A La Mode

Apple and ginger pear pie. Photo: Lucas Anderson

Wandering along Phinney Ridge the other evening, I popped into A La Mode Pies and noted for the 300th time how genuinely exceptional its slices are: the Mexican Chocolate a pie of fine, dense mousse with a spank of cayenne; the apple-pear a ginger-kissed marvel.

All within walk-it-off distance of the fine Japanese confectionary Tokara, that maker of terrific Danishes called Fresh Flours, and the renowned cake baker, T.M. Dessert Works (open for individual desserts Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays).

It got me thinking about how many sweet teeth must occupy Seattle’s western neighborhoods.

Consider the many joints that conspire to put the “lard” in Ballard. That neighborhood boasts Honore and Café Besalu for stand-in-line-worthy croissants, brioches, and (at Honore) the city’s best macarons; the stunning D’Ambrosio Gelateria Artigianale for authentic Italian gelato; and Ballard Avenue’s new goo emporium, Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery.

(Uh, JK about that earlier comment. Who needs lard when you’ve got this much butter?)

But to me the winner has got to be Fremont. Because come on, Flying Apron Bakery bakes vegan and gluten-free sweets that omnivores like me gleefully steer into: a killer peanut-butter chocolate chip cookie, to name one. Across the street, Pie sells adorable little fists of flaky crust filled with pure wicked sin, from lemon curd to pear-raspberry. And don’t forget Simply Desserts, long a legend in this town for spectacles like the White Chocolate Strawberry Cake.

For, uh, dessert? How about a one-hour tour of Theo Chocolate Factory right down the street. Reservations required; chocolate samples galore.

Disagree? Which neighborhood would you nominate as Dessert Capital of Seattle?

Share with the class.