November 30, 2009

Scottish Bakehouse

ABF mentioned a place on the Vineyard that specialized in baked goods and takeout food, and it took me a while to realize I'd also seen this place featured by Rachael Ray (and had noted years ago I'd like to vist someday). Well, that 'someday' was that Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. We drove along State Road in the West Tisbury section and found the unassuming little cottage just off the road.

I remember hearing that the owner (I can't find a website?? for this place, though I believe the owner is Daniele Dominick) is serious about using local food in her cooking, and even has a garden out back that she harvests and uses in her dishes. Of course, right now in the cold winter months the garden didn't look so great, but it was a good-sized piece of land. I'd love to come back and try some freshly-picked veggies once it's warmer outside!

The bakery cases are packed with fresh-made goodies, from their 'punkin pie' that looked creamy and lovely, to the Irish soda bread to the berry danish. It's not all sweet, though. They also feature egg salads, pilafs, and other sides, either pre-made, chilled in the fridge, or dishes made to order. We were in the mood for some sweet stuff, though. While it all looked good, we managed to narrow it down to a respectable half-dozen or so.

ABF picked out an assortment of cookies for us to sample over the weekend. He was interested in the Scottish shortbread (you can't NOT try those, right?) and we got two, as I knew I'd be trying one myself. ABF actually didn't like these.. I think it was a texture issue. They were very crumbly and fell apart easily, but they tasted buttery and delicious to me. It definitely wasn't the crisp, crunchy shortbread fingers most of us are used to nomming.

The Bakehouse specializes in a lot of vegetarian/vegan cuisine, and everything (or nearly everything) is gluten-free. While I'm an unapologetic carnivore, ABF piqued my interest when he pointed out the vegan Linzer thumbprint cookie. He was hoping for a more typical Linzer cookie, but this looked as close as it gets. It was just okay. It wasn't awful, but I wouldn't get it again. It just had no punch to me. If avoiding animal products is your game, though, it's not horrible. Wow, did I sell that or what? ;)

ABF also selected what was called a Mexican wedding cookie. This was not a big hit with me, so ABF was all on his own and happy to do so, I think. ;) It was more like a pecan sandy to me than the usually-buttery, melt-in-your-mouth MWC I've happily sampled in the past.

I can't remember if ABF or I chose the amaretti biscuit, but I'm game for anything almond, so score! This was hands-down my favorite. Oh my goodness. It had almond paste woven throughout the soft, crumbly cookie, and as ABF isn't a huge chocolate fan, he let me have the end that was dipped in chocolate. God love him! I would rather have just ordered these than anything else we ate! Next time we go back, I'll try more savory than sweet, but you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be taking home a mess of those amaretti! Che dolce!

I passed on something else I saw in the bakery case over a last-minute impulse buy at the counter: Zapatistas, which are crumbly chocolate cakes with chili peppers in them. I wasn't wild for the sandy, crumbly texture of the cake (again, I'm sure connected to the gluten-free side), but the heat from the chili was outstanding. It just kept building and building long after I'd finished my little cake. Yum!

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