Chevy is up to its old tricks.
I was invited on their 'Chevy Sonic Sweets Tour' which featured the new Chevy Sonic and a few of Pittsburgh's trendy bakeries. Of course I immediately said yes! Cool cars and bakeries? Who could resist?
The Chevy Sonic is a small car with a deceptively roomy interior available as a hatchback or a sedan. There are a lot of built in features such as USB ports and streaming capabilities for many smartphones. That means no more fumbling around with strange car adapters and weird mounting devices just to listen to your favorite tunes as you drive. Between that, good gas mileage (26 city/35 hwy), and an inexpensive price this vehicle would be an excellent choice. I only wish it came in more color choices! I'd choose a blue over a red or orange any time.
Our first stop was Sugar Cafe in Dormont. I have been anxious to try this bakery for a few months but unfortunately my travels haven't taken me to that part of town. Now?
I'll happily go out of my way to drive to Dormont to get more of the Lemon Pound Cake. Sunshine bursting on a plate. The pound cake was tart and tangy with just a hint of sweetness instead of the cloying other route so many other bakeries take. The cupcake was solid and the vanilla macaroon had an excellent fluffy buttercream but it was the lemon pound cake that shined. It was the best thing I ate all day.
Among all of the Sonics availabe to drive was one solitary Chevy Volt. I overheard Hal of This Man's Kitchen ask if it was available to drive and when he was answered in the affirmative I immediately asked to tag along in this car. I've never ridden in a hybrid car and I was intrigued.
Just look at the consoles! There were two screens-one behind the steering wheel and one in the center-to help you get the most out of your driving experience. The Volt is dual powered-by electric AND gas which means you can drive about 35 miles on electricity alone and about 375 miles on a full gas tank. According to Edmunds, it gets a whopping 93 city and 95 highway mpg. This would be the perfect type of car for someone who lives in the city like me and doesn't drive very far on an ordinary basis. I was very disappointed to learn that one must have a driveway or a garage to be able to plug the car in every night to recharge. I guess snaking extension cords across the street even if it was safe wouldn't be very practical.
The Volt navigated the twisty turns and steep hills of Pittsburgh as easily as a gasoline powered car. The vehicle also uses the screens on the consoles to show you how you are driving and also how to maximize your driving for the most efficient experience. It was a little intimidating at first but after only a few miles a driver would easily catch on and be able to enjoy the drive.
Hal parked the car (on a hill! see?) on a side street in Lawrenceville and we walked the last block to Dozen Bake Shop.
Dozen has recently went through a lot of changes. When it first opened, it was known solely as a cupcake shop that rapidly expanded and opened several other cupcake shops around the city. The original owner eventually scaled back and then sold the remaining two Dozens which were the Lawrenceville shop and also the Oakland shop. Dozen is now known as Dozen Bake Shop and it is a full service bakery and cafe.
A table full of tempting treats waited for us at Dozen Bake Shop. Of course there were cupcakes but these were a sampling of some of their offerings in mini version. The pumpkin whoopie pies were a seasonal nod as were the apple 'pop tarts.'
The apple pop tarts were more reminiscent of an apple hand pie than pop tarts and for that I was glad. I like the substantialness of pie more than a dinky pop tart. The push pops were a fun idea but startling in the color of the icing. Disappointingly, the amount of dye required to tint icing those bright colors was so frighteningly large that all that could be tasted was food dye.
The cafe menu was intriguing and I plan on returning for lunch one day very soon.
And I might be a little envious of their flour stores. Just a little.
The last stop on the Chevy Sonic Sweets Tour was Gluuteny in Squirrel Hill. It is a gluten free bakery that has sweet and savory items and also stocks mixes for the individual who would like to do a little home baking.
I was surprised to see all of the mixes available but I thought this was a wonderful idea for all of those who need or choose to eat gluten free. It helps make at home baking much more accessible. Gluuteny makes and packages all of their mixes and fans of the bakery know they can trust what they are purchasing and not have the unsurety they may experience when trying to choose a mix from a grocery store shelf.
The convenience of their 'grab and go' shelves make stopping in just that much easier.
Breads, bagels, cakes, cookies and more. Gluuteny has it all.
The brownie had a crisp exterior and a chewy, deep chocolatey interior.
The pumpkin cupcake was a little less 'cake' and a little more 'muffin' in texture. The pumpkin flavor was bold and the spices used played that up rather than overpowering the pumpkin. The icing on top was light which was just right for this savory little cake.
Gluuteny is capable of fooling 'gluten eating people' and I think that's pretty darn amazing.
I was sad when the Chevy Sonic Sweets Tour came to an end because it is always such fun cruising around town in cars from the Chevrolet line up and stopping at local eateries in Pittsburgh. I think we need a Chevy trucks & bbq tour. What do you think?
I've always wanted to drive a truck.