Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cinnamon Works - Seattle Pike Place Market

Ernie and I took a little trip through the Pacific Northwest over Fourth of July weekend.  We spent less than one day in Seattle as our entry point. 

The Seattle Pike Place Market was one of the major sites on our list of things to do. I was first introduced to the famous Fish Market during undergrad when we learned the "Fish Philosophy" during a Greek Leadership Training week. They throw fish around!  That part was somewhat anti-climatic because now it's become a tourist attraction, but it's a bit challenging for tourist to buy fresh fish and have somewhere to take it.  They don't throw the fish til someone orders it so everyone is just waiting for a local to stroll by.  The Catch-22 is that the locals don't go to this fish place anymore because the prices are increased.  What to do?

I digress.  The real reason for this post is to discuss Cinnamon Works. It was a small, nondescript bakery on the corner of the market. At first, I cruised right by it assuming I couldn't eat anything. But then, I stopped after seeing a huge cookie marketing itself as "wheat free" but not gluten-free.  After further inspection, there was an entire gluten-free case! I tried to take a picture but the glare is pretty bad here.

I swiftly picked up a small loaf of banana bread and a pumpkin cookie.  The cookies are HUGE and probably chock full of calories; at 7 or 8" in diameter, I think they're bigger than Potbelly cookies!  I'll review the cookie first.  The pumpkin flavor wasn't too strong and maybe a bit on the mild end and it wasn't super sugary but had just the right amount of sweetness.  There was a bit of a gritty rice-flour aftertaste that is common among gluten-free baked goods. The texture was soft and fluffy, more like a biscuit than a cookie but didn't have the stiff/stale texture of many gluten-free cookies (especially those frozen ones).  Overall, I'd definitely try another flavor, but I won't jones after it to go as far as mail-ordering dozens to share with gluten-eating family and friends.
Pumpkin Cookie Rating: 7

The banana bread was so-so.  I love original banana bread, often craving it and try to make some of my own gluten-free recipies but have yet to have any huge breakthrough.  They all taste just OK, not fantastic but not terrible. I'd say this bread is also so-so.  Like the cookie, the bread wasn't too flavorful but not too bland. You could definitely taste banana but I wish there were some chocolate chips!  The texture was soft and moist and slightly fluffy but misses that deliciousness of original banana breads and is a bit more crumbly without the gluten to hold the bread together.  There was still that rice flour aftertaste that leaves your tongue a bit gritty. I don't really know if it's due to the rice flour and that's totally my own non-culinary-artist assumption.  Overall, I might buy this again but I'm still looking for that perfect loaf!
Banana Bread Rating: 6

Cinnamon Works
Specialty Bakery
Pike Place Market
1536 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98101
No website that I could find

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