One of my favorite Olympia hotspots is the Bearded Lady. Wholesale bakery by day, the Bearded Lady turns into a sweet kitchen open to the public a few nights a week. Late into the night on Thursday, Friday and Saturday you can get delicious desserts, superfluous cupcakes, and sweet seasonal treats. Their menu changes every month, though, so you have to move quickly if you try a dish and love it. They serve cold brewed coffee, tea, iced water and every kind of milk. They often have cupcake specials or cupcakes to go, for when you don’t have the time for a full fancy dessert. We’ve spent hours here this summer, going on dates, hanging out with groups of friends, killing time. No, they do not serve dinner. Only dessert! What’s better than that?
This is a vegan whoopee pie stuffed with espresso ice cream, and served with a tiny cup of dipping chocolate. I ate this several times before they retired it. I eat vegan, gluten-free and conventional desserts, so believe me when I say this did not “taste vegan” at all. The bearded ladies make their own ice cream, and it’s exciting to see the crazy ideas they manifest into ice cream.
This delicate little morsel is a piece of gingerbread with roasted plum and roasted plum ice cream on top. Again, they make all this ridiculous ice cream themselves and it’s practically obscene. The whole thing is topped with caramel sauce and a half-circle florentine made from magic. The toffee, nutty florentine was everyone’s favorite flourish. My friend Angela ordered this at least once a week for an entire month. I bet she still dreams about it.
The beautiful bearded logo is hand painted on the storefront window by a local sign painter, Ira. It’s really popular with the locals, who stop and stare and photograph it pretty often (click here to see someone’s photo of the sign from the street)
This is a plated dessert I have dreams about. The centerpiece is a frozen chocolate souffle, sweet and creamy and cold enough to beat the mini heat wave we’re experiencing. It’s floating in an ocean of the dipping chocolate that we’re all obsessed with. There are homemade graham crackers (gluten-free, somehow, and yet they taste delicious), and the crowning, show-stealing glory of homemade marshmallows, which are toasted to a crispy perfection with a torch in the bearded kitchen. It’s a deconstructed, amped up, hyperbolic reference to a s’more. As a professional Girl Scout, it is my duty to love this dessert.
YUM! The new menu starts this week and I am on the verge of passing out with excitement. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for our next four weeks of sweet fine dining.