Writing this article is cathartic for me. I'm going CRAZY from not eating any sweets. Yes, I'm on a summer diet: no carbs, no sugar and lots of green tea. But the good news is I've lost seven pounds in one week and only have ten more to go. That means these sweets I've been missing are just a couple of weeks away (but only a taste, of course).
Here are my favorite local treats (not in any particular order, I lust over them equally). Oh, how I miss them.
: I like to close my eyes and pretend I'm back in Europe where the gelato was like—I'm dying, here—going to heaven and then coming back as a skinny supermodel. This gelato shop has all the best flavors. And you can brush up on your Italian: tiramisu, bacio (Hazelnut), menta (mint chip), panna cotta (Italian creme), and mandorla (toasted almond). The summer sorbet flavors are so refreshing. My favorites are coconut and pineapple mixed together, banana and mango.
: I know the cupcake craze was so 2007, but really it's hard not to pay a visit to Sprinkles, which has new monthly flavors including July's summer cherry cupcakes. It's like taking a bite out of a Shirley Temple. Some of my other faves include chai latte, ginger lemon, black and white, key lime and of course, the staple, red velvet.
: Some people are addicted to crack, and that's sad. But I'm addicted to Dad's hippo cookies and it's time for an intervention. It's going to take more than rehab to get me off of these sweet things. They are made fresh twice daily, and are so beyond delicious. You really just have to try one to believe me. Lines out the door and pictures on on the wall of locals eating their hippo cookies. So much cooler than planking.
: I know this is kind of a generic place to list, but I love ice cream more than anything and Baskin Robbins has the best mint chocolate chip ice cream. In my dreams (the place where I can actually eat all these sweets) I am licking a double scoop in a sugar cone of mint chocolate chip and cookies and cream, the two greatest inventions since the wheel and Diane Von Furstenberg's Wrap Dress.
Starbucks: One of the first things I am going to run and get after I lose the last ten pounds is a Cap n'Crunch Frappuccino at Starbucks. This is an off-the-menu recipe made with strawberries and creme frap, toffee nut syrup, chocolate chips and topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle. It tastes exactly like crunch berry cereal. Exactly. It's like being eight-years old again except I wear platforms now and pay for car insurance.
, : Yes, like I mentioned above, I scream for ice cream. And if it is drizzled in some sort of hot topping, even better. A's Black & White Sundae is made with vanilla bean ice cream, dark cocoa gelato, liquid marshmallow, hot chocolate sauce, whipped cream and toasted almonds. Aah! Why do I have to be on a diet! Probably because I had too many of these! The Cannery's Balboa sundae doesn't help my adorable muffin top either. Made with Vanilla bean ice cream served over caramelized bananas, drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauces. Fo' Drizzle! (I just had to put a quasi-Snoop reference in here).
, Mastro's: It's true that pie is the new cupcake. Muldoon's apple pie comes from an old family recipe. It is served perfectly warmed with caramel sauce and whipped cream. Mastro's Pecan Pie is like stepping into the south. Served warm and crumbly, this pie is magically delicious!
Sol Cocina: I would not have ordered the nachos dulces off the menu. But the cute waiter was insistent, and I never argue with cute boys. So I agreed to give t a try. And thank goodness! This is one of my very favorite desserts. Warm tortilla chips (okay they look like it but they are actually like a pastry and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar), drizzled with dulce de leche and chocolate sauce then topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with chocolate and toasted almonds. Way better than Del Taco.
: Just like a real volcano, this chocolate lava cake spews hot chocolate sauce from its center. The cake itself is rich and moist, but the rich and decadent sauce will always have a special place on my lips.
: It's been awhile since girl scouts (I remember those little brats were jealous I sold the most thin mints). But there's always Commonwealth where I can reminisce about my old Scout days, going camping and making s'mores by the fire. Commonwealth's campfire s'mores are made with chocolate, a sliced banana, peanut butter, marshmallows and graham crackers. They even come with a mini hibachi and skewers. So cute! I can wear my party dress, drink a martini and pretend like I'm camping.