Corina Bakery, all shiny and new

If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit, I’m fairly confident that you’re aware of how fond my household is of neighborhood mainstay, (and uber vegan-friendly to boot) Corina Bakery & Bistro. If you follow local news and/or my Twitter and Facebook feeds, I think you are also aware that on Feb. 23, the bakery moved from its original location on 6th Ave., kitty corner from Infinite Soups to directly next to indie theater the Grand Cinema at the corner of S. Fawcett Ave. and S. 7th St. in the Merlino Arts Center.

The new spot boasts many great features including: much more space, brighter lighting, beautiful windows, and a long table in the back room for group meetings and gatherings. Additionally, later hours have been implemented to accommodate weekenders and filmgoers and the bakery’s made mention of an expanded menu and the addition of beer and wine in the near future. While there’s no official word on what the new food options will be, I’m holding out hope that they will continue their trend of offering up wonderful vegan options and that they will add some heartier, more meal-like options at the cafe.

We stopped by on opening day to snap some photos of the new space.

The new Corina includes a black-and-white tiled (sorry no photo, but check it out – it’s awesome) show room for consultations of cakes/baked goods, and the room includes a view into where the magic happens.

This is what things looked like after the crowds calmed a little closer to closing time. Each of these tables were filled when we first arrived! Outlets are perfect for working individuals/students.

New double front doors, crimson curtains and big screen TV. At first I was a little perplexed at the sight of it, but it is muted, (thankfully!).

Beautiful large new displays for maximum baked good viewing at all times.

Really loving the wrought iron details and bright clean decor and lighting.

View of 6th Ave. from the espresso station.

Eager customers awaiting their drinks and bakery items.

My spoils from a visit last week: the ever-present, always moist and tasty pumpkin loaf and soy latte.

Corina Bakery is now located at 602 S. Fawcett, right next to the Grand Cinema.

Their new hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, check out their website.

Local friends, have you been to Corina’s new space yet?

Corina Bakery’s Fall Vegan Temptations

I had another special (i.e., cat-related) post in mind for tonight, but I’ll either sneak in a Saturday or Sunday post or add it in with my last post on Monday. Instead, I’m going to highlight Corina Bakery a little more, as we’ve been visiting them pretty often as of late for reading, coffee and some special snacks.

Corina Bakery is so close to my apartment, it’s kind of frightening. The ease and speed with which I can acquire vegan baked goods is awe-inspiring to say the least, and I know that I’m quite lucky because of these facts. I don’t know what I’d do without them on the days when we need a little something sweet but are a bit too busy or zonked to prep them ourselves.

This local vegan bakery keeps up with the times and seasons, and right now they’re rolling out all kinds of delightful vegan baked goods that encompass the traditional pumpkin-in-everything fashion everyone is loving as the winds start blowing in, leaves fall and temperatures drop to brrrr! status.

Behold, one of my favorites from Corina during this season:

Their Vegan Pumpkin Pie.

I first tried this last year when my favorite local craft cocktail lounge (which I will review on here, one of these days) started offering it when they instituted their 2010 fall/winter menu, (they brought it back this year as well. Yay!). It perfectly accompanies both hot cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages such as vanilla tea or Valhalla espresso drinks. All my non-vegan friends at the table tried it the night of the 1022 menu tasting party and loved it. The pie filling is teeming with warming spices – cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg – and smooth pumpkin flavor. The crust is buttery, soft and flaky, and the combo of filling and crust is just classic. I could eat a slice everyday and be perfectly content.

Today, I tried a new offering that I’d never seen before:

A slice of Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

I always see cream cheese frosting items on Corina’s regular menu and desperately want them to be made vegan, so today my dreams came true, (okay, they could’ve if I’d called in and requested it, too, but I like seeing all the vegan options naturally available every time I come in and/or flying by the seat of my pants, guys). This cake was incredibly light and fluffy, and so spongy on the fork. The pumpkin flavor wasn’t overpowering but just right – slightly spicy with the right amount of sweetness. The cream cheese frosting brought this cake home! I was so happy slowly enjoying this cake, and savoring every moment with it. With my Americano in hand, I didn’t fret as the rain came down outside and turned the sky an apocalyptic shade of gloomy.

