Thursday, September 03, 2009

International Bakery : Philadelphia

Yet another review for the Chinatown bakery roundup, this time for International Bakery.

I don't usually walk up this far 10th st, so it was interesting to see what stores and restaurants were up here. As an aside and I wish I had taken a picture, there looked to be a hipster sneaker store that hung plastic roast ducks up in their storefront window, looking remarkably like the real hanging ducks at Chinatown meat shops, except they hung their sneaks next to them. It was jarring from afar, yet amusing once you saw the reveal.

Anyhow, I don't mean to distract from International Bakery, which I think is one of the better bakeries of Chinatown, particularly if you like the plainer buns.

Ham & Egg - Not buttery and not too sweet. Not as light as Greenland's, but seemed to have slightly better quality ham.

Lotus paste rice cake - Significantly less sweet glutinous rice than others (if there was any sweetness at all). Texture had a slight powdery/flour-like texture. Used lotus paste inside instead of the more common red bean/black bean. I like plainer things, but I'm not sure if I like my rice cakes this plain.

Egg Tart (Dan ta) - Pretty decent tasting, although the crust was a bit oily, making the crust soggy only a day later.

Pineapple Bun - Light, the topping lending a touch of sweetness.

Raisin Twist - Very plain. Not sweet or buttery. Almost like a generic supermarket dinner roll with raisins. Perhaps good if you want to use it as a bun and add butter yourself?

I give far greater leniency to a Chinese bakery that attempts to keep their standards above the so-cloyingly sweet/buttery/simple that it appeals to less discerning palates. So in this regard, International does better than other bakeries in Chinatown. But I wonder whether they may have taken their plain flavors a little too far. I didn't really end up enjoying any of their buns so much as thinking about what they might be paired up with.

Here's the rest of my Chinatown bakery roundup.

International Bakery
232 N 10th St Philadelphia, PA 19107-1819 (Map)
(215) 627-5831
($Bakery, $Chinese, $Philadelphia)

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