Photo by Izzy Zanone
Seeing that I practically squeal every time I see a new vegan product in the grocery store, an exciting experience for anyone who abstains from animal products, it should be no surprise that I am always up to date on the newest plant-based options around me. A new dairy-free ice creams comes out? I’m eating it in the parking lot of Target. A pizza place carries vegan cheese? I devour the entire 12-inch pie in one sitting. It’s relatively easy to find delicious vegan eats in “normal” restaurants – BRGR has an amazing veggie burger by the way – but again, vegan food excites the hell out of me.
So when I saw that a new Mud Pie Bakery & Coffee opened this Oct. on W 95th street, I practically peed my pants. Not only do they serve a plethora of vegan desserts, this new location is two miles closer to my house than the original Mud Pie in KCMO. I immediately grabbed my keys, picked up a friend and sped off in search of the new location.
Giddy, I stared into the large, glass case filled with various cupcakes, scones, brownies and tarts. It was like sugar heaven. I decided to limit myself to three treats, each priced below five dollars. This may seem generous, but believe me, it took restraint to not ask for one of everything. The rocky road brownie and red velvet cupcake made the cut for obvious reasons, but the pumpkin sheet cake was #1 on my list from the start. Tis the season to be fall-y, am I right?
After the lady behind the cute, light gray and wooden counter put my desserts into a brown paper bag embossed with the Mud Pie logo, I surveyed the restaurant for the first time. Having bolted straight towards the food when I first entered, I didn’t fully take in my surroundings. The counter stood amongst groups of eclectic looking tables and chairs, with red painted booths and dark, metal seats. Pleased with the “Fixer Upper” vibes, I plopped down into a booth near a picture of a calf, piglet and foal; just another reminder of the awesomeness Mud Pie stands for.
First things first – the brownie. Now, I’m pleased with the realistic vegan alternatives for chocolate and marshmallows that I’ve come across in the past, but this was something else. So rich and luscious, the chocolate blended perfectly with the bits of fluffy marshmallow atop the soft brownie. The ratio of sweetness was perfect for me, but for someone who isn’t as big of a sweet tooth, this brownie could possibly be difficult to finish
After wiping away the ring of chocolate around my mouth, I reached into the brown bag for my second course. I have always adored red velvet cake but, since going vegan, I have never had the opportunity to try a plant-based version. As much as I hate this phrase, I’m going to use it: I can’t believe it’s vegan! I almost asked the waitress to make sure it was dairy-free, until I remembered everything Mud Pie makes is plant based. The sweet, tart flavor was spot on, and the consistency was as fluffy as any frosting I’ve ever had. The cake itself was moist and light, everything a cupcake should be. Well played, Mud Pie.
Finally, for the star. I admired the perfect little cinnamon-colored cake from above. Honestly, what can be more fall than pumpkin? Sinking my teeth through a thin layer of icing and square of cake, I tasted warm, autumnal spices and a punch of the promised flavor of pumpkin. Not too sweet and not too salty, this treat would please everyone.
Though it’s safe to say I’m easily excited about vegan food, this definitely deserves my enthusiasm. Both veggie eaters and omnivores alike would be more than happy to gobble up a pastry here, and with a cute atmosphere, a variety of sweet treats and the promise of a cruelty-free experience, I would give the new Mud Pie an A+. The layer of brown paper Mud Pie bags on the floor of my car can attest to that.