Sometimes it’s fun to hit up more than one of your favorite places in order to create that perfect, comfy combo. I’m a big fan of double whammy-ing, although preferably when such places lie in at least somewhat the same vicinity (lazy foraging). Fortunately, for what I conceive to be one of the most delicious Seattle snack or breakfast bundles, this is a relatively easy feat. First, however, I must attest to the fact that Crumble & Flake deserves every bit of hype it has received since opening. It is not a coincidence that they have been running out of pastries before 11am almost every day; every pastry I tasted evoked a sense of joy that could be rivaled only by winning the lottery while on the beach in Hawaii surrounded by kittens.
True to my Seattle heritage, I firmly believe in the power of an excellent cup of coffee to warm one’s belly/spirit/day. In this city of endless coffee excellence, I have a few token favorites. At the top of my list lies Victrola (followed closely by Vivace and Zoka); I just plain love Victrola coffee. Love that you can see their entire roasting room in their cozy Pike Street location on Cap Hill, love their latte art, love that every cup is bold and rich but never over-the-top. Consistent, original and perfect—just the way I like it! Victrola lattes are not the cheapest lattes in the land, but if you’re getting a latte anywhere other than from a can at 7/11, you’re going to have to shell out a few bucks. So you might as well get the best value for what you’re inevitably going to pay anyway. I am a sucker for a good vanilla latte (clearly I’m not a big snob, I’m not ashamed to admit), and at Victrola I am happy to dish out $3.91 for a cup of warm perfection.
Meanwhile, across town, Crumble & Flake is nestled ever-so-adorably in its tiny Olive Way storefront, beckoning patrons with its sensory masterpiece of sights, smells and tastes. I got chills when I ran into the shop, mostly induced by my sense of victory at having waken up early enough on a Sunday to actually get my paws on some pastries. But it really is glorious; of the myriad pastries that I have tasted from here, I solidly endorse the smoked paprika and cheddar croissant, the perfect French macarons, and those heavenly cream puffs. Frankly, I’m all for a little dessert-for-breakfast. A cream puff or two and a latte sound pretty grand to me on a Sunday morning. Regardless of your sweet/savory preferences for brekkie or snacktime, you’ll find what you’re looking for at a very reasonable price at Crumble & Flake.
Those made-to-order cream puffs—which feature four daily rotating seasonal homemade pastry cream flavors (ex: coconut cream, chocolate, peach, etc.), shot directly into the puffs upon ordering—are texturally and flavorfully perfect in every possible way. Light and crispy on the outside and delightfully fluffy on the inside, oozing with the freshest not-too-sweet pastry cream. And they are big, too. $3.50 per cream puff is a fair price for these puppies. For savory seekers, those flakey, cheesy cheddar and smoked paprika croissants are also reasonable breakfast choices at $3.75 apiece, and for a more dessert/snacky option, those famous macarons will teleport your taste buds to Paris for just $2.50. The macaron flavors are also ever-changing, and ever-delicious. I was head over heels for the lemon-raspberry.
Please note that Crumble & Flake has excellent coffee from True North Roasters in Ballard, and you will be far from disappointed with a cup of their local joe; I simply like to mix things up a bit (and I would travel to the moon for a Victrola vanilla latte). Alternately, you can also find an array of great local pastries from Victrola (including Mighty-O Donuts and Macrina Bakery goodies) if you’re looking to limit your trip. Either way, this latte-pastry pair is the ideal morning or early afternoon under-$10 pairing to invoke the ultimate sense of Seattle pride and general bliss.