Pumpkin: Cultivar of squash plant…sending bakers, coffeeshops and retailers into a full blown tizzy faster than you can say “pepitas.” Seems like pumpkin—or “pumpkin spice” is more popular than ever this time of year. Every end cap at the store has a display of something that’s supposedly flavored like the orange ribbed orb. Did a little asking around town, tasted a few things and we’re now full of research and carotenoids to point you in the right direction to our faves:
Don’t let the season get away from you before you get your hands on Atelier On Trade’s Vernon Rudolph (that’s a traditional croissant with pastry cream). The seasonal offering has a pumpkin custard that’s light and creamy with the exterior glazed with a boozy spiced drizzle. You’ll find it in the case about every other day. Believe me when I say it’s amazing and we’ve since declared owner and patissier Pablo D. del Valle the Pumpking of the Triad for 2016. (Atelier is located at 533 North Trade Street, WS)
It’s crazy pumpkin town at Tart Sweets (848 W. Fifth Street, WS) where you can find a rotating selection of pumpkin macarons, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, pumpkin bread and pumpkin cheesecake bars.
Over at our own Krispy Kreme, for a limited time, you’ll find the Pumpkin Spice Doughnut. A moist old-fashioned pumpkin spice flavored cake doughnut coated in Krispy Kreme’s famous glaze.
Cheesecakes by Alex, (315 South Elm Street, GSO) doesn’t let a silly thing like Autumn stop them from simply carrying the Pumpkin Cheesecake all year round, so if time gets away from you, you’ll be safe enough to enjoy your pumpkin in say, January or June.
Any coffee shop worth its…er…spice… has the ubiquitous Pumpkin Spice Latte. You can find it most anywhere including Beans Boro (2604 Horse Pen Creek Rd, GSO) and Camino Bakery (two locations in downtown WS). At Twin City Hive (301 Brookstown Ave, WS) owners Joey and Terry make their own pumpkin spice syrup from scratch. Their pastry and dessert offerings change by the day. West End Coffee House’s Dana Moody says they’ll add pumpkin spice to any drink to make any combo you like.
Want something cool? Pumpkin Spice Gelato is in the case at the aforementioned West End Coffee House (390 North Broad Street, WS). So yummy. The shop also has pumpkin muffins with or without chocolate chips and this amazing looking Pumpkin Sugarcake. Moody calls it a “cross between pie and cake with a crumbly topping.” Turn that pumpkin spice gelato into an affogato or go all out and have them put the gelato on top of a warm brownie that’s as big as your face. That’s autumn on a plate right there.
Not to be missed is Foothills Brewing’s Cottonwood Pumpkin. The ale is brewed with pumpkin and spices and tastes good with all those fall favorites like pot roast and potato soup. You can find it wherever they sell Foothills beer plus it’s on tap at the pub and tasting room.
At Meridian Restaurant (411 South Marshall St., WS), it’s kind of a tradition to have a seasonal martini. In the next couple of weeks, Chef Mark Grohman will roll out his wife’s namesake…the Kristini which will for sure be pumpkin and oh so delicious at the bar.
Also please shout out to the Great Pumpkin that Chef Richard Miller of Graze Restaurant (425 N. Cherry St., WS) will add his Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Tart to his fall menu this season. It’s a puff pastry filled with what you remember being great about the filling in sweet potato casserole (that luscious sweet citrusy essence) + all the things you love about pumpkin pie baked until golden and flakey, topped with cinnamon brown sugar ice cream and a drizzle of salted caramel. It literally is one of the top desserts I’ve had in my life. Please, chef…make it so!
So you want it, you got it. Go get pumped up on some pumpkin. It’ll be gone before you know it.