Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Open-faced pies (Tartes Fine Cakes & Pastries)

Tartes ordering window

I've often said that Philadelphia architecture is "quaint" and "homely." If you read closely between the lines of how I truly feel about Philly, that actually reads... "old" and "ugly." Yeah yeah, I'm a heathen for insulting historical landmarks. National treasures! Whatever, that -ish happened like 200+ years ago. It's time to move on yo. The British aren't going to attack us again in the near future. They have more pressing issues... like weddings and the dreaded fight against dental problems. Anyway, in the middle of the craptacular backdrop of Old City is a bright pink brick shack. It takes balls to paint an entire building bright pink, but that is exactly what Tartes bakery did. Just a lonely bright pink shack with no tables and no chairs... just a window and an old lady. Why? Because she runs everything OG style - barebones. What a baller.

OT - I like thinking of tartes (it feels weird spelling it this way, but that's how the store does it...) as mini open-faced pies. I once said this to someone and they actually went on to correct me about how the crust or whatever makes the two distinctly different. Fuck that. Wikipedia says "the categories of 'tart', 'flan', and 'pie' overlap, with no sharp distinctions, though 'pie' is the more common term in the United States." The hivemind of Wiki is surely smarter than any singular person. I will continue to refer to tartes as open-faced pies. I'm just being a good American.

Blackberry almond tarte

Behold! A glorious blackberry almond tarte. To be honest, I don't really know what went into this thing, but let me try to explain in my own demented way. The crust is flaky, buttery, and everything I want in a pastry. It's not without sweetness, but it's not strong enough to cover up the heavy-handed use of butter. It's curiously uneven in thickness and texture, but I guess that happens when shit's done right, by which I mean homemade. Inside this cup of flour and butter goes a brilliant blend of some custard-like filling, blackberries, and slices of almond. You know what? I don't even really like blackberries, but this shit was heavenly. It's like if you forced Keebler elves into slavery and caught a unicorn to fart rainbows into pastry bowls. Magically delicious yo. Lucky Charms ain't got shit on Tartes.

Their stuff is a little bit costly, with their single serving (ha!) tartes all teetering around $5, but goddamn it is good. It probably costs a lot to catch Keebler elves... so I guess that's fair. So... I know I harp on Philly all the time for being a crappier version of NYC, but once in a while there's things that make me feel otherwise. Like Tartes.


Shirley said...

hhhhoooooowwwhhhhhhaaaaatttt??? Keebler elves into slavery and rainbow shitting unicorns??? I'm totally in. And how the fuck could you not like blackberries?!! Are you telling me this philadelphia establishment totally beats some overrated NY pie joint? That's actually surprising to me!

And yah, I know my job is as pressing of an issue as weddings (not important at all)!

Abbey said...

I was just in Philly last weekend (and went to Race Street Cafe on your great recommendation). I passed this place, even stopped to look at the menu, but didn't get anything. Sorry I skipped it!

hannahsmin said...

Hey! Philly is awesome!

Nicholas said...

Shirley - I like their tarts... sorry "tartes." More than decadent enough, but not overwhelming. They could be bigger though.

Abbey - yeahhhhh Race Street Cafe. Best burger I think I've ever eaten hands down + one of the most charming bar atmospheres in Philly. It barely feels like a bar. If you get another chance, def go back to Tartes.

hannahsmin - sure, you'd think that. You're stuck here for two more years. What else are you gonna say?

Post a Comment

oh snap. I can control the text here?