Wednesday, January 30, 2008

White Windmill

On Monday, I met a friend from my teaching days at a local coffee place for some book talk and sweet treats. Lauren's up for adventure, so we headed over to a new cafe and bakery that has opened up a few blocks from our apartment: the Korean-owned White Windmill.

It is one of the many new Asian-European inspired bakeries that are popping up all over the metro Atlanta area, especially along Buford Highway.

The smell of fresh coffee overpowered me as soon as I opened the door, but I love the smell of coffee, so this was a plus for me. As you enter, you can pick up a basket and select some fresh-baked creations in little plastic bags. We were there in the afternoon, and the popular items were mostly empty. Apparently, the morning crowd gets the good stuff. One lady who came through the line with us was grabbing things left and right and had enough in her basket to last over a week! It was like crazy Asian crack-cocaine or something, they way they were snatching them up.

We had no idea what most of the pastries were, and took our time deciding, but I scored big with some type of tasty doughnut, a green-tea and pistachio-nut concoction, and some sort of cream-cheese filled pastry (I was bringing some back for my mom and Gaines, I swear!). These pastries are much lighter and less sweet than American style cakes, and I enjoyed the delicate flavors.

We also decided to try something delectable from the glass-enclosed selections: we each selected a little round mousse, shaped like a miniature cake, topped with fruit. Lauren chose the one suggested by the guy behind the counter: the mocha mousse, it had a sort of gelatin-blackberry topping, and mine was a mango mousse, so cold it was almost a frozen treat. Upon reflection, we weren't exactly sure that these were quite "made in the store" but we thought they were good anyway. They were superbly adorned with fruit and tiny pieces of chocolate (mine had "Happy Birthday" written on it for some strang reason. Um, happy birthday to anyone born on Jan. 28th!)

For the drink selections, you can choose from a number of different hot coffees and espressos as well as Bubble Teas. I'm not much of a coffee girl, but I did order a reasonably-priced hot chocolate, expecting not much more than Hershey's syrup. I was pleasantly surprised by a large mug of cream-filled cocoa, which my friend said our server labored over "like a mad professor." It was delicious, rich and creamy with real chocalate flavor! My friend originally asked for a Green Tea Bubble tea, but they were out of that so she chose some sort of wheat (?) concoction. It was quite good, like a milkshake, but we're still not sure why it was pale lavender in color. Next time I go, I think I'd like to try the Honeydew Bubble Tea.

Overall, it was quite an enjoyable experience, from the conversation to the friendly staff and inviting atmosphere -- the cafe is nice and airy with some upholstered low seating near the windows and a long couch along one wall -- and especially the interesting edibles. If you are ever come across one of these stores, I'd definitely recommend you try it out!


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