WLW: churros y chocolate

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Until recently, when I planned trips to Mexico my itinerary mainly included sandy beaches, resort pools and endless margaritas. Frankly, if I wasn’t on a towel near a body of water, I wasn’t interested. But on today’s trip I’m headed to landlocked Mexico City to swim in pools of melted chocolate and use a massive churro as my floating device.

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Hola El Moro!!

This place has been serving churros since 1935. And not those heat lamp ballpark churros filled with a chocolate version of cheese whiz. The real deal. Cabbage Patch hula hoop sized fried ropes of dough rolled in cinnamon sugar then snipped up and served alongside your choice of drinking chocolates and dipping chocolate/caramel/condensed milk (or made into ice cream sandwiches).

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I approve the reg order of four churros since a serving size of “one” has never been satisfactory no matter what you’re eating. And I approve of churros for breakfast. Or for lunch. Or at 3am. All of which are possible bc this place is open 24 hours a day.

Pro tip: mas churros is almost always a smarter choice than mas cervezas…..

*pics by @worldonyourpalate, @sarah_hipwell@taarikadougan, @tiaeatsgood, @cupofjo

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WLW: Salty Donut making me not salty about Florida

Donuts. I’ll say it: they are not dessert. They are breakfast. (albeit a socially acceptable way to eat cake for breakfast)

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But what happens when donuts are no longer coffee-dunkable? Have they then progressed past the bfast menu realm? When they come in fancy flavors and are dressed to the nines, they do rise above their historically coffee-dunked ancestors? Like, I don’t really ever dunk anything, but seriously thanksbutnothanks I’m not going to risk an entire strawberry or chunks of candied bacon falling into my coffee. (can you imagine the dregs at the bottom of that cup??? barf.) I might even need a fork and knife instead – not even thinking twice about summoning my inner George-Costanza-with-a-Snickers-bar.

unnamed-1And so, artisanal donuts have got me thinking outside the pastry box, and one shop in particular has done the unimaginable and got me thinking outside the sweaty Florida Disney/oranges/hurricanes box. The Salty Donut: this week’s Wish List travelfortreats destination. You heard me. I’m going to Florida to eat donuts.

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Located in Miami, The Salty Donut is a small-batch establishment making EVERYTHING in house, and trying their damnedest to change the donut/coffee landscape of South Florida. They’re basically like, “Everyone, get with the times. Eat this.” And I’m like, “Don’t mind if I do! And thanks for not just being another souvenir shop with shelf-aged “Key lime” pies!”

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I’m talking lemon meringue fritters. Guava and cheese stuffed brioche. Fresh strawberries and cream, passion fruit and coconut, baked sweet potato, and the universally loved white chocolate tres leches.

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Should you still feel the monstrous need to dunk (please just sip alongside), they also offer a fancy coffee program to complement these beauties. Think cold brew Palmers and Cinnamon Toast Crunch lattes. Mmmmmmmm……… Beats yard long boozy slushies from Fort LaudyDaudy any day, and since you’re in Florida you’re probs on vacation, making boxful of fried pastries a 100% acceptable way to start the day.

*pics by @allisonkimchi, @chewyorkcity, @jenntronic, @onehungryygirl, @foodieattraction and someday by me

WLW: Dessert Charcuterie FTW

Obviously dessert is my fave course. But running a *close so close it’s almost nearly a tie” second, is a cheese/charcuterie board. So when I heard about such a thing as a DESSERT CHARCUTERIE BOARD, wellllll I just had to take a Wish List Wednesday trip on over to Montclair, NJ to see for myself. (just a quickie trip up from Newark!)

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I’ve been gazing at Vanillamore Dessert Kitchen‘s IG pics of chocolate salami for awhile now. Like A.WHILE. Little did I realize that this sweet (non-meat) salami was the main attraction on their bountiful dessert charcuterie boards. The salami (dark: almonds, cranberries, apricots, orange zest; milk: hazelnuts, cherries, shortbread cookies; or white: white chocolate, almonds, apricots) is sliced up and paired with just a delightful, delectable assortment featuring ginger molasses cookies, espresso caramel, honey poached pears, vanilla cream filled brioche doughnuts, red wine cherries, coffee hazelnut mousse, candied lemons, candied orange, banana bread, thyme marinated strawberries, olive oil cake…….the list just goes on and on and on.

Like Willy Wonka took a step up from fizzy lifting drink and had a proper soirée.

