Double Bakery Run in Burlington, VT

      Burlington is the only thing in Vermont big enough to be called a city, and it's actually a pretty cool one. It's cute, but not quaint in the way all Vermont towns are. Being about the same size as my hometown, but a lot more diverse and fun, I've taken enough hour-long bus rides up there to find a couple good bakeries, and a few days ago I took a birthday trip up to visit an old favorite, and a new find.

These are the two pastries I tried at the new-to-me bakery, August First. The sugar-covered one was a Cardamom Knot, which was decent but lacking flavor and kind of dry. The second one hiding in the blurry background is an Almond Croissant (shaped un-traditionally though) that tasted like it was at least a day old already (for more and much clearer shots, see my video). I know I shouldn't judge a place based only on two pastries, especially considering they had such a wide variety, but I don't think I'll be going back. All in all, better variety and flavor options than your average American-style bakery, but still in the category of a quantity-and-sweetness-over-quality-and-taste kind of place.

The second one is my old favorite, Mirabelles Cafe & Bakery, where I decided on a Coconut Lime Slice and a Pistachio Macaron. The cake was a solid 4 out of 5: the coconut cake layers were soaked in a bit of coconut syrup, with lime curd in between and whipped cream around the whole thing. It wasn't moist enough that I could eat it without an accompanying drink, but I would still recommend it. (They do have other cakes that are perfectly moist though, like my all-time favorite, the Creme Brulee Cake). The macaron was incredible. I've never had a good macaron before, and so I always assumed they'd be too sweet, but this was AWESOME. A good balance of textures, with the meringue parts being chewy inside and a little crisp outside, and the ground nuts giving it some body and density. The buttercream was made right and had good flavor, though even a pastry nerd like me can't tolerate more than a little of that stuff, since it's pretty much lightly-sweetened fluffy butter.

So if you ever want to try a bakery in Burlington, I'd say go to Mirabelles Cafe and get a macaron, and a slice of my all-time favorite, the Creme Brulee Cake.

Do you guys have any favorite bakeries or dessert shops in Vermont? Know of any place (anywhere) that makes amazing coconut lime cake or macarons? Feel free to comment and let me know!