Monday, June 9, 2008

Martha's Country Bakery - Homestyle Baking at its Best

Martha's Country Bakery - 36-21 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105
N/W Train to Ditmars Blvd (last stop)

One of my favorite bakeries in Astoria, Martha's always put me in a good mood. And just like I wanted to show off Trattoria L'Incontro to my aunt and uncle, I wanted to do the same with Martha's. They appreciated it for its goodness and we stuck around to indulge in a couple of confections.

I love Martha's for its atmosphere as much as I love it for its baked goods. The country theme is definitely conveyed even before you walk in--the awning has maroon stripes and the window display showcases gorgeous lattice fruit pies, tarts, cupcakes and fruit breads. The inside is even more charming with whimsical decorations such as a big vintage clock and country-style furniture in warm yellows, reds and browns. Simply put, it's a lovely place to linger and enjoy a sinful treat. And linger, you can, as Martha's boasts a seating area of approximately 8-10 small tables. Not many bakeries in the area (and in general) can say the same--it's usually a grab-and-go type of situation.

The Treats:
I've had Martha's on a number of occasions but most of the things we sampled last Friday were new to me.

Vanilla Buttercream Cupcake with M&M's: I'm a sucker for Martha's cupcakes and have tried most varieties--my favorite one being the red velvet. I haven't tried this simple vanilla buttercream variation with M&M's and after devouring half of it in barely a couple of minutes, I think I'd call it my new favorite. The inside was beautifully moist and the buttercream tasted like it should--soft, sugary with hints of vanilla and lemon. The M&M's provided that choco fix, which I so often crave and overall, I'd say that this is a nice choice for b-days (for both adults and kids).

Hazelnut Gelato: Dan ordered this and it actually consisted of one scoop of hazelnut and one scoop of cappuccino gelato. I didn't taste the latter so I'll only talk about the hazelnut. Being that Nutella is one of my favorite desserts in the whole world, I naturally adore hazelnut gelato. This one was creamy and rich and had that home-churned feel. I kept taking spoonfuls from Dan's bowl and decided that I'm definitely going to get it next time.

Chocolate Cannoli: This was my least favorite dessert because it just didn't stand a chance next to La Guli's cannoli. The ricotta filling tasted waxy and the crust wasn't flaky enough. While I love chocolate, I think there was too much of it here--in the filling, around the dough and there were even chocolate chips inside. I'd skip the cannoli next time around.

Service and Cost:
Because we were sitting at a table, we had a waitress bring out our order. She was really nice and unobtrusive but she chimed in a the right moments. For example, when we were trying to figure out who sang a song playing in the background, she came to the rescue.

I'd say that for the quality of goods you're getting here, Martha's treats are priced fairly but to the naked eye they could seem expensive. Cupcakes are $1.75 each, cannolis are $2.75 and a scoop of gelato is a whopping $3.75. You pay for the greatness.

3 Mmmms


  1. Anonymous10 June, 2008

    Martha's is a beautiful bakery and open really late, which is very nice for a bakery! But everytime I get a cupcake they are dry :( They are so pretty that I keep falling for it but am repeatedly disapointed. I wish they would bake in smaller quantities to always keep fresh!

  2. I'm telling you, try the M&M one. And I know what you mean about some of the other cupcakes. I've had an oreo cupcake and it was dry. M&M's with Buttercream frosting=not dry :-)

  3. Anonymous14 June, 2008

    just got back from Martha's, I have not stoped thinking about the cupcakes since this posting. I tried to stop by earlier this week after a run, but only had $1 and didn't want to spend $10 to use my credit card. We finally droped by today and I enjoied the pistachio gelato, yummy!! My husband tried the chocolate peanutbutter cupcake again and it was still dry, I tried to get the M & M one but the beautiful Red Velvet one called my name and I got one to go. Pathetically it didn't even make it home but it was moist and as tasty as it was pretty. Although I only got to enjoy half as my husband devoured the other half. Hopefully this will sustain my cupcake cravings for a while, although I hav a feeling that it may have just fed the flame! Love your blog!

  4. Wow! I am so glad that you love this place so much--it really is awesome. Try the M&M cupcake next time. It will definitely fuel your sweet fix even more :)

  5. No mention of their cookies?! OMGMARTHASCOOKIESOMG. :P Just try one. The M&M ones is my favorite.

  6. The cookies are great too! I just didn't have them that time. I like the double chocolate chip ones--yum!

  7. It WAS one of my favorite bakery in the neighbourhood. I liked the stuff and the atmasphere there. And the staff were nice. HOWEVER, a bad experience can change everything.

    On this rainny sunday, I sat down at a corner in this bakery arround 11:30am, asked for a coffee and a cinnamon roll and started working on my laptop. My friend and I did the same thing during the summer and actually we talked last night to go there more often because we both liked this place. By 1:15pm an old man (owner or manager?) came up to me and said, in a cold voice, "You cannot do this, with your laptop, and sitting here for 2 hours, and only ordering a coffee". I could have understood why he did that if there were people waiting to be seated. But THERE WERE EMPTY SEATS RIGHT NEXT TO ME.

    I paid, tipped and left.

    Apparently I misunderstood this place. And I miss "Freeze Peach".

  8. That really stinks and I would be turned off if I were you as well. I think that's just bad manners and no way to treat loyal customers - it'll get back to them eventually.



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