Some days, though, Corina is either low on or out of some of their finer vegan dessert-type items. It happens, they’re a popular place! On those days, vegan visitors can usually rely on one or both of these always vegan, always delightful sweet options to be in or on top of the pastry case:

The not so fall-ish, but still sweet Quinoa Cookie and the autumnal Mini Pumpkin Loaf, available year-round.

The Quinoa cookie is actually a healthy option for those looking for a lighter treat. Filled with raisins and other wholesome ingredients, this cookie is generously portioned and pairs well with any beverage. The Pumpkin Loaf is the perfect little rich, nutty bread that has a great texture and is covered in pumpkin seeds. I personally love bringing it home, heating it up for a few seconds and then slathering it in Earth Balance. You can find this loaf at Satellite Coffee and Metronome Coffee as well, as it’s quite popular with vegans and non-vegans alike.

Corina’s a great place to be for Tacoma vegans anytime of the year, but it’s so nice to be able to switch gears and get something seasonally-inspired sometimes!

Which fall treats are you enjoying at your local vegan-friendly bakery?

Corina Bakery Cupcake Showdown!

Oh yeah, that’s right.

Thus far for Vegan MoFo I’ve highlighted a brunch, two dinners, and now it’s time for something sweet – that I didn’t happen to bake!

Wednesday was a busy day, and after work all I wanted to do was go for a walk in the crisp, newly fall air and then ruin all that exercise with a sweet from local Corina Bakery. Then, the boy had a stroke of genius as he suggested, “Why not have TWO treats?”

Why not, indeed.

I decided to do a review/comparison of two Corina treats, but we had to wait until we got there to see what was vegan and available. Though not an entirely vegan shop, Corina is extremely kind to our types and is also conscious of gluten intolerance and those desiring low-sugar desserts. Since we’ve started frequenting the shop more this year, they’ve been increasing the number of vegan baked goods available, so lucky for me they had not one, not two, but three cupcake varieties available today! I stuck with the original plan of comparing two for today’s Showdown.

Behold, the contenders:

On the left, boasting an energy boost and decadent chocolate base, we have Espresso Chocolate Cupcake!

To the right, with two frostings, a candied orange slice and fluffy citrus cake, we have Orange Dreamsicle Supreme Cupcake!

(Claps and boos emanate from the crowd)

First impressions:

Now, I’ve had most of the cakes Corina offers – in slice and cupcake form – by now, but I’d never seen the Orange Dreamsicle Supreme, so I was genuinely intrigued by the thought. From what I can gather, the main difference from the original Dreamsicle was the addition of the chocolate frosting, but the cake was also incredibly spongy, light and more piquant than the original. I should go in and ask exactly, but this is what my gut tells me. I’m normally not the biggest Orange Dreamsicle fan, but this cupcake was fantastic. Clearly, this is stiff competition.

The Chocolate Espresso is, hands down, one of my favorite cake varieties at Corina or anywhere, for that matter. Mixing two of my favorite heartbeat-raising substances together is a quick way to win me over, and this bakery does it well. Today was no different. Smooth, slightly sweet and slightly bitter, the espresso buttercream is the perfect counterpart to rich, dark chocolate cake. Like every other time I’ve had it, this cupcake was spot on, and made me feel a twinge of regret for decreasing the amount of coffee I drink on a daily basis recently.
– – –

This was a tough decision, and I actually had to think about it for a second. Usually when comparing two foods, I detect a clear winner from first bite, but this was a legitimate challenge. After some thought (and extra bites), I came to my decision.

And the winner is….

Chocolate Espresso Cupcake!

But really folks, there are no losers here, as I lovingly devoured the rest of the winning cupcake and the boy enjoyed the remains of the 2nd place competitor.

We’d like to thank Corina Bakery for making such amazing vegan baked goods (and offering the option to veganize nearly any item on the menu) blocks away from our apartment. I highly suggest you stop by for a cup of amazing, locally roasted Valhalla coffee, Mad Hat tea and of course, something sweet and vegan soon. And then come back here and tell me what you had, or all about the results of your own Cupcake Showdown!

Corina Bakery
510 6th Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.