Friday, January 28, 2011

Lunch Date; Baker's Crust in Short Pump, Virginia

Last Thursday, my Boy BFF whisked me off on a day trip adventure!  I was more than ready and over the moon with excitement.  We were driving approximately two hours to our West to visit someone special, at Baker's Crust in Short Pump, Virginia.  Short Pump Town Center to be exact.  Short Pump Town Center is this most amazing concept of a huge shopping is like dining Al Fresco because everything is connected outdoors.  Go ahead and take a few minutes to look over the array of stores and dining experiences one can find while visiting Short Pump.  I know!!  It's truly an amazing place.  I heart it there whether or not there is Baker's Crust or Boy BFF Time involved.

Boy BFF was excited to take me to his new "I'm in love" place and I was equally excited to accompany him on this trip.  Our destination for the day was the incredible "Virginia's Own" Baker's Crust.  We were greeted by smiles and hellos which was really welcoming right from the get go.  It wasn't too crowded as we arrived after the lunch rush, but before the dinner crowd started to come in.  This time allowed for lingering and much enjoyment.  The smell of baking bread wafted through the venue and as soon as we were seated, one could feel their heart rate slow down.  A much needed respite with a more than loved friend.

We started the libations with this yummy little number.  Hess Select Chardonnay was a lovely beginning.  I am typically not a chardonnay drinker, but Boy BFF, who is also studying to become a Master Wine Sommelier has broadened my perspectives.  It seems as if my palate veers towards the more expensive wines.  BBFF always knows what to order for me and I always love it.  Isn't it wonderful when you have a friendship like that?

Our first course quickly arrived and despite the fact that we were both really hungry, we took our time inhaling these.  There are eight different bruschetta's available at Baker's Crust.  You can mix or match your selections, but I will warn you now, the selection process is grueling.  Pictured above is the Riesling Poached Pear and Gorgonzola with watercress finished with a house-made vinaigrette, grapes, and diced buttery walnuts...then there is Prosciutto Di Parma which features fresh sliced prosciutto, oven roasted tomatoes, fresh "made in house" mozzarella, sprinkled with basil...and finally the Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese with oven roasted tomatoes and capers.  All three choices were outstanding.  My favorite was the Riesling soaked pears...OMG, never in my life have I dreamed of such decadence.  The Smoked Salmon did not arrive as the menu stated, as it was paired with fresh parmigiana and not the stated cream cheese, but it still sailed with high praises.  Then we had another glass of Hess Chardonnay...

Baker's Crust is warm and casual with an upscale vibe, but seriously reasonably prices.  The staff is wonderfully accommodating and well trained.  I felt like I was being was much needed and appreciated.

For our main course, we decided to go with salads considering we just polished off three of the above bruschetta selections and still wanting to leave room for the dessert course.  C'mon now??  You know me better than that.  Home Girl has to have dessert and I will not admit to asking if we could start our foodie adventure with dessert.  Nope, not me.

Boy BFF chose this stunning tee peed salad of Skewed Shrimp and Fresh Avocado.  The artistically divine plate arrived with mixed greens, bacon, tomatoes, and toasted bread points.  Honey mustard dressing was served on the side while the shrimp and avocado were bathed with a Cayenne Aioli.  This salad was both captivating in presentation and taste.  It is one of those dishes that you never want to get full of.

While on the subject of dishes you never want to get full of...this right here...this crispy fried nugget of loveliness...yes, this one..right above you...(don't look down yet...we will not discuss dessert until you hear about this dish).  I chose the Old Fashion Warm Spinach Salad, which was plated with large amounts of fresh baby spinach, hard boiled egg slices, crispy bacon, and sliced mushrooms.  It was served with a "made that day" sweet cider and bacon dressing that should be bottled and sold.  It could be the answer to the world's financial crisis.  The crispy nugget in all it's creamy sexiness...was fried goat cheese, and let me TELL you, this shiz was mind blowing.  I have become a fan of goat cheese in various forms over the past few years, but "homie up there" sent me through the roof.  I almost had an orgasm.  I could have eaten more...I could have eaten a whole plate of these suckers.  But...

there was this waiting for me.  Yes, hold on to your hats...we had Cheesecake on a Stick.  Go ahead and hate me now, but this dessert is to the moon and back again.  Thick slices of velvety New York Style Cheesecake dipped in a coffee and mild chocolate ganache.  You pick it up and dip it into the fresh made, real whipped cream.  Yeah, the true to one's soul stuff made with heavy whipping cream and scented with vanilla bean.

You would understand why there was little in the way of conversation during this episodic moment.  I had died and gone to food heaven.  The dessert course was lovingly seated with a Badger Mountain Riesling and once again my Boy BFF knew it was the perfect pairing.  Badger Mountain Vineyards produce completely organic wine.  I was very impressed.  Now, you could have called me done and sent me on my way, but that's NOT how Boy BFF rolls...

You must try these sometime.  Say hello to Gummy Bears.  Yes, you read that correctly.  This was the perfect ending to our wonderful afternoon of love and festive food.  It was the closing act.  Sweet and tart, but smooth to the finish.  I am including the recipe here for you to enjoy...consider this my consolation gift to you should you not live near Richmond or the Southeastern side of Virginia.

White Gummy Bears

     1/2 ounce Raspberry Vodka
     1/2 ounce Peach Schnapps
     1 ounce Sweet & Sour Mix
     1 splash Lemon Lime Soda

Shake together vodka, schnapps and sweet & sour mix with moderate ice. Pour into a martini glass, top with a splash of lemon-lime soda and serve.
I can honestly not begin to thank everyone involved, for the joy this day provided me.  I thank Boy BFF and his love...I commend the staff at the Baker's Crust at Short Pump for an amazing meal served with incredibly wonderful skill.  Bravo!!

I will be back.  I promise.

This is Home Girl and I love to share my favorite places with you.  Shake together vodka, schnapps and sweet&sour mix with moderate ice. Pour into a martini g


Suzan Oxenreider said...

Seriously killing me!

tara said...

You had me at Cheesecake on a stick.
And the name, Short Pump VA, is awesome. It sounds like a name in a novel.

SZM said...

okay, now I am starving!! That food looks so delicious. I love Hess Chardonnay....I buy it at Costco! I loved this whole post... the photos are amazing!

April said...

That food looks DE-VINE! Oh, my mouth is watering right now! Beautiful pictures, really brought each entree to LIFE! That Cheesecake on a Stick is right up my alley...heaven help me! :)

Unknown said...

Cheesecake on a stick. OH MY GOODNESS! that looks so delicious Marlene. I can not even stand it. YUM! : ) Seriously fantastic looking. Your date sounds incredible. So glad you had fun!