Thursday, April 20, 2017

Where We Eat: Retrobaked

Are you serious right now? These cupcakes are vegan AND gluten free? How do they taste so good? 

That's pretty much the conversation that bounced around my head as I sat on Retrobaked's cute front porch a few weeks back and ate my cupcake. As a vegan, I feel that most of the time it isn't possible to eat gluten free. I mean limiting yourself to one or the other (vegan or gluten free) can make it difficult to eat tasty food. Doing both? Nearly impossible. But somehow Retrobaked has managed to do just that.

Retrobaked is not the kind of place you can just show up and buy from their shelves. Most of the time you have to order ahead. But on the first Friday of the month they are part of the Bradenton First Friday Art Walk. During this event they open their doors from 6-9:30 (PM) and you have free reign to buy whatever they are selling (which they do a good job of promoting on Facebook in the days leading up to the show).

April's art walk featured Retrobaked's vegan and gluten free version of a chocolate chip sandwich cookie, oatmeal cream pies, brownies and four or five different cupcake flavors. I purchased a key lime cupcake for me and a peanut butter and chocolate one for my daughter. I then took a sandwich cookie and oatmeal cream pie to go (they were already wrapped making them the logical eat later snack).

Key Lime and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Those cupcakes, whoa, best vegan cupcakes I've had in a long time (maybe ever). The cake was moist. I really couldn't tell that it was vegan or gluten free. The icing was perfectly creamy without being too sugary. I loved the hint of lime taste and the gingersnap crust in the key lime cupcake. My feelings about the peanut butter and chocolate cupcake...pretty much the same. Not too sugary, perfectly creamy and dreamy and moist.

As far as the to go items, um, not as much as a fan. For both the cream pie and cookie, again I could not tell they were vegan or gluten free. But both of them were just a little bit too sweet for my liking. I think it was the icing. They were good, but not the image of perfection that their cupcake brethren were.

Will I be back to Retrobaked? Hell yeah! Will I special order a cake? Got my birthday order ready to go. Worth the drive from Tampa on the first Friday of the month? Yep. Will I order anything other than cupcakes? My calories for sweets are limited, I gotta stick to what's best.

The drive to Bradenton was fueled by the new (or is it old?) the Dirty Nil LP called Minimum R&B. Minimum R&B, which is due out next Friday, features eleven tracks from the Dirty Nil's back catalogue. It includes such "hits" as "Little Baby Metal Fist", "Cinnamon" and "Nicotine." Also included from the back catalogue is "Guided by Vices," one of my favorite Dirty Nil songs (before I met Higher Power). One new track, "Caroline", is also included on Minimum R&B. You can check that one out below:

Pre-order the album here (if you live in the US) or here (if you live elsewhere).