Sweets to Remember Around Queens

Bauer's Bake Shop in Middle Village, a destination for generations of Black Forest cake lovers, has unfortunately gone the way of most of New York's German bakeries. In its place, edhopper reports, is a worthy successor, Framboise Patisserie.

He describes a lineup ranging from jelly doughnuts and chocolate cupcakes (both very good) to fancier stuff you might've expected to find at the much-missed Payard. In fact, the newcomer might belong in the conversation with some of the better places around town: Framboise's croissants are nearly the equal of La Bergamote's, ed says. Its crème brûlée reminds him of Eleven Madison Park's. "Surprising quality for an out of the way Queens bake shop," he promises.

The old Bauer's sign is still up, and the new owner has talked about preserving some of the old favorites. But for now, devotees of Bauer's German sweets may be left with only their memories.

Memories and dessert: Seems Proust was on to something. E Eto can't shake a stubborn craving for a confection from the Armenian-Middle Eastern bakeries he frequented years ago in Los Angeles. Known as aish el-saraya (there are varying transliterations around the Mediterranean), it features custardlike cream, layered with syrup-soaked pastry, scented with citrus and rosewater and topped with crushed pistachio. Happily, it's turned up in Astoria at Cedars, a Lebanese place better known for meats than sweets. "I'm not sure how it compares to the one I get at Panos bakery in LA," E Eto writes, "but it was the flavor I've been longing for."

UnoLooTz's sweet longings also go way back, informed by years of experience working in bakeries. So he's as qualified as anyone to track the evolution of the Italian rainbow cookie, from the lamentable decline in the proportion of costly almond paste to an ingenious innovation at Stork's Pastry Shop in Whitestone. This old-school bakery, not afraid of new tricks, adds a minty layer between the cookie's sponge and its chocolate top. "Some people might not like that because it doesn't follow tradition," UnoLooTz allows, "but I am addicted to them and love the evolutionary step."

Framboise Patisserie [Middle Village]
64-59 Dry Harbor Road (at 64th Road), Middle Village, Queens
718-326-1579

Cedars Meat House [Astoria]
41-08 30th Avenue (near 41st Street), Astoria, Queens
718-606-1244

Stork's Pastry Shop [Whitestone]
12-42 150th Street (near 12th Road), Whitestone, Queens
718-767-9220

Discuss: Framboise Patisserie, Middle Village
Cedars Meat House, Astoria
Cake Box in Bay Terrace — R.I.P.

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