This week, I was able to do some unexpected exploring while waiting to get my oil changed. My plan was to go a nearby furniture store, and look for a recliner to replace our baby days glider that has seen better days. However, the furniture store was closed, (every Wednesday oddly enough) so I was forced to walk another two blocks to New Roma Bakery on 18th and E. Oh darn!
I’ve been to New Roma a few times before to buy cakes for office birthdays, but haven’t been there in quite a while. (This last year I made everyone’s birthday cakes, cupcakes, and for one non-sweetaholic, baked brie and thumbprint cookies.) The neighborhood feel is great, and I had forgotten what a large variety of baked goods they have to tempt you.
I settled for a Tiramisu scooter (having never heard of a scooter in all my baking days!) and a cranberry apple turnover. I somehow managed not eat them until I got home, but must confess my husband and I ate the scooter with dueling forks while standing at the counter. Even though it was after 9 p.m., Bella peeked her head out her door and lucked into a bite post-tooth brushing. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t overly sweet, but I did want a little more espresso to contrast with the sweet cream.
While I was paying for my car services, the serviceman noticed my little pink box and asked what I got at New Roma. It started a conversation with an elderly gentleman who was also waiting for his car. He told us New Roma has been there for more than 70 years! He knew this because he has been going there since he was 5 years old, and he is 76 now. “You know what we used to do there?” he said.
“What,” the serviceman joked, “Steal muffins?”
“Oh no,” he replied, “I used to go there with my dad and bring in a whole lamb, and cook it in their oven for Greek Easter.”
“They have those huge ovens in there,” the serviceman said.
“We used to bring whole pigs too. The original owner was trained at a patisserie in Paris, and the man who owns it now started working there when he was 17 years old. He apprenticed, and eventually bought it from the original owner.”
I knew New Roma has been around a long time, but I had no idea it had been around that long. We didn’t eat the turnover until the next day, and even heated in the microwave it was still a thing of beauty. The crust was buttery, the chunks of apple were crisp-tender, and the tartness of the cranberry balanced the sweet. I may need to get my oil changed more often.