Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Sugar Cube

(Second Review -- August 2012)

(This was actually my 100th Portland food cart review that I wrote -- it was just saved for a slightly later posting date (being #102 on the blog) -- so I decided to celebrate with a dessert! And man, what a treat this was....)

(UPDATE: The Sugar Cube has now set up shop right next to Lardo's brick-and-mortar spot on SE 12th and Hawthorne, across from the Cartopia food pod!)

The Sugar Cube is a dessert food cart located at the Good Food Here food pod in Portland, Oregon. Pastry chef Kir Jensen has run this cart for over three years. The Sugar Cube has been everywhere in that time frame, from Mississippi Marketplace to downtown (9th and Alder) to the Good Food Here pod (where they remain today).

Recently, Kir was recognized as one of Portland's Rising Star Award Winners. A well-deserved accolade!

2011 photo when The Sugar Cube was still at the Good Food Here pod

Sure, I was full from eating so much great food cart grub, but I knew there was always room for dessert. So I walked up to The Sugar Cube to cure my inner sweet tooth. Seeing so many items to choose from, I asked Kir for some advice.

Menu (mid-October 2011)
I went with the Chocolate Chocolate Bread Puddin' ($6): "served warm and topped w/dreamy whipped cream, roasted hazelnuts, and salted caramel." I received a generous slice, and wow, such immaculate presentation!

"So dang good!" Agreed!
Pastry chef Kir Jensen with her Chocolate Chocolate Bread Puddin'
Chocolate Chocolate Bread Puddin' (The Sugar Cube)
The presentation showed me why Kir is one of Portland's rising stars, and one bite felt like absolute heaven. The Sugar Cube's website describes this bread pudding as "An ooey gooey journey to the peak of Mt. ChocoGASM." And man, what an extremely accurate statement that is.

The bread pudding was extremely moist, perfectly sliced, and optimally balanced in flavor. While desserts can fall into the trap of being overly sweet, that wasn't the case here. The roasted hazelnuts provided an extra textural dimension. The light whipped cream color-contrasted well with the chocolate bread pudding. Finally, the salted caramel had a dreamy consistency while also ensuring a balanced dessert. It's pretty safe to say that this is among the best desserts I've ever had. Just blown away here.

Other items Kir offers throughout the year include:

Chocolate Caramel Potato Chip Cupcake ($4): "Super moist chocolate buttermilk cupcake, dipped in sexy bittersweet chocolate ganache, crowned with a tower of Ruffles potato chips and doused with salted caramel"

Luscious Lemon Panna Cotta ($6): "Silky smooth lemon cream topped with farmers market rhubarb compote and a citrus, cornmeal, and poppy seed shortbread cookie" (Kir's personal favorite!)

The Ultimate Brownie ($3.50): "Super fudgy goodness with bittersweet chocolate ganache centers. These babies are served warm and melty, then lightly sprinkled with fleur de sel and fruity olive oil."

As I've said in another review, there's always room for an amazing dessert. The chocolate chocolate bread puddin' was amazing -- and then some. If Kir keeps delivering these spectacular dishes to me, I might be in danger of gaining a zillion pounds.

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