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Bravo! Café & Bakery

www.bravobakery.net

If you haven't tried the cake at this bakery/café just west of the intersection of Grand Avenue and Lexington in St. Paul, I encourage you to visit them and try it. I like sweets, but I don't like cake with the typical shortening and sugar frosting that supermarket bakeries use. It is cavity-inducing sweet with a bad texture and worse flavor. This bakery makes fabulous whipped cream frosted cakes with wonderful fruit flavors, and some special Chinese flavors also. The green tea cake with red bean paste is tasty, and is visually very pretty as well. The mango and pineapple cakes are also excellent. If you want to eat there, they have an all vegetarian menu, with gluten and soy and whey protein substituting for the meat. The cherry rose tea would be my beverage recommendation, unless you prefer a bubble tea. I'm sure their coffee is good too, but I haven't tried it yet. The owner is a very friendly and nice lady and it has always been a very good experience to visit them. I'm getting my wedding cake there, so that is an indication of how good this cake is.

Apr 11, 2013
martyw71 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Authentic Chinese?

I took my fiancée (who is from Shanghai) and a friend of hers who is from Hunan province to Little Szechuan, and they both said that their food is authentic Chinese. I highly recommend the fish fillet in spicy tofu broth, spicy and numbing. Their portions are quite large. We ordered 4 dishes for those two ladies, my mom and me. We had plenty left over for another meal for 3 people, and I am a pretty hearty eater.

Apr 11, 2013
martyw71 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Looking for Baijiu, Chinese rice wine

Well, I've never had it before, but the way my fiancée (who is from Shanghai) describes it, it is not moonshine-like, but a little more refined. I don't know what brand (or even the style or type) she had exactly, but she describes it as being a little sweet and with very good flavor (but she likes the thousand-year-old duck eggs, so taste is a very subjective thing). I don't doubt that the moonshine/bathtub gin variety is common, but that doesn't sound like what she described. I ordered a bottle from a Moutai distributor, so I will report back once I give it a taste.

Apr 11, 2013
martyw71 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Portuguese Sweet Bread in the Area?

I'm not really familiar with Portuguese food, so I'm not sure if you mean something similar (but better quality) to King's Hawaiian bread? I learned it is actually a Portuguese style bread according to the bag. If that is what you seek, there is an excellent recipe for making that style yourself in Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice". I have made it myself, and it is not complicated and has easy to find ingredients. I'm sorry this is too late for Easter, but if you are willing/able to bake it yourself, it might help you out. It tasted great to me, but I don't know how authentic it is.

Apr 07, 2013
martyw71 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Looking for Baijiu, Chinese rice wine

Are there any stores in the area that sell Baijiu, the Chinese rice wine (for drinking, not cooking)? Sake is readily available, but according to my Chinese fiancée it is a very different product. Her parents are flying here in a month, and I would like to have some to share with them to celebrate our upcoming nuptials. I have searched a number of Asian groceries and Surdyk's, etc., and have come up empty, so I appreciate any help in this. I would ask them to bring a bottle, but they are already bringing a wedding dress and other things.

Apr 07, 2013
martyw71 in Minneapolis-St. Paul