It surprises me at times that NYC doesn’t have more gluten free bakeries. Perhaps I don’t know enough about the economics of running a bakery to really comment on this but it does feel like there should be a GOOD one (there are people in NYC making kinda crappy gluten free cookies and cupcakes and we are putting up with it) in every neighborhood.
Pip’s Place just opened on the upper east side. For those of you that don’t live in Manhattan you might think it ridiculous that going to the Upper East side – a mere 2 miles from my apartment – is “far” but this is how we New Yorkers roll. I asked my friend Angela a few weeks back if she wanted to go with me and she said “no way am I going all the way up there.” Its “far” from Union Square for New York standards at 89th streets and 1st avenue.
But, I went anyway. I can’t resist trying out every possible place for this blog and reporting back! It was worth the trip up there in the end…even at 38 weeks pregnant!
Pip’s Place Cakery is the NICEST bakery I have ever been in. It blew me away. Every other bakery in NYC that caters to the gluten intolerant has major issues with their air conditioning. I can’t tell you how many times I have waited at some of these places (and some I have refused to return to) and found myself getting so furious while I was dripping with sweat. There is something unsettling about being forced to wait in the blistering heat because you have no other options. It feels like prison.
Pip’s was a cool breeze. The interior is gorgeous! with a few stools to enjoy whatever you select from the case.
I tried the Almond Apricot Cake, the Sour Cream Coffee Cake, a chocolate chip cookie, a double chocolate chip cookie and a slice of vanilla layer cake. No, I didn’t eat all of these at the same time!! I wanted to try several things to get an understanding of what their capabilities were.
I was very impressed with the chocolate chip cookie. It was not as thick as the cookies are made at Tu-Lu’s bakery, my neighborhood favorite. But it was very good. I liked the simpler approach as it felt like a homemade cookie. The chocolate chocolate chip cookie was ok. I would steer people back to the basic chocolate chip version.
The Almond Apricot Cake was good but I liked the actual slice of cake much better because it had much better moisture. The Sour Cream Coffee Cake was excellent.
What I appreciated most about Pip’s Place was its approach to everything they baked. It felt like the difference between getting something homemade and getting something outrageously over the top because it was sold in a bakery. The former is Pip’s. You feel like Pip’s mom is in the back cooking away – oh wait, she is!
And this is what really struck me about the shop. It felt like a wonderful mom was ready and willing to offer up something delicious when you entered. And perhaps this is what I miss the most being a celiac, that impromptu offering of something delicious that I can actually eat.
Address: 1729-31 First Ave
Neighborhood: Upper East Side