Our route today took back under the HCG and back past the abandoned Blue & Pink, or affectionately "Boo Poo", which remains closed. We did notice this multilingual sign. Can anyone translate? My guess is, "Caution pacemaker wearers, microwave in use."
While lingering a bit trying to decipher the Blue & Pink mystery, the MSG150 crew couldn't help but notice that the HCG straddles the seediest two corners of the ID. There's the unnamed alchy bar on the north and the open air crack market next to the abandoned apartment building on the south. Nothing says welcome like drunks and junkies.
Also of note, the MSG150 crew has a couple streaks going now. Today marks the sixth straight lunch spot without any health service violations. Yay! It's also now the sixth straight lunch without fortune cookies. Boo! The last lunch with both was the marginal Four Seas Restaurant. Today's lunch was also the third Chinese bakery after the Sun Bakery and the S&FB, both well rated. A Piece of Cake had lots to live up to.
Luncher: GearyLunch: Chicken Bun + Chicken Pie + Apple Pie - $1.35 + $1.75 + $1.75
APoCB&C has long been a favorite local source of birthday cakes and post lunch sweets. Until now, however, none of us had partaken of their savory fair. The options for lunch were limited. I went with the Chicken Bun and the Chicken Pie with an Apple Pie for desert. I was impressed by their bubble tea neon sign, so I also added in a Bubble Milk Tea.
The bun was fairly typical, sweet white bread on the outside and savory chicken on the inside, however, my bun was a bit light on the filling. Also, I'm not sure how they are customarily eaten (insight anyone?), but these were served at almost room temperature. I think I would have preferred warm buns (IYKWIM). The chicken pie was better, but it too really needed to be heated up to be fully enjoyed. Same goes for the apple pie. Bubble tea was good, but they offer only two flavors. I think they must have a relative that makes neon signs.
In summary, come for the cakes and tasty deserts; go somewhere else for lunch.
Luncher: EmmettLunch: Chicken Pie + BBQ Pork Bun + Tiramisu - $1.75 + $1.75 + $3.00
Cake for lunch. Mama would be proud. Fortunately though, "Piece of Cake" has a display full of savory baked goods that can make a square meal. I had a chicken pie, a BBQ Pork Hum Bow, and some Tiramisu.
The Chicken Pie was tasty, crumbly, and full of flavor. The BBQ Pork bun was kind of icky. The bun was cold and not too fresh tasting. The pork was grisly and didn't have a lot of flavor. For the savory baked goods, Sweet and Fresh bakery does a better job.
The slice of Tiramisu was the hightlight. It was very light, tasty, and not overly boozy or sweet. Unlike Michael, I'm not too big a fan of these cakes. For cake I prefer a little more density (I like cheesecake) and these fluffy fruit cakes leave me wanting. But the Tiramisu delivered. It was good.
Overall I wasn't too impressed with the lunch options. Come here for dessert only.
Luncher: AdamLunch: Hot Dog Bun + BBQ Pork Bun + Fresh Mango Cake - $1.35 + $1.25 + $2.75
This is a classic Chinatown destination: they're famous for their cakes with fruit filling. From a previous reconnaissance mission, we'd seen that they had Hum Bow... so we had to make a stop here.
Starting out, I ordered the Hot Dog Bun. It was literally a hum bow bun around a standard hot dog. The bun was luke-warm, and the hot dog was the same. Unless you're fan of hot dogs of questionable origin... don't order this.
I also ordered the BBQ Pork Bun. I've had enough BBQ Pork Buns that I know what they should taste like... and this one was sub-par. This was also colder than it should have been. I guess if APoCB&C had better heat lamps, I might have liked all of their warm food better.
For Dessert, I got the Cake with Fresh Mango filling. Overall, the whole cake has way less sugar than a standard cake. The frosting is delicious... but you can eat it, and it doesn't hurt my teeth. The cake itself was light and fluffy. The filling was the best part though. Actual chunks of fresh mango mixed with a light white filling. It is worth going out of your way to get a cake (or at least a piece) from this bakery. If I were rating the cake by itself, it'd be a 4 or possibly a 5.
Skip the warm food, but definitely get a dessert from here.
Luncher: AlLunch: Chicken Pie + Bacon & Cheese Bun + BBQ Pork Bun - $1.75 + $1.35 + $1.35
For lunch food: 3
For Dessert: 5
Luncher: ErinLunch: BBQ Pork Bun + Green Onion and Ham Roll + Egg Tart - $1.35 + $1.35 + $1.00
The Green Onion & Ham roll was a savory pastry made with the bun dough, and had a filling of mayo, green onion and ham in the middle. It was moist and oniony and very good. The egg tart, a favorite of mine was perfect. Although it was a crumbled crust, not a flaky crust, it was baked perfectly and the egg custard inside was done perfectly. The BBQ Pork bun was not as tasty, the pork inside seemed sort of old, and did not have a lot of bbq sauce or flavor. The cakes I forked in on were light and fluffy and fruity, as I expect a Chinese cake to be. The tiramisu was lame, but what did you expect me to say about that? Overall, I would come back for the savory pastry and the egg tarts.
Luncher: JeffLunch: BBQ Pork Bun + Chicken Pie + Apple Tart - $1.35 + $1.75 + $1.75
For starters... I just love Bakeries. While I wouldn't normally consider a bakery as a top lunch option, the bakeries I've been to on this lunch quest have been great. Unlike some bakeries, this place was a nice size and even had plenty of room for us to sit and enjoy our meal. This alone makes it more likely for me to return.
My lunch today was fresh, warm and wonderful. The pork bun was excellent. The bread was exceptionally tasty. The chicken pie exceeded my expectations. The apple tart was average for bakery deserts - which actually surprised me.
While the choices are certainly limited in a bakery, if you're in the mood for these buns - this stop is an excellent option which I'd gladly recommend.
Luncher: MichaelLunch: Chicken Bun + Sweet Corn & Ham Bun - $1.35 + $1.35
I have to give this one a 5. I've been eating here for several years now so my opinion was already set before we sat down to eat. Hint: Get my birthday cake here and nowhere else.
Seriously. These cakes are the best. Big win: they don't use obscene amounts of sugar or fat. The frosting is actually edible and tasty. They have various chocolate cakes and they are great. But what you really want are the fruity cakes. Fresh mango, peach, or strawberry. Fruit tarts. Fresh tasty goodness.
Add to that bubble tea, various almond cookies, walnut cookies, and a whole case full of tasty treats and you have a winner.
The other lunch stuff was about what you would expect: fresh pork and chicken hom bows, chicken pies, 'ham and sweet corn', and hot dog buns. Its all good. Order three or four. Except the hot dog buns. Only a total n00b would order the hot dog buns.
Also not to be missed: the two dollar bag of day old goodies. This bag is packed full of all the tasty stuff you were afraid to order. Coconut buns? Garlic buns? Red bean paste? You'll enjoy it all.
Why 5 stars? Because when I turn 40 I want three things: a shiny new convertible sports car, an obnoxiously hot blond in the passenger seat, and lunch at this bakery.
A Piece of Cake Bakery & Cafe PhotosA Piece of Cake
Buns and pastries
Breads, Buns, Cookies, to go
Do not squeeze the bread too hard
Three bun lunch
Two buns and a pie
Buns, Buns, Buns
Hot Dog Bun
A piece of cake
A piece of Tiramisu
Neon sign (outside)
Neon sign (inside)
Neon bubble tea
Neon coffee babe
Historic Chinese Gate