259 East 10th Street, New York, NY
A Few Dollars a Sweetie
Restaurant Type : Fine Dining | Casual
Diamonds : ♦♦♦♦♦♦
I don’t know the background of Cowgirl’s Baking—but as we approach, from the outside it looks like an episode of How To Make It In America is in progress.
The staff are having a fucking blast. A group of mad scientist teenagers, some in hotpants and others in torn jeans, are listening to indie rock and partying behind the counter when we arrive. We walk up almost trepiditiously through a crowd. We feel like shy wallflowers at a high school dance. I look down at my shoes and occasionally glampse at the goodie-case.
“Can I get you anything hon?” The girl behind the counter is fantastically attractive, and I feel even more like a slack-jawed country boy.
I look up—and truth be told, I want one of everything. I sort of stammer as I place my order.
It’s not perfect. It’s not even really pastry—but just like the Cowgirl name might lead one to expect—it’s good old fashioned deliciousness that you might find at a Country Church after the Sunday sermon—squares, cookies, donuts, cookies, and cupcakes. It’s not exactly pretty but it sure is appealing. I pick a few different things, including a chocolate and peanut butter bar that still, months later, haunts me in my dreams. It’s so late into the night that everything is half off, and when we find out, we double down and end up with packets and packets of baked goods.
The food is honest. It tastes exactly like it looks—if I’m honest, it’s too sweet for my taste (but then it seems like everything in America is, maybe it’s my Canuck palatte). I’m still daydreaming about the perfect pâtisserie végétalien. But it feels so good going down, and the bakery is in the heart of a great little walkable neighbourhood in the East Village. In fact, that night there is a wedding reception going on at a nearby church, and we sit outside on benches watching people dance in the Churchyard. Women in fancy dress, and guys in three-pieces, the crowd is a slightly middle aged version of the crowd at the bakery. Hip and New York. There are slow dances, but the band also plays a few tracks that remind us of Battles.
I pause after what I would call a Nanaimo Bar, and just stop and feel the sugar rushing into my viens. In my reverie a wedding guest who’s slipped out for a smoke approaches us.
We offer a sample. He asks us where we got it.
“No way! It’s vegan?!” Guy ends up passing it around, and we feel like we’ve done our vegetarian advocacy for the weekend.
Cowgirls bakery is the type of place you want to tell your friends about. There are a few gimmicks on the menu, from “Bacon” cupcakes, to “Deep Fried Kool-Aid,” but you know what? They’re hell of tasty. Get the word out.