Spread's Spreads / Crumbs's Cupcakes
She may not be much of a dessert person herself, but my ever-gorgeous girlfriend Debbie definitely knows how to make me and my daughters happy. Case in point: last Saturday night, when she came over to our place and provided all the makings for a sweet-treat tasting spree.
First came the chocolaty, nutty spreads from Spread, an organic restaurant in San Diego that sells a seemingly endless number of varieties of the stuff online. The four of us sampled three different flavors, eaten straight from the jar or spooned onto shortbread and some excellent chocolate cookies from Grandaisy. By far the best—or, at least, by far the most deliciously desserty—was the White Chocolate Espresso almond spread: sweet, thick, the flavors deep and rich, the espresso beans adding a pleasant, bitter crunch. The Dark Chocolate Chile peanut spread was as good as this sort of thing gets, but we all had a hard time getting past the whole sweet-spicy trend/gimmick (I have the same problem with the wasabi truffles, et al, at Vosges....). Yes, it sets off an interesting little party in your mouth, but it doesn't really satisfy as a dessert.
Then it was time for Dessert: Part 2. Now, Crumbs may be second tier when it comes to cupcakes in this town, but it certainly knows how to put on a good show. Plenty sugary and often filled with some sort of creamy surprise, the assorted mini-cakes in this lively 12-pack were as much to fun eat as they look like they would be.
You can find more information about Spread's spreads here. There are a half-dozen Crumbs Bakeshops in the City; I believe the cakes we ate came from the one on 8th Street between University Place and Broadway.