During our August NY trip, I was delighted to visit the Bare Naked Bakery in Bellmore again. Not just once, but several times. Although disappointed to find out that the meat in their Reuben (one of my all-time favorite sandwiches) contained nitrates, meaning I couldn’t enjoy it on this trip, I was able to have any of their sandwiches which had chicken on them.
On our first visit (for this trip), it was late in the day, so we simply purchased some baked goods to try. We got a chocolate chip cookie and two cupcakes. A chocolate one with vanilla frosting and a vanilla cupcake with mock pistachio frosting. The chips in the cookie were good, as was the texture, but unfortunately this couldn’t make up for the lack of flavor in the cookie. We both determined that it was missing the traditional brown sugar and vanilla flavors which most people expect in chocolate chip cookies. The online store lists ingredients, and while there is brown sugar and vanilla in the cookie, something else seems to be masking it — or there is simply not enough of either. The cupcakes were delicious! Moist, tasty, just what you’d want in a cupcake. I’d love to try them warm out of the oven, but even these, bought shortly before the bakery closed that day, felt as fresh as if it was the start of the day.
On our second visit, I tried the Primero Panini (grilled chicken, roasted red pepper, mozzarella, and basil pesto). They roast the red peppers themselves, so there’s no worry about the preservatives you tend to see in store-bought roasted red peppers. The peppers were amazing, as was the entire sandwich. Each ingredient perfectly complimented the others. I also tried one of their soft pretzels. It wasn’t quite the taste I was looking for, and was a little too salty, but it was still good. I imagine it would have been even better with a nice horseradish mustard or some melted cheese!
The sandwich was so good, and so filling, that on our third trip, we picked up a Primero Panini to split. We also purchased a Crumb Cake, all to go. We were so full from the sandwich, that I set the cake in the back seat (it was in a box), and actually forgot about it until we were headed home to Virginia! The Crumb Cake was amazing. Just like I remember a great coffee cake to be. Unfortunately, the ingredient page for this product lists an unspecified “green color” as well as red color #40*, so it isn’t something we’ll ever order again, unless Bare Naked Bakery would consider using beet juice or something similar for their red dye needs. Although, I must admit, I’m not entirely clear on why a crumb cake needs food coloring in the first place.
* I only know of two sources for red #40: (1) The eggs and crushed female bodies of the cochineal beetle (natural red dye) or coal tar (petroleum base). Processing techniques are supposed to ‘virtually’ remove the petroleum from the dye, but, frankly, neither are very appealing as far as I’m concerned.
Also, in my observation – and in my personal experience – people who are gluten free for medical reasons, often try to eliminate less-than-healthy additives from their food, so it seems peculiar that Bare Naked Bakery would use RD#40 in any product. BNB – If you would like to comment on why you use this product in your baking, or what the source for your “green color” is, I’d love to hear your side of things.