In an world of growing dietary restrictions and ‘intolerances’ the idea of a Vegan bakery has been of interest ever since college at The Ohio State University where Pattycake has long embraced the concept of ‘conscious’ eating, the same ideals espoused by Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats making a visit on Saturday morning all the more compelling.
Located in Columbia Heights and thus outside the touristy hustle and bustle, their clientele largely local with the occasional traveler stopping in based on word of mouth or familiarity with Chef Doron Petersan’s work from “Cupcake Wars,” the idea behind Sticky Fingers Bakery began in 1999 when the self-professed lover of Food began experimenting with recipes to fulfill her own sweet-tooth without the use of Animal products, the idea since expanding to a large storefront opened in 2005 featuring several items baked in-house daily plus a small collection Breakfast and Lunch plates.
Directly across from a large supermarket and in the same area as a handful of big-box retailers, rows of houses quite different from just a mile or so south making the area feel far more residential, it was just after the store’s nine o’clock opening that three guests settled into chairs amidst a dining room decorated cute and kitschy, uni-sex bathrooms declaring Sticky Fingers a safe place for all surprisingly the first of their kind in D.C. but certainly fitting the vibe.
Predictably with significant dining plans to follow, the last day before returning home still seeing a few more places on the ‘to-do’ list ranging all the way from nearby to Georgetown and Historic Bloomingdale, it was after lengthy perusal of two cases that the decision was made to select a total of seven items tallying not much more than other local ‘non-vegan’ eateries, the signature sticky Bun warmed on request completely indistinguishable from one made with Butter while Petersan’s equally praised Cowvin Cookie outperformed A Baked Joint’s Oatmeal Sandwich by a substantial margin in terms of taste, texture and value for the dollar.
Reportedly using no Hydrogenated Oils in addition to eschewing Butter and Eggs both at Sticky Fingers and sister eatery Fare Well, a big change for the better compared to many Vegan products, it is with spreads from Earth Balance and Egg-replacer from Ener-G that many of Doron’s recipes are featured in a Cookbook offered both in the Restaurant and online, her Sweet n’ Salty Cookie every bit as good as the Cowvin with good density and a subtle chew while the Pumpkin Whoopie Pie and Sweet Potato Maple Cupcake were dense and moist with a lot of natural flavor plus bright notes of Ginger and Cinnamon in the base.
Not quite perfect in terms of Chocolate, a not unfamiliar situation seen at other Vegan Bakeries but still better than most, it was with a slightly astringent aftertaste permeating the Cake portion of a Red Velvet Cupcake that attention instead turned to a fudge-thick Brownie riddled with Chocolate Chips, the slight rise giving each bite a heterogeneous texture while the lack of Milk Fats or additives necessitated quite a bit of sugar to help foil the Cocoa Powder’s bitterness.
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