The Apple of My Eye – Review of Apple Annie’s Bake Shop

THE HEARTS: good variety and selection, chocolate croissant, Reese’s peanut butter bar, mocha fudge bar, pretty reasonable, good customer service, pastries aren’t too sweet

THE FARTS: nowhere to sit, everything is refrigerated, SOME selections are skimpy for the price, carrot cake square

Young Old Fart says…

Bakeries. The yin to my yang, the Sonny to my Cher, the light of my life…the reason my lower stomach (which I fondly call “my pooch”) has taken on a mind of its own. All joking and stretch marks aside, pastries, cakes, and desserts of all sorts are my reason for existence. Therefore, when we moved to Wilmington, NC, I was heartbroken that the delicious goodies I had scoured and labeled as “my babies” would no longer be accessible. What is a chubby, choco-craving girl to do? FIND NEW GEMS, BUT OF COURSE!

Apple Annie’s is a well-known bakery in Wilmington that has two locations, one on South Kerr and one on Military Cutoff. I have yet to try the Military Cutoff location, so I can only vouch for the other. The first thing I noticed about AA’s was its selection. Everywhere else that has offered desserts in the Cape Fear area has had slim pickings, this is definitely not the case with AA. Whatever you dream is your hearts desire here…from german chocolate squares (delicious) to the cinnamon croissant (amazing) to white chocolate macadamia cookies (have yet to try), AA’s will surely have something for everyone (they even offer sugar-free goodies!). The customer service is absolutely amazing as well. Not only do the employees allow you to take your time, they also offer words of encouragement to lead you along your artery-clogging way!

I really do love this place. However, like everything else, there are SOME drawbacks. First, there is nowhere to sit in the bakery, it is set up so that everything you buy is to be eaten at home or somewhere else. Second, all of their offerings are refrigerated, even items that should be warm (such as a croissant). This could definitely become an inconvenience to anyone who would like to enjoy their selection pronto. My suggestion is either wait till you encounter a microwave OR kindly ask one of the employees to heat it up for you (I don’t see why they wouldn’t). Finally, while YAH may disagree, I think that though their quality is always worth the price, their quantity isn’t. I understand that not everyone wants a cupcake the size of their head (you would be stupid not to), but selling a cheesecake morsel for $3 seems outlandish. Again, this last complaint could be due to my pooch’s impressive mind control and constant need for fatty goodness.

Today I sampled their chocolate croissant.

Right off the bat I was pleased with it’s size and obvious cholateyness…I mean, check out that drizzle and ooze seeping from the middle!

When I got home, I ripped this sucker out of its pretty package, stuck it on a plate, and microwaved it for 1 minute. I used a fork to eat it, but most people would just grab a napkin and shovel it in. The pastry itself wasn’t crunchy but light and fluffy (not soggy at all). The chocolate middle was warm, gooey, and sinful. This baby is not meant for the kiddies or wimpy milk-chocolate lovers…this one is stuffed to the gills with semi-sweet chocolate. The richness of the chocolate paired with the mildness of the pastry (it wasn’t very sweet), makes for a yummy snack, and dare I say it? A rewarding breakfast treat? (It’s acceptable as long as skinny french people keep eating them for le petit déjeuner as well.) Overall, I definitely recommend this beauty. It’s worth both the $2.50 I spent AND the extra mile I’ll have to run tomorrow.

Kittens and fudge,

YOF

Young At Heart says…

Apple Annie’s is definitely one of the best bake shops, if not the best in Wilmington. I have purchased goodies from many bakeries (NJ, NY, SC, and California) and this one ranks right up there. So far (third visit so far as we just recently discovered this little local gem) almost everything I have eaten there was delicious, the service was great and the prices reasonable for the quality of their smaller treats. Hats off to this bakery!

Today I ate their Reese’s peanut butter bar and it was out of this world. It is layered with a yellow cake and what I presume (hate the word assume) is Reese’s peanut butter mousse surrounded by a delicious dark chocolate. Nestled on top is a small Reese’s peanut butter cup. This delectable goodie is not overpowering with sweetness and allows the diner to walk away without that heavy feeling. You can be sure I will be buying this baby again in the future. For $2.50 plus tax I think it is definitely a sweet dream!

Now on the down side, I was completely disappointed with their carrot cake square. Oh bombs! And a big one at that! Now I will fess up that I am a traditionalist when it comes to certain desserts but willing to give a new twist a try. But….this twist just turned me the wrong way.  It was composed of carrot cake with this foreign substance in the middle. After some contemplating I determined that the baker had choosen to layer in either a pineapple or orange marmalade. Gross!!!! And then to add to my dismay, the icing was buttercream instead of the standard cream cheese icing. All in all, a terrible combination in my opinion. Maybe if the icing was the traditional cream cheese icing, I might have been able to stomach the marmalade but with that combo it was way too sweet for carrot cake. Oh well…back to the drawing board for this one!

But have heart dear readers….I ate this scrumptuous goodie last night that rocks! Their Mocha Fudge Bar is well worth the drive! It was layered with white cake and mocha mousse…great combo but then wrap that  in dark chocolate and you have a home run. Again for $2.50 plus tax, I think it is worth every penny! Yum…yum…yum is all I can say! Just thinking about this and the Reese’s goodie makes me want for more. And you can be sure…I will be buying again from AA!

