Friday, April 8, 2011

A caramel that won't get you drunk

Posted By on Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Joshua Meiseman at work
  • The Sugar-Coated Radical
I had a super-sweet Thursday.

In the afternoon, I was driving through Virginia-Highland and my car swerved onto Drewry Street, parking itself in front of the Sugar-Coated Radical (404-587-4912). I went inside and bought five pieces of chocolate, four of which I ate, saving one for a client in my other work in psychology. I love feeding people's addictions.

I also encountered something new at the shop, which is why I'm writing about it. Owner Taria Camerino has hired Joshua Meiseman with whom she's worked in the past. For the present, Joshua is specializing in caramels that are deconstructions of different beers. I ate one featuring the ingredients and proportions of an India Pale Ale.

It was — no kidding — the most awesome caramel I've ever tasted. And I'm not a beer drinker. Neither is Camerino, who said beer instantly puts her out. I told her it makes me live behind dumpsters. But this is a safe way to sample the flavor of beer without passing out or heading to oblivion. "That's why I asked him to make a beer caramel," Camerino said.

Try one of the caramels. You won't believe it.

Camerino also told me her Bakery Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., is attracting lots of people. Camerino, famous for her pastries as much as her chocolate, sells a variety of baked goodies then. Coffee is available from a truck on the premises.

THE SWEET AND THE BITTER: That same evening, I hit Morelli's after dinner at Spoon. I ordered half a scoop of rosewater and blueberries and a second of coffee and donuts. As usual, the ice cream was flawless. Not so usual, was some of the worst service I've ever received. There was nobody behind me in line and the guy who took my order, promptly went about doing other things. I waited and waited, watching him tool around.

The other employee came out front to do something and asked me if I was waiting for an order. "I've been waiting forever, but he's not doing anything," I said.

She opened the order window and blurted at him. He finally decided to bother with my order. He set about making my waffle cone and then filling it. When he brought the cone to the window, I said something I've never said to a server anywhere:

"That was, no kidding, maybe the worst service I've ever had."

He replied angrily, "Sir, I had to make your cone."

I observed that he didn't start making my cone for almost 10 minutes and I walked away. But not even such a bitter experience can spoil the sweetness of the city's best ice cream.

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