Raspberry Yumtart @ The Lantern

Let me tell you, I have been hunting down these elusive babies for over a semester now.

Actually, my friend Dan (Check out his cereal reviews and dish worthy tweets) and I have been tirelessly searching (around our chaotic schedules) for these home made, loved filled Pop Tart style pastries created by Rise Grand Rapids, a local bakery in Grand Rapids, MI.

So many links already and we’re only toe-deep into this post. You’re welcome!

Rise, unfortunately, does not have its own bakery location, but instead delivers all kinds of made from scratch,vegan, soy and gluten free, ingredient conscious goodies to local cafes and hangouts around GR. Seriously, even if you’re not into bakery goods (who are you?!), just go take a look at their photography of it all. Both whimsical and delicious!

Finally, at the end of a Wednesday of what seemed like a wild and fast paced week, Dan and I spotted it. We were walking from a networking event and decided to stop in and have a quick cup of coffee at Lantern and perhaps get a little bit more work done when we saw a rosy-mauve frosted tart in their pastry box. We weren’t even seeking it out! Since it was later in the evening I assumed much of their bakery items would be scooped up by now.

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I picked up a house brew and restrained myself to just one Yum Tart. Although I certainly wanted to take home a few, they were priced at $4.00 each, and I still needed dinner. For that price I wish they were a little denser or larger, but really the size is fine. Hopefully over time the price of these will go down, even if just to $3.50.

Rise’s website mentions flavors such as strawberry, blueberry, chocolate, and cherry, but I’ve spotted new flavors popping up on their Instagram like this raspberry one, strawberry lemonade, and blueberry lemonade flavors. I’m looking forward to the possible flavors to come- brown sugar and cinnamon? Chai or espresso? Maybe even a sweet and savory herb tart…

Anyways, this little pocket didn’t let us down. Aesthetically, all of the flavors of Yum Tart’s make my eyes and heart happy.

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“It’s like a Pop Tart that went to art school,” – Dan Goubert, March 2017

Let’s break this tart into three acts-

The frosting on top of the tart was unique- lightly sweet, and surprisingly lemony and fruity. I really enjoyed the coloring on this flavor as well- no artificial bright red dyes here.

The crust of the pastry was buttery and flaky, pulling through where Pop Tart’s fall short. The edges were really perfect, golden brown and a little crunchy. When dunked into hot coffee it keeps its integrity while absorbing some of the coffee flavor.

The filling was real raspberry puree, full of seeds and that beautiful deep red color. You can tell the filling is not just some sugary jam because of its mix of tartness and super sweetness from the different ripeness of the berries. The texture was more on the chewy side than jelly. Again, I wish there would be bit more here to really add some weight to the pastry, but the amount inside balanced well with the crust and sweet frosting. Altogether reminiscent of late spring time.

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So this first Yum Tart has only fueled our quest to find these guys around town, and I hope to have a chance to try every flavor eventually. Here’s a list of where Rise delivers on what days if you’re interested in checking them out too:

Ferris Coffee (Winter Ave) // Monday thru Saturday at 7:30am

Lantern Coffee // Monday thru Sunday at 7:45am

Ferris Coffee (Trust Building) // Monday thru Saturday at 8am

Sparrows Coffee // Monday thru Sunday at 8:30am

Global Infusion // Mondays, Fridays, & Saturdays at 9am

Lightfast Coffee Bar // Fridays & Saturdays at 9am

Relish Green Grocer // Saturdays at 9am

 

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The Explorer & The Scout: Incline Cider

I currently work for a craft hard cider company in West Michigan. The founders are big explorers, outdoor enthusiasts, love buying local and, of course, supporting small and genuine businesses.

So when they came back from a trip to visit family in Seattle, Washington and brought back locally crafted goodies, I knew they had to be good. Well, that, and we all drink a lot of cider, so if something gets the rec from our founders, it’s probably something special.

Incline Cider from Auburn, Washington currently carries three types of canned ciders: the two I tried here, The Explorer and The Scout, and a seasonal release, The Legend. Each cider sits at 6.5 ABV, are all gluten free, non GMO, and made with close-to-home ingredients. If you meander over to Incline’s website, you’ll see they even have an “adventure pairing” for their ciders-

“Camping, hiking, picnics, boating, golfing, beaching, birding, brewing, reading, doing chores, mowing the lawn, dog walking, dog running, kayaking, rafting, bonfire burning, safaris, mushroom hunting, canoeing…if you’re still reading all were trying to say is that this cider is ready for any of your adventures (when enjoyed responsibly of course).  Cheers!”

I tried to find ways to creatively photograph Incline’s modern looking cans, and I don’t know if I did them justice. My 7-month old kitten Uma decided she would help me with this by getting in most of my shots.

 

Lets start with The Explorer: Hopped Cider.

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I’m not one for hopped ciders myself-I’m biased and really enjoy my company’s hopped cider, but most others I’ve tried end up being either far too hoppy, too dry, or bitter. I would say The Explorer is perfect for people looking to try hopped for the first time.

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The Explorer is super pleasant-it’s extremely drinkable, and that’s coming from someone who just can’t seem to get on the IPA bandwagon (YES I’VE HAD FOUNDER’S ALL DAY IPA. Leaveee meee aloneeee). There is a beautiful balance in this cider between light and refreshing, citrus-y hops, and crisp and sweet apples. The hops are almost a breezy after thought, making subtle appearances with a vinegary apple flavor, and a light and citrus-y aroma. It sits more toward the dry end, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I could seriously picture myself drinking this on a hot summer’s day!

If you’re a hop head and for you more is better, you may not appreciate the subtlety of the flavors here, but I sure did. Why oh why must Auburn, Washington, be so far away…

Up next, The Scout: Hopped Marionberry Cider.

I can’t say anything about the flavor before I talk about the absolutely beautiful color of this cider. I was surprised to see a deep purple-y red pour from the can, similar to a dark red wine. The head was a unique milky pink.

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This cider packs a real punch not only with aesthetic appeal but also with intense, fresh flavors. Floral and deep blueberry/blackberry tones are the base of this cider, chased by an immediately hopped finish.  Similar to The Explorer, The Scout is juicy and a little citrusy from the fresh hops. Again, this cider is really well balanced. While The Explorer was light and crisp, this drink lies on the heavier and more flavorful side, with a little extra subtle sweetness.

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Overall, I was extremely impressed by Incline’s ciders. I can’t wait for the day they’re carried in Michigan. If you get the chance to, give them a try. Try new things and support small biz!