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 V.24 No.50 | December 10 - 16, 2015 

Restaurant Review

Back On Top

Swiss Alps Bakery returns to peak

Bread pudding
Bread pudding
Pastries will always hold a special place in my heart. Sweet bread filled with candied fruit or flavored cream is something I get an immense craving for daily. Fortunately, Albuquerque has many wonderful local bakeries, and I’ve visited quite a few. Though the quality of the sweets is important to me, nothing speaks louder than variety. Sadly, I’ve walked into way too many bakeries just to walk back out because they have a “selection” of just three pastries.

I stopped going to Swiss Alps Bakery about half a year ago when I noticed that the “variety” on display was just the same turnover folded differently and labeled with a new name. But recently I went there with my mother and brother expecting much the same and prepared to write a gritty critique, but I was very pleasantly surprised. First of all, there were no copycat pastries. My little brother insisted on the bread pudding—with three forks, because he knew it was too much for him. I ordered a turnover to see if they had improved, a rum ball because I hadn’t tried one before and my long time favorite, a cinnamon caramelized croissant.

3000 San Pedro NE
3000 San Pedro NE

We ate the bread pudding while sitting at one of the small, round tables, looking though the large windows to the sky outside. Though delicious, I’ve had bread pudding that I would consider more authentic. This was more like a slice of cake, solid and more cohesive, whereas I prefer a gloopy mess of bread turned liquid. I saved the rest of my pastries for later.

I’ll try not to use up the rest of this article gushing about the rum ball, but no promises. The rum balls I’d tried before were small and sugar coated, while this was an inch and a half in diameter and covered in chocolate and chocolate sprinkles. Based on my previous experience, I expected the inside to consist of a tough, nutty, cocoa­flavored mix. I was in no way prepared for the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had and probably ever will have. Imagine the most moist and thick volcano cake being absolutely put to shame by the interior of this rum ball. My friend was very concerned as I stopped mid­sentence, closed my eyes and started making happy noises. He tried for the next minute to reach me unsuccessfully. Before that bite I was just a girl, but as I came out of my trance, I was a woman.

Rum balls
Rum balls

The turnover wasn’t what I expected either, it was different from the nondescript pastries I’d shunned last year. It was soft with pumpkin filling and crunchy bits of toasted dough.

The croissant was dry on the outside, flaky as all hell. But that's any croissant and this one was special. The sugar-coated outside was hardened into a shell that shattered into pretty crystals all over the table at the first bite. All the moisture missing from the corners reappeared in the sweet, gooey, soft center.

Whatever it is that the Swiss Alps Bakery is doing now, they are doing it right. Thank you, pastry gods, for shining your light once again on their sugary dough. The disappointment, almost betrayal, I felt at their decline is long forgotten, and I feel like I've regained an old friend.

Swiss Alps Bakery

3000 San Pedro NE
881-3063
swissalpsbakery.com

Hours: 7am to 4pm, Tuesday through Saturday
Vibe: An alpine glow

The Alibi recommends: Rum balls, cinnamon caramelized croissant
 

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