flavors were subtle. Unlike some dolmades I've had, flavors such as lemon and cinnamon did not come to the forefront and overwhelm.
Our server recommended the cheesecake for dessert, saying it got raves. It was light and fluffy with a nice lemony flavor, no crust, served with some fresh citrus. I personally prefer my cheesecake more New York style, but that's just me.
There were also cold appetizers, gyros and other sandwiches, salads, soups, entrees such as pasta and fish, and Greek side dishes such as wild greens or peas and artichokes in lemon sauce. And that's just the lunch menu! There's a more extensive dinner menu, PLUS there's a tapas bar in the center of the restaurant with its own yummy offerings.
We didn't even make it into the market area; I think they might want to make it a little more visible from the restaurant otherwise people wouldn't even know it was there.