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Two Very Different Shops “Bake Off”

Libby Archer, Editor in Chief

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I, once again, have been amazed by St. Louis restaurants that I didn’t know existed.

I was looking for some cute bakery-style places, because I had been craving a slice of cake for a week, and came up with a list of about five in my general area, but because of time, and gas, restraints had to cut it down to two.

I, of course, am not easily impressed, but I can’t believe that these two bakeries were just around the corner from me my whole life and it has taken me this long to find them.

My boyfriend and I, I forced him to come with so I don’t look crazy to the workers, started at this adorable place called Sarah’s Cake Shop off of Clarkson. They are tucked into a strip mall with a vet and some random food places but the huge sign saying “Cake Shop” in swirling letters makes it stand out.

Sarah’s is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. When you walk in, it feels like you’re stepping into a doll house. The walls are covered in colors and mirrors. Sarah’s is first and foremost a  wedding cake design business but they had glass cases filled with wedding cake slices and tiny sweet treats.

No one was manning the register when we first walked in, but that quickly changed, most likely because I am so loud. The service was great and everyone working there were super sweet. We ended up getting a slice of white wedding cake and this ball of sparkles called a glitter bite.

The store was silent, because we were the only two customers, so we decided to sit in the “dining room”, which they do cake tastings in. Once again this place was too freaking cute. They had fake cakes on cabinets and wedding style decorations around the area. This room would be perfect for a brunch or a date.

I started with the weird glitter-thing, which was about the size of a quarter in diameter and completely covered in sugar. In my opinion, it was too dang sweet. After one bite I felt sick to my stomach, which might be because I’m a baby or might be because they layered on the frosting too thick. Even though it was too sweet, the overall flavor was good and it was unlike anything I’ve seen at other bakeries.

I, of course, had to get the wedding cake, which is what they specialize in. I thought it was too dry. Since I am a cake tasting expert, I know that they could’ve not been so heavy on the frosting too. This was kind of a let down. Since they are a wedding cake business, I got my hopes up on amazing white cake but was let down.

The location and actual restaurant was cute and individual, but the actual sweet treats left more to be desired.

Next, my boyfriend and I headed out to Nathaniel Reid Bakery, off of Manchester. I had only seen the location and the name, so when I arrived and found out this was a French bakery I was filled with joy. The shelves were lined with filled croissants, macaron and personalized cakes. This place was a lot smaller than Sarah’s and had more of a coffee shop feel. I was disappointed by their macaron selection, only because that is my favorite food in the world, but I ended up choosing the salted caramel, coffee and cinnamon flavored. Next I chose a croissant and this swirly cookie called a Palmier.

The selection at Nathaniel Reid was amazing. They not only had cakes and chocolate treats, but also offered salads, sandwiches and breakfast foods. This location would be perfect for a brunch with a few friends or just to pick up a meal to go.

The croissant was flakey and delicious but was surpassed by the cookie. The butterfly-looking cookie had a crunch and was not too sweet. Palmiers and Croissants are traditionally made with the same batter which is why they are both so flakey and delicious. This was my first time trying the cookie and it converted me from a cake lover to a cookie lover.

The macarons, not to be confused with macaroons, were amazing, you can never go wrong with one, but a little too dry for my liking. The lack of variety in the flavors and dryness of the actual cookie were a turnoff for me.

I would 10/10 return to this bakery. Though it is a bit of a drive for me, the pastries and climate were worth it. I wish they would have more room for eating, they only have a single bar-like table running across the side of the room facing the wall of windows.

These two bakeries can not be compared because of their vastly different menus and atmospheres. Sarah’s was more of an picture worthy, instagram central, pick and I would choose Nathaniel’s for the different treats than you’d be able to get in a usual St. Louis bakery, but I would suggest a trip to both if you’re ever trying to quench your sweet tooth.

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Two Very Different Shops “Bake Off”