Get Stung by the Bienenstich at Kaffeeklatsch

Eve M. Tai
I got stung!
Call it snobbism or just plain provincialism: In my eyes few cultures can outdo the French when it comes to baked goods. So it was no small thing when I stepped out of my Frenchiephile world to taste German pastries at Kaffeeklatsch (12513 Lake City Way N.E., Suite H) in Lake City. I'll be the first to admit that I associate German cuisine more with bratwurst and sauerkraut than with decadent baked goods. But walk into Kaffeeklatsch at any hour and the baker is busy rolling, cutting, and kneading dough into all manner of baked goods. After all, what are you going to "klatsch" over if not pastries?

Annika, a member of the Kaffeeklatsch crew, first suggested the bienenstich, which she assured me was "very German." The name, "bee sting," refers to the honey topping. The name was spot on, because whatever it injected in me the first time had me buzzing back for more. The pastry--made of sweetened, slightly dense yeast dough--is layered with vanilla pastry cream and topped with sliced almonds, honey, and butter. The bienenstich recalls the nostalgia of happily noshing on Sara Lee cakes as a kid, only with silkier almond cream, crunchier almond slices, and a moister batter. It's easy to see why the Kaffeeklatsch sells an entire tray of bienenstich daily.

Eve M. Tai
Although it's not quite apple season yet, you'll want to try the "apfeltaschen," an apple turnover, or "purse," shaped like a half-moon. Not quite as sweet as a regular turnover, the apfeltaschen comes snuggled in flaky pie dough. Kaffeeklatsch also features coffeecakes, cheesecakes, and fruit crumbles in the German tradition. I won't even try to spell the names here, which will likely trip up my spell-check. But even if you don't speak German, no translation is needed for the homey and sweet baked goods at Kaffeklatsch.

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