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.
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.