Friday, January 8, 2010

Applewood Country Gifts, Tea Room & Bakery - Review 2

Restaurant: Applewood Country Gifts, Tea Room & Bakery - Review 2

Cuisine: Brunch/Lunch/Teatime/Bakery
Last visited: December 26, 09
Area: Delta, BC
#112-6345 120th Street
Price Range: $10-20

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: Sweet: 4 Savoury: 1.5
Service: 2

Ambiance: 6

Overall: 3

Additional comments:

  • New owners, a couple new items eg: Sticky Toffee Bread Pudding
  • Very quaint, very cute, traditional country style tearoom
  • Child-like tea party feel
  • Atmosphere is unreal – literally, and figuratively
  • Offers high tea - $20/person (Reservations required)
  • Everything is homemade, but also pre-made and sits there until ordered
  • Really "just like Grandma's..." kind of place
  • Popular to locals, females, and seniors
  • Local/hidden gem (tucked away location)
  • Baked goods really good, savoury items - pretty bad
  • Baked goods are $1-2 more if you eat in
  • Homemade fudge
  • Savoury and sweet items available to go
  • Part restaurant, part gift shop selling stationary, aprons, tea sets etc.
  • Reservations recommended for high tea - gets busy
  • Accepts Debit/Visa/MC

**Recommendation: Scones with “the works” devonshire cream and homemade jam, Cloverleaf buns, Rhubarb upside down cake, chocolate brownies

This is almost the only place I will keep returning back too even though I’m not impressed with their food, except for the baked goods I recommend. The atmosphere is what draws me back, that, and the lack of options in the area.

I’ve been here on several occasions and it’s always the same stuff (for the last like 7 years…talk about traditional right?!) so I always try something new. The last time I came to Applewood Bakery I was really disappointed. Since then they have changed owners and not much has changed except for a couple new menu items. The new owner saw me taking pictures of the tearoom and kindly asked what they were for. I told her that it was for a blog, and to my surprise she had already read it and seen my review. I was a bit caught off guard because 1) it wasn’t a good review and 2) it was the 1st time I’ve experienced this situation – but nonetheless, with her permission, she was kind enough to continue letting me do my thing – photos and all. I appreciate that.

I’ll be totally honest and say that I’m still not impressed with their savoury foods. Pretty much every time I’ve gone the savoury food is always a miss; except for their quiche which is decent and cloverleaf rolls which are fantastic. Other than those items, they just do nothing for me. The baked goods on the other hand are usually quite solid. They’re very grandma’s homemade country-style baked goods that suit the atmosphere perfectly. However even some of the baked goods I find just good…they could easily be better.

The atmosphere is insanely cute! It’s girly, delicate and you feel like Alice in Wonderland. From the tearoom, kitchen, to the bathroom – you just can’t help but to feel like you’re in a life size playhouse. You really won’t find anything else like it.

I spoke briefly with the new owner and she told me that she will be keeping some old traditions and slowly bringing in some the ones. It’s the kind of place that has a niche market and local clientele so I can see how it would be risky to change around too much. She’s going to be improving some recipes…and thank goodness for this because their savoury foods seriously need some attention. I’ve tried all of them and they’re pretty much all bland and dry.

I really can’t justify the price I’m paying for that quality of food, because it’s surprisingly pricey here (I can easily spend $20 + tea for brunch) and the portions are quite small (although they should be for a dainty place like this). The owner could see where I and others who feel the same way are coming from, so she plans to change this too. Therefore I can’t wait to see what she has in store, I’m excited.

My 1st review: Applewood Country Gifts, Tea Room & Bakery

On the table:

Quiche Meal 3/6

  • Quiche of the day (almost always ham and cheese), side s alad with you choice of raspberry vinaigrette or lemon poppy seed dressing, and cloverleaf roll $9.99
  • The quiche is a bigger than this but we shared a quiche and cup of soup so they split it for us in the back before serving it.
  • If I’m going to order a savoury food here it will probably be th e quiche. Nothing else impresses me, and the quiche doesn’t really either, but at least it’s good.

