Sugar and tattoo love

As I mentioned on Tuesday, Chevy sent me and a bunch of other bloggers (not all women! One was a guy and I’ve lost his website name.) on a tour of three local bakeries.

The premise was that we would start at one Burgh bakery where we would get a little tour of the cars and then hop in one of six or so Chevy Sonics and Cruzes and drive ourselves to the next bakery where they would have delicious pastries ready and waiting for us, which we would consume and then hop into our cars and head to the next bakery.

I know what you’re thinking. Did you die and go to heaven because yes, I agree, heaven should be a place where we are whisked away from bakery to bakery forevermore.

I just wanted to tell you two things:

1. OnStar is a son of a bitch sometimes. Except the computer was a woman, so whatever the female equivalent is to “son of a bitch.”


Luckily, Gina from My Very Last Nerve was driving the Cruze with me and Burgh Baby as her passengers and she has balls and wasn’t afraid to scream, “NO, MOTHERF*@#ER” to the computer when it tried to take us someplace remote to kill us rather than direct us to Dozen in Lawrenceville.

This is an almost exact conversation Gina had with the OnStar computer as we attempted to tell it we wished for directions from Gluuteny back to Sugar Cafe in Dormont, not that we needed it, but we were encouraged to try the OnStar system:

OnStar: Say the business name and city please.

Gina: Sugar Cafe in Dormont, Pennsylvania.

OnStar: Ok. Let me look that up. I have found several businesses that match. Say the number when I find the business you are looking for. Number 1: Sugar Cafe in Pittsburgh. Number 2: Sugar [something or other] in [someplace]–

Gina: ONE!

OnStar: Ok. Directing you to Sugar Cafe in Pittsburgh. [pause] I’m sorry. That listing doesn’t exist.


I feel very confident in saying the machines will not be rising up anytime soon.

2. The bakeries!

SUGAR CAFE in Dormont

Sugar Cafe in Dormont is adorable and the lemon cake is perfection. I mean that. You have to try it. Their cupcakes are exactly right, too. Not too sweet so that you can’t even finish one, but just the right amount of sugar so you can eat a million and then MY GOD, THE CANKLES.

DOZEN BAKE SHOP in Lawrenceville

Next up was Dozen, now under new ownership. This was my first Dozen experience and we were treated to Dozen Pop-Tarts (nothing at all like regular hard Pop-Tarts. These are little pies of goodness.), mini cupcakes, cupcake push-up pops (stole one to take home to my kiddo. She loved it.), and pumpkin gobs. All delicious and sweet and burp.

This is a fact: Dozen has the coolest coffee cup chandeliers ever.

GLUUTENY in Squirrel Hill

Next we moseyed back to our cars and headed to Squirrel Hill to sample the wares at Gluuteny and my gosh, try getting a computer to recognize THAT name. Gluuteny is basically an allergen-free bakery. No wheat or milk or anything and here’s the thing … YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW. They’ve managed to make a cake icing that is the best icing I’ve ever tasted in my whole life and I can’t pinpoint why. Crack maybe? Their cupcakes are the perfect amount of sweetness and their brownies have this crunchy top that makes the cankles worth it.

Also, the store manager is gorgeous in a regular way, but also in an indie hip kind of way. I immediately noticed the tattoo across her upper chest and asked her if I could take a picture of it. She obliged and I had no qualms about pulling her shirt back to get this picture for you:

Her name is Char Ross. Go tell her I sent you and the next time I’m there, I’m trying ALL THE THINGS.

Go support your small local bakeries, Burghers!

(Fine Print: There is no fine print. I wasn’t paid in anything but pastries and I wasn’t asked to write a post about my experience. I just chose to do it.)


  1. bluzdude
    November 17, 2011 10:38 am

    Oh to be a fly on the windshield in a car with you, Gina and Burgh Baby. The blog post would write itself.

