A bad review is like baking a cake with all the best ingredients and having someone sit on it.

I’m starting to get a hang of this cake tasting businesses. Make an appointment, taste cake, discuss cake and then discuss prices. I should get paid to do this. But not all cake is extraordinary.

Enter The French Gourmet.

I actually made an appointment for The French Gourmet coming back from failed cake tasting in El Cajon (incorrect appointment time and therefore, no cake). All the better, Paul didn’t have a very good first impression of the place anyway and thought the cakes would be infested with roaches. Whatev. I just want cake.

The French Gourmet

I’m familiar with The French Gourmet. They do all of the catering for our work events — none that I’ve ever attended because I’m always on call — but everyone raves about the food the next day. In addition, on doing a Web search for “wedding cakes,” The French Gourmet always comes up in the first 10 listings.

Besides a caterer and bakery, The French Gourmet in Pacific Beach is a full-fledged restaurant. On this particular cake tasting day, the restaurant was closed and we had the place all to ourselves.

Platter o'cake slices

Our contact, Jenny, was nice and very knowledgeable. She offered us drinks and left us alone to sample the cakes and go over the book. The cakes were arranged around the plate to match up with the flavors listed in the book. Everything from the book and set up was all very professional. As for the cake all the flavors were just blah with the exceptions of the lemon cream and red velvet, a flavor they just recently added to their menu. Even the tiramisu seemed to be missing something (coffee liquor?). We were just not impressed.

What (who) we were impressed with was Jenny. She spent more than an hour talking with us. Jenny even mentioned the possibility about a fake styrofoam cake (an extra $15) to fake out the guests with an enormous, forsted presentation. It was the first cake tasting where I felt really comfortable talking to someone about what we wanted. Or maybe it was all the sugar. If it wasn’t for the disappointing cakes, I would have ordered a cake just for the service and attention to detail alone.

On the positive note, The French Gourmet sells French macaroons in bulk. Unfortunately, they had sold out so there were none to sample. But I feel like I do have to come back to the actual restaurant and try a full fledged meal.

Red velvet left

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I didn’t realize how disorganized this planning thing is.

Prior to a cake tasting, I grab the nearest pad and bring it along for notes. When I posted photos of a recent cake tasting, I didn’t think that this notepad in the photo would attract any attention. I was wrong.

The notepad was created by my friend JustJenn. She makes fabulous stationery and writes a hilarious blog. When she saw a photo of her notepad during one of my cake tasting posts, she went ahead and made me a cake tasting notepad.

It has everything I need. It’s like she was reading my mind. Anyway, I love it and my life got just a bit more organized.

Thanks, Jenn!

7 thoughts on “A bad review is like baking a cake with all the best ingredients and having someone sit on it.

Add yours

  1. Oh dear! I'm sorry you didnt like the french gourmet. We really liked the chocolate cake they did for our wedding, but like I think I've already mentioned, we had a choice of 3 and the other two had some sort of non-dairy gross frosting so we had to like the french gourmet!I dont know how foofy you are looking to get, or much about your wedding, but I am starting to make some cakes for friends and I'll be doing a big cupcake thing for my friends wedding at the end of april. Feel free to get in touch.Also, I heard good things about the new bakery sweet cheeks in mission gorge.

  2. Jennywenny–None of the cakes really impressed us. For us, the cake will be the most important factor. Thanks for another recommendation!Vintage Caveman–MMmmm… yeah. A bit. 🙂

  3. Our cake came from there because it was included with the catering of our reception – we had the chocolate mousse and the lemon, and I had them add a layer of raspberry to the lemon, and we were pretty happy. No doubt there are better options out there if you're willing to spend more $$$. If you haven't already, try CAKE in Mission Hills – http://www.fabcakes.com – I think they do a GREAT job and may be a little more affordable than some. Congratulations on your engagement!!

  4. Alice–THANKS! It wasn't that French Gourmet was bad but I think our expectations were high. Thanks too for the recommendation on another cake place. We'll try it out before we get too burned out on cake or have to go on a diet soon.

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