Price: Brownies are $2.50 each, cupcakes are $1.75 each
Atmosphere: Rustic cabin meets bakery. The interior is dark wood, which makes it feel like you’re inside a log cabin. The fake deer heads on the walls and tables made of roughly cut trees with the bark still attached add to this rustic feel. There are a few comfy booths and other seats if you want to stay to enjoy your snack, and after trekking all the way out to Red Hook, you may as well stick around to gather your strength for the trip back home.
My Review: Unlike most bakeries in NYC, Baked is more well-known for its brownies rather than its cupcakes. The Brewer’s Bar, a blondie brownie made with brewer’s malt, is the most lauded treat on their menu, so naturally that’s what I sampled first. While it’s a tasty and gooey, chewy bar, I failed to see what made it so special that people make special trips out to Red Hook just to get them (no small feat, believe me). Is it the novelty of having a brownie made with brewer’s malt? If so, I’m not sure why, seeing as the bar tastes nothing like beer, but just like a regular blondie.
I also gave the Sweet & Salty Brownie a try, due to my much advertised love of the combo of sweetness and salt. But this one was even more of a letdown than the Brewer’s Bar, as I tasted no salt at all, just a regular, though rich, chocolate brownie. Looking for another attempt at a sweet and salty snack, I tried a Sweet & Salty Cupcake, which succeeded in the sweet and salty arena, but the icing left a lot to be desired. The cake is a moist, dark chocolate, but the caramel chocolate icing had a sort of mocha flavor to it, and as the lone New Yorker who doesn’t care for coffee, I wasn’t a fan. There is actual sea salt sprinkled on top, which creates the sweet and salty blend, but I couldn’t get past my dislike of the coffee-tasting icing to fully appreciate it.
Bottom Line: Baked has a wide variety of both traditional and unusual baked goods to offer, and their store is cute to visit and sit in while enjoying an afternoon snack, but their location in far away and difficult to get to Red Hook makes it unlikely that I’ll take a second trip there, especially since their desserts aren’t any more remarkable than what’s on offer at other bakeries. Apparently there are some other establishments in the city who sell Baked’s goods, and if I ever come across one, I would gladly sample some more off their menu, but for now I’ll stick with more local places that are merely one subway ride away.