  2. red pen mama
    November 17, 2011 11:40 am

    I have a friend with a son on the spectrum, and when she comes to town, she brings me goodies from Gluuteny (and I cook a dairy-free, gluten free dinner for us). Their brownies are the best bakery brownies I have had ever, anywhere. Hands down. And I figured because they are things like gluten and dairy free, they are healthy. Right? RIGHT?

  3. bucdaddy
    November 17, 2011 12:00 pm

    Chevy Sonic? Is there also a Honda Hardee’s, a Mazda McDonald’s and a BMW Burger King? Product placement run amok.

    And a Cruze? What a lame name. The great untapped field in car names is illegal drugs. Tell me you wouldn’t want to drive the Mazda Meth or the Subaru Speed or the Chrysler Crack or the Kia Cocaine.

    The Volkswagen Valium (not an illegal drug, but man, does it smooth out the bumps in the road).

  4. Silica
    November 17, 2011 12:23 pm

    I live within walking distance of the Sugar Cafe. I may walk there when I go, but I’m pretty sure the calorie count ends in their favor.

    Their sandwiches are super yummy, too.

  5. K
    November 17, 2011 12:39 pm

    I’m so sad that you didn’t get to go to Vanilla Pastry Studio in East Liberty. To. Die. For.

  6. Cathy
    November 17, 2011 1:11 pm

    I can’t rip on Onstar today. The very nice gentleman unlocked my car today from wherever in never never land they reside. It beat waiting for an overweight tow company guy (sorry for being stereotypical) to come stick some piece of metal between the door and frame of my new car. It would probably be even better if I didn’t lock the dang keys in the car but whatever. :)

  7. Scott
    November 17, 2011 1:20 pm

    Sounds tasty, however two of the most legendary bakeries in the Burgh got blown off: Prantl’s and Oakmont Bakery. No bakery crawl is legit without them.

    As a side note, OnStar is a total reflection of GM’s overall lameness and lack of any ability to innovate. My nav system in (brand concealed to avoid hateful backlash) never has any problems.

  8. Butcher's Dog
    November 17, 2011 2:57 pm

    I’m thinking it can’t truly be Heaven unless wineries and brew-pubs are also on the endless loop tour. Just sayin’.

    Anyone know of a bakery that does not only gluten-free but sugar-free as well? Those two together? I have a very good local theatre friend who needs that combination. I’d appreciate any info anyone can offer.

  9. spoon
    November 17, 2011 3:37 pm

    We got #2’s baptism cake from Sugar Cafe at the suggestion from @Twinmamateb and it was hands down one of the best I’ve ever had. srsly… EVER!

  10. bucdaddy
    November 17, 2011 4:11 pm

    Butcher’s Dog’s question is a good one as I have a nephew who is both diabetic and has celiac (sp?), poor bastard.

  11. Pensgirl
    November 17, 2011 5:39 pm

    Butcher’s Dog and bucdaddy, Gluuteny might be willing to work on recipes with that combo for you. The story that ran on the owners when they first opened up the shop was that they basically ran a test kitchen at home to create recipes that worked without gluten and dairy because their daughter had those allergies. Once they figured it out, they also realized other people had the same needs, and Gluuteny was born. You never know, maybe they’d like the idea of expanding into a broader “special diets bakery.”

  12. Pingback: The Chevy Sonic Sweets Tour Swings by Pittsburgh Sweetest Bakeries - Driving The Northeast

  13. carpoolmom
    November 17, 2011 8:23 pm

    I agree with Scott. I’m sure these bakeries were great, Prantls and Oakmont Bakery are PGH!

  14. Bitter
    November 18, 2011 1:00 am

    I have been a regular at Dozen for a couple years, but I think that is about to change. An entire menu of vegan goodies I can choose from? THANK YOU for sharing about Gluuteny!!

  15. Ug Lee
    November 18, 2011 12:59 pm

    I, too, live within walking distance of Sugar Cafe. My boyfriend and I visit semi-frequently. Best sandwiches ever.