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Vanillamore is now serving lunch and dinner in addition to dessert, and while everything looks pos scrummy, I am still most pumped about the salami…..

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….aaaaand the s’mores bars. I mean, I’m not blind. COME. ON.

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ps: the s’mores bars hang out next to seasonal dessert kebabs, milk and cookies, and house-made gelato, on the section of the menu called “Dessert Tapas,” which is just above the “Dessert Flights” section. Perfect for when you want a little taste of everything, which I always do.

This place. They really get me.

*all pics by @vanillamore

 

WLW: Gnome Cones (guest post)

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Hello, hello and happy Wish List Wednesday!

This is Finn, Dessert Oasis’s longtime trusty road trip companion, with you today on assignment at the Dessert Oasis travel desk (because I’m literally stationed on top of desk).

We’ve crisscrossed the country together more than a few times, and oh the sweet memories we’ve shared….. stopping for custard at Ted Drewe’s in St. Louis, eating apple pie in Julian, CA, picking peaches in Bethlehem, CT, lamenting over waffles in Payson, AZ after a car breakdown #kialater…… but if my feet could reach the pedals (no, gnomes don’t have access to magic carpets like genies), or if I was ever asked my destination preference, ahem, where would I go??? Well, I would drive us straight to Argyle, TX, home of Gnome Cones!

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Just thinking about Gnome Cones I’m transported back to my homeland (somewhere in the Austrian Alps), where floral meadows blossom after winter snowfall, pastries are abundant, and I can still procure the occasional exotic fruit. Ahhhh…. Not quite what you picture when you imagine Dallas-Fort Worth, but it’s hard to overcome the mental obstacle of that nightmare airport – I feel you. That’s why we’re driving.

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These snow cones are all natural – no dyes or preservatives – only juice, tea, coffee, coconut cream and SNOW! Snow in Texas!! The world is magic!!! I can only imagine how refreshing and delightful they must be – a far cry from the sickly sweet rainbow “flavored” cones that state fair carnivals try to pass off as “sno” (if it’s not spelled right, you know it’s not right – I’ve picked up a few tips during my time on the desk). Plus – and this is a BIG plus – they look just like me! What’s not to love??

Signing off now – yours in happy travels and sweetie pie dreams,

Finn

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*photos by @jjordanllane, @food_curator_510, @thebestofdfw_, @gnomecones

 

WLW: Jacques Genin pâtes de fruits

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Though kids have started going back to school and days are sliiiiightly getting shorter, I’m under no delusion that summer is nearing an end. I know I still have until approx October to continue with BBQs and AC. I’m highly aware, however, that my days of summer produce are much more limited.

And so, for today’s Wish List journey, I’ll be traveling to Paris and stopping by Jacques Genin. I mean, of course I’ll be noshing on a tarte au citron with basil AND a Paris-Brest AND a made-to-order mille-feuille AND an individual St. Honoré, and def probs be taking an assortment of chocolates and caramels and nougats to go……but why I’m really here is for the pâtes de fruits. And even more so, for the pâtes de LÉGUMES. WUT/QUOI.

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Yes, yes, you’ve translated correctly. In addition to sugared jewel-toned concentrated bites of cassis, lychee, raspberry, pineapple, pear, rhubarb, mango-passionfruit, blood orange, etc etc, Jacques Genin has basically made veggie candy and I want some. I’ll take a healthy sampling of each: green tomato, carrot, celery, bell pepper, beet, fennel, pumpkin, and whatever else they have growing in the garden that day.

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This is my kind of summer preservation, and truly some next level eating of the rainbow. Maybe instead of coaxing kids to eat their vegetables because “look! so cute! broccoli is like a little tree!!,” just give them a plate of pâte and prepare to welcome some new members to the Clean Plate Club.

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*photos by: @jacquesgenin, @dafnamechlin, @lisatreehouse

pit stops: Chi > Cle >FLks > Mont > Queb > Mich > Chi

Dear Dessert Oasis,
Your recent posting about your yummy cross country road trip bakery stop in Lincoln, NE made me think I should do some advance planning for my own upcoming road trip. Any tips on wish list dessert stops between Chicago-Cleveland-Finger Lakes region, NY-Montreal-Quebec City- Toronto-and back to Chicago (via Michigan)? Whew! It’ll be a long adventure and we could use some delicious car snacks.
Thanks!
Road Trippin’ Rover


