Where to: Elm Street Sweets, an online bakery operating out of Davis Square’s Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar.
Why: Pie. So, so much pie.
The back story: Rosebud is known for comfort food and a phenomenal dessert case, one of those pastry cases from diners in days of yore, with regal chocolate icebox cakes and stately apple pies. And, in these troubled times, everyone’s eating more pie — and cookies, and cakes, and really sugar in any form. Owner Joe Cassinelli decided to capitalize on the craving with a shop devoted only to desserts. (He oversees the Alpine Group, which also runs The Painted Burro and Posto in the same neighborhood.) The program is headed up by his two in-house “pie magicians,” Tali Pinnolis and Brianne Zengo.
“The pie program at Rosebud has always been a thing. We get positive feedback on the pies. People love them. And I was trying to think of a way to market them separately — my goal is to get them into a grocery store,” he says.
For now, though, you can order online, grab your bounty at Rosebud, and dig in at home. It’s a way for Cassinelli to showcase Rosebud’s most popular feature at a time when sales are down at restaurants everywhere.
Simply call two days ahead and schedule a pickup time at Rosebud’s pastry case. Soon, though, he’s aiming for delivery and shipping. He’s also planning to expand his offerings to pre-proportioned cake mixes and frostings for hardy souls who want to replicate the desserts at home. As for me, though, I’m perfectly happy to pick up my premade pie.
What to eat: Um, pie? There are plenty of options here, from a creamy-crunchy Key lime, to Dutch apple (it’s finally fall!), to banana bourbon. Each is a flavor bomb. So often with desserts, you get the mere notion of the flavor at hand — a trace of banana or a hint of apple, overlaid with gobs of granulated sugar and caramel goo and who knows what. The flavors here are pure, and these selections are worthy.
But I’m really writing about this place for completely selfish reasons. It gives me reason to order my favorite dessert in the Boston area: peanut butter fudge pie. People, this pie is sublime. I’m actually not a pie person — I hate sweet mushy fruit, and I really can’t stand flaky pie crust (heresy, I know) — but this is more like a cake. For those of us who prefer savory desserts, well, it fits that bill, too: creamy, rich clouds of peanut butter mousse atop a compact, fudgy, chocolate graham cracker crust. It isn’t one of those synthetic-sugar bombs that leaves you pursing your lips and groping for water; it’s like diving headlong into a Reese’s peanut butter cup. It is a dessert for the times. Best of all, it comes in a half-portion, for those of us who are still actually practicing portion control. A half-pie serves up to four people — oh, and it will —for $18.
There are other goodies, too, mainly cookies: warm, gooey chocolate chip ones with a teensy sprinkle of sea salt (excellent); sugar; ginger-molasses.
What to drink: A tall glass of milk. You’ll need to pour that yourself, though.
The takeaway: This is the dessert resource that we all need right now.
Elm Street Sweets, 381 Summer St., Davis Square, Somerville, 617-629-9500, www.elmstreetsweets.com