I had experienced the heavenly joy of a Ricardo’s Cafe salted caramel cronut on one occasion at work, and even though I’m not a sweet gal, I was so enthralled by the creation. It’s probably the sweet n savoury combination of caramel and salt that tickled my tastebuds. I was determined to introduce Tweenie to this incredible taste sensation. I know, I know, where have I been? The cronut food trend has been around for nearly a year, have I not been reading any food blogs? Well, yes, but Jamison is on the other side of town for me, and it’s a long drive for a sweet treat.
So, yesterday, I packed up Tweenie, two of her mates and my mum and we headed off to Ricardo’s Cafe for a real afternoon delight. Knowing the demand for the cronuts, I had called ahead at about 11 and asked if they had any left, to which they did, did I want some put aside? Yes please. Therein lies the problem. We weren’t getting there til about 1.30. The baked goods were probably baked at the crack of dawn. We were to eat our baked goods approximately 7 hours later. I should probably allow the quality of the goods to be attributed to the time frame in which they were consumed.
When we got there, inside and out was absolutely packed. Probably shoulda booked a table as well as the cronuts. You could barely move in there, I don’t how the waitresses managed to deliver stuff without tripping over. We snagged a table outside, but it took forever to get it cleared and wiped down. Too many patrons crammed in, not enough staff obviously. But all the girls seemed really helpful and cheerful so it was a pretty vibrant place to be on a Saturday afternoon.
Now this is personal opinion only, but it’s a dog friendly space, which is fine if you like dogs with your pastries. Me, not so much. A tied up dog barked the entire time we were there, while it’s owner sat on the other side of the outside area and completely ignored it. I guess, at a stretch and wanting to possibly understand, I could compare it to being a mother and on the odd occasion, ignoring my child’s cry. Although, I can guarantee I couldn’t ignore it for a straight 52 minutes. But, if my kid cried for that long I’d remove it from the situation, I don’t want to ruin other’s dining experiences. Vent, vent, vent. Done.
There was a cosy little booth inside that had a bunch of older ladies, chatting and knitting, obviously in a knitting club. Cute.
I told the girls to go inside and choose something….
Yeah right. They all came back, said they’d like a Lipton’s Iced Tea and couldn’t choose anything else and could they go play in the playground. The proximity to the playground is brilliant! I’d take Buddy there for a coffee and a play if it weren’t so damn far away.
Mum chose the salted caramel mouse cake thing, with hazelnut bits and a cakey centre. It had a huge wodge of salted caramel in the middle, and it’s best shared. As I’m not that much of a sweets eater, I thought it was a bit meh, but mum said it was lovely. The odd thing though, is that you have to pay extra for whipped cream out of a can, or a scoop of icecream? When paying $8.90 for a small dessert you’d think a bit of fake dairy would be chucked in for free.
Mum ordered the Mango, pineapple and coconut smoothie, and was quite excited when it came out in a tall jar. How trendy, she exclaimed! It was tasty too, not too thick, not too thin.
I ordered my usual, Vanilla flat white. It looked good, couldn’t taste the vanilla at all. And I couldn’t be bothered taking it back, normally I would, I’m like that. But it was just far too daunting a task. The waitresses may have been able to navigate the hundreds of patrons, but I was guaranteed to pour it down someone’s back as I tripped over their handbag under the chair.
Now, onto the reason for the trek to Ricardo’s. The Salted Caramel Cronut – I was “devo’d” as the young kids say. It was like a cross between a flat donut and an oily pancake. So, a Pannut. No light layers of pastry with oozy salty caramel spurting out with each bite. It was so oily that the girls couldn’t even eat a half each. I offered to take the other half of each home, thinking, SCORE, I had 1 and half cronuts to myself for dessert that night. But, even I, lover of all fatty things, couldn’t bring myself to have more than one bite of it. The salty, cinnamony, caramely goodness was still there, but it had just sat for far too long in it’s puddle of oil.
What a disappointment. I’d go so far as to suggest to the staff to not encourage people to order them hours after baking. It will only lead to disappointment 😦
Would I go back to Ricardo’s to try the other sweet temptations or their lunch menu? Nah, probably not.