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Dear Road Trippin’,
Having a few known dessert stops on your map will definitely save you from an overload of gas station candy bars and hot pockets – way to think ahead!! That being said, it can be tricky to find great stop offs that don’t veer too far away from the beaten path. (like, unfortch, much of the Ohio turnpike is a bland stretch of oasis pits.)
And so, I’ve outlined a few standouts near each of your destinations, and recommend you stock up as you approach/leave each locale. Be sure to bring a cooler, some extra tupperware, and a roll of paper towels!
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Munster, IN: Munster Donuts (get a sour creme donut or twelve)
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Cleveland: Presti’s Bakery (cannoli), Jack Frost Donuts (including a donut that looks like a hot dog! GET IT.), Sweet Moses (ice cream)
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Finger Lakes: Seneca Farms (banana splits – have to eat your fruits and veggies while you’re on the road), Colonial Inn (ice cream with historic charm)
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Montreal: Mamie Clafoutis (bakery – tarts and croissants and cream puffs, oh my!), Wild Willy’s (ice cream), Les Givres (a lil bit of everything)
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Quebec CityÉrico (chocolate everything, including a chocolate museum to stretch your road-weary legs!)
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and to really savor the last leg of your journey, Michigan! Sister Pie (Detroit – pie, duh), Hinkley Bakery (Jackson – for donuts), Whistle Stop Grocery (Union Pier – cakes, pastries, and maybe some provisions for your fridge back home)


Happy travels and happy eats!!
– Dessert Oasis


*photo creds to many IG travelers: @foodchristinaeats, @whistlestopgrocery, @deeedoyle, @sarhuzarski, @stephyaklin, @terrellm, @tastymorocco, @jenn_pearce, @nadiawasti


Have a dessert question?  Email me at courtneysconza@gmail.com – from funnel cakes to fondue fountains, if it has sugar, I’ve probably eaten it.

travel around the world for $30 a day!*

*price excludes airfare to Los Angeles

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If you live in LA, you know it’s only an hour to the beach/an hour to the mountains/an hour to the desert….. Get ready, because now, in much less than an hour, you can travel to destination: ANYWHERE (time reference: you can now travel the globe more quickly than it takes to cross under the 405 at 5pm). All you need to do is get yourself to Wanderlust Creamery.

Once there, if you know where you’re going, coolcool, pick a cone and a scoop and get on with it. But if instead you’re feeling a little lost or undecided, a little adventurous, a little filled with…. shall we say….WANDERLUST, that cashier’s counter turns into a travel agent’s desk and for a mere $30 you can book a Flight Around The World!

Some decisions will still need to be made. Wanderlust offers around 20 different flavors inspired by places the owners have been/want to go. Since the flight is made up of ONLY fourteen gold ball-sized scoops, you’ll have to say bon voyage to a few. On this latest tour I skipped Earl Grey (bc I can make that myself), Pineapple Li Hing Sorbet (bc I’m allergic to pineapple and not looking to die before the world tour even begins), Wanderlust Vanilla (bc you all know how I feel about vanilla – I don’t. I don’t feel about vanilla.), and Kinder Bueno (bc it of course is bueno, but I can also just go buy a Kinder Bueno).

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So where did I go on my flight?

I started in Thailand with a Thai Iced Tea
then I headed over to Italy for Balsamic Macerated Strawberry Sorbet
to the Philipines for Ube Malted Crunch
next to Spain for a quick Catalonian afterschool snack of Pa Amb Xocolata (baguette spread with dark chocolate and drizzled with olive oil and sea salt)
Mexico for Cuatro Leches (why stop at tres??)
South America for a Tonka Bean Latte
Provence for some Honey Lavender (and a quick roll in the lavender fields)
met Björk at her house in Iceland for Pretzel & Rugbraud (rye bread)
then back to Thailand for Sticky Rice Mango
back to the Mediterranean for Fig Leaf & Pistachio (didn’t need to stop in 1000 churches or visit any headless sculptures!)
back to Mexico for Abuelita Malted Crunch
over to Japan for a Sakura Latte (since I missed cherry blossom season while I was hanging out in Iceland and Mexico and Italy), as well as Japanese Neapolitan (made with matcha, hojicha, and black sesame layers)
reentering the USA via the Pacific Northwest‘s Smoky Road – home sweet smoky marshmallow home…..

Luckily, my tour group was filled with enthusiastic explorers each preferring different cultural flavors, so the threat of an ice cream war was thwarted. #icecreamforworldpeace #icecreamforpresident

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