Sinfully Delectable Desserts… and a Very Bad Panda

gelato2Covering city council meetings and quilting contests getting you down? We have just the assignment to help that medicine go down. With mere mention of this story, our editorial meeting underwent an absolute psychic sea change. Interns lit up and experienced hands became treacherous. Everybody wanted a piece of this pie, and really, there was plenty to go around, as these stories are most often group efforts.

There was only one egregious error: some fool went out for a little fast food in the middle of all this and had a bear of a time, but more on that in a moment. Bon appétit.

New Morning Bakery
219 SW 2nd Street

An institution in Corvallis, New Morning Bakery has been providing young and old with sweet and savory treats for over 30 years. One classic feature of the NM menu is the chocolate éclair, a decadent, airy confection layering butter on cream on chocolate on love. The success lies in the balance of sweet, bracing chocolate and cool, refreshing custard. The buttery layers of feather-light dough contain it all in one massive serving.

208 SW 2nd Street

Francesco’s Gelato Cafe has been going on 10 years strong in Corvallis. Based on their wide variety of excellent treats, it’s not hard to see why. Whether you’re a chocoholic or a dairy-free diva, there’s something for everyone in their selection of freshly made, Italian-inspired treats. Stick around for the key lime sorbetto—your lips will pucker as you gobble three scoops without realizing it.

353 SW Madison Avenue

If you’re looking for some chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth, look no further than Corvallis’ own Bursts Chocolates. They have every kind of chocolate you can think of, and it is all so delicious. I sampled their gourmet chocolate honey sea salt caramel. I couldn’t believe how wonderful it was—you could actually taste the sea salt. For a coastal girl like me, that’s what really counts. Bonus: they make their own confections by hand right on the premises.

First Alternative Co-op
2855 NW Grant Avenue and
1007 SE 3rd Street

Everyone knows that First Alternative is your one-stop shop for incredible food, but did you know that they also have fantastic desserts? My personal favorite is their chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting. These delicious little cupcakes come in boxes of four and are the perfect pick-me-up after a long day. They also are great for undoing everything you just accomplished at your workout… who knew? But then, this is why you work out, right?

Delicias Valley Café
933 NW Circle Boulevard

The sopapillas are made from thin, flaky pastry, lightly fried and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. Topped with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, and a trace of chocolate sauce, this Mexican dessert will melt in your mouth. Also try the homemade coconut or vanilla flans, the creamy tiramisu, or ask to try their churros (which aren’t listed on the menu).

Le Patissier
956 NW Circle Boulevard

This is ground zero for flaky pastries in Corvallis. Their fruit tart—raspberries, strawberries, kiwi, and peach set in milky cream on a crispy tart—tastes as good as it looks. Offering Danishes, croissants with assorted fillings, tarts, and other French delectables, the menu at this café changes regularly.

Market of Choice
922 NW Circle Boulevard

There is one thing Market of Choice has that no other store carries: the pink champagne cake. This cake is a celebration unto itself. I ate it for breakfast on my 25th birthday because it is the kind of cake that makes you believe it appropriate for all hours. This is a dessert for birthdays, break-ups, births, and deaths. The secret’s in the frosting, which is (obviously) pink with sprinkles.

Eats & Treats Cafe
1644 Main Street, Philomath

Eats & Treats Cafe, established in 2012, has operated an entirely gluten-free environment since its inception. Maybe you’ve tried their outstanding and authentic barbeque, but it’s the pastry section that gets jaws yapping. Their chocolate chip cookies get this writer salivating at the thought. The melt-in-your mouth, buttery dough cushions chocolate pieces with a breath of sweet air. The softness surprises and delights, making you beg for two (or four) more.

Panda Express
1822 NW 9th Street

Not a dessert, but just desserts for one of the worst places in Corvallis. There are three types of food here: sat too long before served, they’re out of that dish, and we’ll make that in two minutes except they mean more like 10 minutes. Giving them a try last Friday I was informed they were out of my preferred teriyaki chicken, so I ordered a plate of fried rice, mixed vegetables, pepper chicken, and string bean chicken.

They had to make the mixed veggies, so 10 minutes later what I got was: way too much rice; not enough mixed veggies to rationalize the wait; heavily onion-laden pepper chicken; and string bean chicken with only one or two pieces of chicken, depending on how you look at it.

Truth is, my kids drag me to this place on occasion, so I know from experience how bad it can be. The dirty tables and overflowing trash receptacles that night should have cued me to just go elsewhere. If you’re on campus, the Panda there is a better choice. If you’re in North Corvallis, Market of Choice offers self-serve bowls and a constantly manned wok that promises freshness for about the same price.

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