19 September 2007

Positively Perfervid for Pix

Q: What is the name of your favorite dessert shop?

BP: Pix Pâtisserie

Q: Why?

BP: Because in another life or alternate universe where I’m a pastry chef, Pix would be the kind of desert shop my cooler, hipper self would open.

But in this life and universe, I visit Pix whenever I’m in Portland. It’s a charming place with an alternative edge. Its aesthetic is decidedly offbeat: shabby chic and vintage with a nod to something vaguely French (a la Moulin Rouge) and a touch of grunge thrown in for good measure—Anthropology meets Urban Outfitters.

While the décor is determinedly different, the desserts are routinely good—exceptionally so. I come for the pastries first and foremost and I’ve never been disappointed with anything I’ve gotten so far. I don’t have a go-to dessert at Pix because I see something new that I must try—and will invariably love.

This time around it was the Shazam, a towering confection of a single sheet of dark chocolate molded around a chocolate cake topped with caramel mousse. The name is a bit supercilious, but the cake does have a “wow” factor when you see in the dessert case—obviously, I couldn’t resist it. The caramel mousse had a rich, nutty flavor, but was still light on the tongue and the chocolate cake was a delicate sponge. But the true joy of eating this cake was plunging my fork through its chocolate shell—the shell cracked and exposed the dessert’s soft, sweet insides.

I go crazy at Pix and usually order more than one dessert. This visit was no exception, and I also got the Aphrodite and Tart Ménage á Trois in keeping with that tradition. Now before you gasp at my gluttony I want to say I had company and all these desserts were shared.

If I were forced to pick a favorite dessert, it would be the Aphrodite: chocolate sponge cake and chocolate mousse with a dark cherry buried in its center. It’s chocolate at its most tempting. The moist cake and velvety mousse makes every bite easy work as it all melts in your mouth. The glitter powder is also a nice touch and makes the cake look flirty—all desserts at Pix have lovely flourishes.

Crème brulée sits on a pool of chocolate fudge in the Tart Ménage á Trois. The whole package is a happy mix of hard and soft. The sweet pastry crust gives texture and balances out the sweet chocolate filling. I also appreciate the chocolate ribbons on the custard that makes the tart seem like a present.

I would make Pix a regular hang out if I lived in Portland, but for now I’m a regular visitor.

P.S. Pix recently opened another location—eight months ago—on Hawthorne. Unlike its original location, this store makes miniature sizes of all their desserts. Along with being very cute, they are the perfect size for a nice, “light” treat. One can indulge one’s sweet tooth without worry of a sugar overload. After browsing in the two Powell Bookstore branches in the area, I popped in for a little, literally and figuratively, Crème Brulée

3402 SE Divison
Portland, OR 97202
Ph: 503-232-4407

3731 SE Hawthorne
Portland, OR 97214
Ph: 503-236-4760

There's also a third location which I've not been.

3901 D N. Williams
Portland, OR 97227
Ph: 503-282-6539


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