Chocolatey KISS,

Young At Heart

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Life Can Be A Beach: Review of Wrightsville Beach

THE HEARTS (pros): Free, clean, good for water activities, some free parking spaces, close to Wilmington, family oriented, lifeguards are on duty

THE FARTS (cons): Most parking is charged, no public bathrooms, no public transportation, doesn’t have a boardwalk

Young At Heart says…

This beach reminds me of the fifties when I spent weeks roaming the NJ coastlines. Here is a beach lined with well kept homes and an open expanse of pleasant white sand. The only difference is that Wrightsville doesn’t have a boardwalk but it does have some stores near the main entrance. Beach goers here are an eclectic  mix of families, singles and retirees. I would definitely pack an umbrella,  cooler full of goodies (food is allowed on this beach but no alcohol) and camera (one can get great beach pictures). The sand is pleasant on the feet and the water is great!  We had a blast swimming (lifeguards are on duty), sea shell finding and just checking out all the visitors and locals. I am embarrassed to say that Young at Heart enjoyed the lifeguards more than Young Old Fart. Definitely worth the trip if you enjoy swimming, boogie boarding or just a great day basking in the sun! Don’t forget the sunscreen and the best part…..THIS BEACH IS FREE.  Definitely a day on a dime!

KISS,

Young At Heart

Young Old Fart says…

Ah, Wrightsville Beach, the cause of 2.0 GPAs and sun-burnt Freshmen at UNCW. As you may or may not know, the beach is the main reason kids apply to my beloved college. Funny, you would assume that such a popular hotspot for collegians would provide transportation (free or not). However, this is not the case. Though “The Wave” (Wilmington bus transportation) plops students almost anywhere in the town for free, it cannot shuttle them to Wrightsville Beach. Why, you may ask? Well, Wrightsville Beach is a completely separate town from Wilmington, thus, Wilmington transportation has no legality there. Alas, my fellow Seahawks must fend for themselves and either hitch rides with their roomies, bike it, or sprout wings and fly. While Wrightsville doesn’t charge admission (yay!), they don’t provide public bathrooms and parking can be a…well, a beach (boo!). Basically, if you have to pee you have two options: 1) buy a two dollar water bottle at the local pizzeria to gain access to their coveted restrooms OR 2)use the ocean to your advantage (makes you wonder what everyone is doing out in the big blue…). As far as parking goes, it is Wrightsville’s main revenue. So, you can either park in the few and golden free spaces (like the church parking lot located before the bridge on your left) or pay a fee. Note: if you are using meter parking, I would pay for more time than you expect to be on the beach so you don’t have to be the chosen loser running in their wet trunks adding money later in the day. Overall, Wrightsville is pleasant. It’s clean and it’s a hop away from Wilmington (unless you’re driving during peak summer hours).

Kittens and fudge,

Young Old Fart

P.S. Don’t try and have TOO much fun at Wrightsville…alcohol is prohibited(so are dogs, at least during the summer)!

Watch Out Wilmington, Here We Come!

Young Old Fart says…

Welcome one and all! Come follow my mom and I as we journey through the Cape Fear Coast and review everything that comes our way. From events to shopping to food (my personal expertise), we will tell you all you’ll need to know to have a surefire time. Just so we can get close and comfortable, I’ll give you some background. I am a nineteen year old who attends UNCW for a major in management and leadership (for now…though the circus is looking more and more tempting). I don’t fit the “college” stereotype. In fact, you might say I am a grumpy retiree at heart. I hate loud music, I put my pajammys on by 7pm, and I think only birds should “tweet.” My idea of a good time is german chocolate cake, petting my cats, and watching Grey’s Anatomy re-runs…yes, I have cats. I am a northerner at heart, a Jersey one at that, so I don’t bite my tongue. I may not tell you what you want to hear, but you’ll always get my fair and honest judgement…SO GET USED TO IT!

Kittens and fudge,

Young Old Fart

P.S. Isn’t the River Walk Downtown B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L?

Young at Heart says…

Wooohoooo we surely will find some fun!!! I am 53 and disabled but I do my darndest to stay positive, explore as much of my town as I can and do it on a dime…if at all possible. After choosing to settle here just about a year ago, I found that I loved this place and can’t imagine that there won’t be somewhere to go, something to eat, and people of all ages to meet. Why should you listen to my opinion? Well, we owned a restaurant near Charleston SC for about eight years and I have worked for very large companies as a corporate trainer and definitely understand the SOP’s of things (if you are wondering what an SOP is….Standard Operating Procedure).  My strong belief is that every single business should offer customer service, customer service, customer service, and I will hold every business I encounter to that standard!!! I’ll be honest and forthright when it comes to my reviews and I will expect my monies worth. So in a nutshell I plan on  having a blast while giving the “insiders” scoop on what I think are the dos and don’ts of The Cape Fear Coast. So put on your floppy hat, some sunscreen and let’s get going….

KISS,

Young at Heart

P.S. Kiss = Keep It Simple Stupid…which is what I plan on doing!