  • Cloverleaf roll 6/6
    • This meal starts off with their famous homemade Cloverleaf roll.
    • I reviewed the Cloverleaf roll last time and it’s still a 6/6.
    • The cloverleaf roll is 3 types of buns combined to make one bun. The bun has 3 flavours - 1/3 multigrain, 1/3 cheese, 1/3 plain. They come warm with butter. The texture is amazing. Really good bread! The texture is really soft and fluffy; my favourite side is the multigrain side.
  • Ham and Broccoli Quiche 3/6
    • I’ve already done a review on it last time, but again it’s the safest savoury item you can order. I thought it was better this time, hence the +1, but there was more ingredients last time.
    • The quiche isn’t a French-style quiche but more of a country-style quiche. It has chunky pieces of ham, diced broccoli (not much), bell peppers and green onions. It’s quite rustic with lots of roughly chopped ingredients and a layer of cheese on top before they bake it.
    • It’s pre-made and warmed up so it has that “been sitting there” look and taste. The cheese layer just lifts right up rather than melting into the quiche. The quiche part is flavourful and moist though, and the veggies are tender.
    • The crust is homemade crust and it’s perfect. It’s not too thick with nice crisp edges. I wonder if it’s the same crust for their pies. It wasn’t really flaky but still tender in texture and buttery in flavour.
  • Green Salad with Homemade dressing 4/6
    • The salad is romaine, a couple slices of cucumber, tomatoes, and sunflower seeds. Very simple.
    • They should really just buy pre-washed lettuce. W e were biting into sand and it was not the poppy seeds from the dressing. We had to spit it out…very non-lady like, but it was really gross. We let the server know, but the reply was “really?...interesting…”…and nothing else. Yes until now I am as confused as you are.
    • I usually go for the lemon poppy seed dressing over the raspberry vinaigrette. It’s quite sweet more than it is tart, more honey-like than lemon tasting but I like it. It could use the fresh zest of a lemon though. Too bad I couldn’t enjoy it with the salad.
  • Lentil Soup 1/6
    • Soup of the day: lentil soup Cup: $4.50 Bowl: $5.50
    • The soup is made in house and from scratch but it was not good at all. I almost want to give it a 0, but it’s not on my scale.
    • It tasted like an experimental soup and it was the most basic recipe with poor execution.
    • There was no flavour at all. It was so bland and even adding salt and pepper wouldn’t and wasn’t helping.
    • It had onions, carrots and celery, but it was all pureed in a food processor not until smooth but just little bits. It was a tomato based soup but it was very watery. All the ingredients were at the bottom and it reminded me of either baby food or senior food .
    • I had 2 spoons and left the rest.

**Cranberry Scone with “The Works” 6/6

  • Seasonal fruit and cheese scones available $2 to go $4.25 w/butter & jam $5.50 w/"the works"
  • They offer around 3-4 flavours that change often: raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, cheese, rhubarb pecan (rare), raisin, strawberry etc.
  • I’ve reviewed the Raspberry scone last time, and this time I tried the cranberry scone.
  • I like the raspberry scone better because I found the cranberries too tart, although I liked the option for the holiday season.
  • These are still the best scones I’ve had. Nice and big, thick and fluffy. They’re not flaky or crumbly, but almost cakey. They have a slightly crispy and perfectly browned outside, soft inside, buttery flavour and loaded with real fruit. It’s not really sweet either, it’s a perfect recipe.

  • This one has whole plump cranberries throughout and extra on top for presentation. It’s served with a light dusting of icing sugar.
  • It’s a pretty expensive scone and it’s definitely best enjoyed if you order it with “the works”. This will bring you to $5.50, but it’s a must if you come.
    • “The Works”
    • “The Works” just means with Devonshire cream and homemade jam. I reviewed it last time too, but I want to correct it because I think it’s actually better than I thought.

    • Devonshire cream: I still doubt it’s real clotted cream (heated up unpasteurized milk), but it’s still really good. I was looking for the cheese taste this time and I found it, but it was hard. It was thick, but still not as thick as the real clotted cream and it wasn’t pale yellow like the real thing is. I’m pretty sure it’s whipped cream mixed with mascarpone, but it still tastes great. It’s lightly sweetened, has a mild cheesy taste, and very slight tang. It could use more mascarpone, if that’s what they’re using.
    • Homemade jam: I reviewed this last time. Still great!

**Rhubarb Upside Down Cake 4.5/6

  • You can order this with “the works” so we did and it came to $4.95. It’s $4.25 as is and if you get a piece to go it’s $2.95. I don’t think an extra $2 is very reasonable for eating in, an extra $1 is ok.
  • I wouldn’t recommend “the works” totally unnecessary because it’s just whipped cream from a can. I thought it was going to be their homemade Devonshire cream so you could imagine my disappointment.
  • It’s a pretty big slice of cake and it’s very moist. That’s what I love about it.

  • The cake part is so moist and perfectly baked. It has a cinnamon flavour and it’s a simple coffee cake recipe. There are a few chunks of rhubarb throughout the cake batter which I really enjoyed. It was almost like apples, but tart and nice and stringy from the baking process.
  • There’s not much of a rhubarb layer though. The rhubarb is very tender and slightly tart, but also sweet. It’s a perfect balance of sweet and tart for me. I just wanted more rhubarb in the top layer.
  • This has nothing to do with the rating I gave, because colour doesn’t affect flavour of rhubarb…but I wish the rhubarb they used was redder in colour. It would simply look nicer.


  • Small pot $2.50
  • Large pot $4.50
  • They have an extensive tea list, but the teas aren’t house blends. They’re brought in from another company.
  • The table sugar is coloured - mix of regular sugar with some pastel pink, blue, and yellow sugar crystals. Really cute touch!

The Fudge

  • Complimentary sample that comes with your bill and you can buy it to go as well.
  • This time we got chocolate peppermint and candy cane.
  • I still feel like they’re too sweet, not chewy enough and too artificial tasting.

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