Good morning and happy Wednesday! How are you doing? Ready to chat about food?
So ever since I finished up Week 10 of the Bread Pudding Challenge, there’s been one question that folks have been asking me:
When are you going to announce the winner?
It makes me smile that people are so excited about the Bread Pudding Challenge — I’ve had so much fun doing it, and I know Jess has too. We’re just as excited to announce the top 3 as you are to hear who they are!
Did you catch that? That’s right — Jess and I aren’t picking the winner (although we both have our favorites, trust me!); you are. This week, we’re announcing our top 3 choices; we’re each going to put up polls on our Facebook pages. The poll will be up for at least a week; during this time, we invite you to check out our top 3 choices for bread pudding and vote for your favorite.
This time next week, we’ll announce the winner for the best bread pudding in St. Louis. Sound good? Alright.
Before I announce my top three choices for bread pudding, I’ll do a quick rundown of each place I visited (in order). Ready? Let’s go!
Week 1: Remy’s
Who could forget Remy’s Warm Apple and Golden Raisin Bread Pudding?
This decadent creation was definitely one of my favorites; I couldn’t resist the sugary sweet caramel and brandy hard sauce! Even though I’m not a huge fan of "stuff" in my bread pudding, this was so good that I didn’t mind the raisins and apples. Did I mention that the texture of this BP was pretty darn perfect?
Week 2: Cafe Eau
Oh, Cafe Eau. Or is it Cafe No? I was not a fan of this Gooey Butter Bread Pudding at all.
I’m big on texture, and this BP failed big time. It was crispy on the outside and — true to its name — gooey in the middle. Not good. Aside from the texture, I wasn’t crazy about the flavor of this bread pudding; it was quite bitter!
Week 3: Harvest
Ahh, Harvest. When it comes to bread pudding in St. Louis, Harvest is often at the top of the list. They are definitely known for their bread pudding, and for good reason — the stuff is awesome.
The french toast-like texture makes my toes curl, and the bourbon sauce? To die for! I’m not a huge fan of the currants that garnish this BP, but since it’s not baked into the dessert, they’re easy to avoid.
Week 4: Bridge Tap House
Another winner! For a while, the Banana Espresso Bread Pudding at Bridge was near the top of my list.
I love how dense and rich this bread pudding is. If you’re a coffee lover, you’ll go nuts for this BP. There was a strong banana flavor in this bread pudding, which was nice; the caramelized sliced banana on top of the BP added to the awesomeness of this dessert. If you don’t like your bread pudding swimming in caramel sauce, this is the one for you.
Week 5: Cyrano’s
Once upon a time, before I really became a bread pudding fanatic, I adored the Caramel Brioche Bread Pudding at Cyrano’s. And so did the rest of St. Louis; it’s consistently at the top of many ‘Best Bread Pudding’ lists.
Sadly, which the bread pudding at Cyrano’s is decent, it’s no longer one of my favorites. The texture was off, and this bread pudding was approaching that custard-like stage that I’m not a fan of. The flavor was good, but there are much better bread puddings out there, in my opinion. Sorry, Cyrano’s!
Week 6: Annie Gunn’s
Week six was a turning point in the Bread Pudding Challenge for me. After I took a bite of Annie’s Banana Bread Pudding, I realized that picking a winner was going to be difficult. This was perfect, in every sense of the word.
The texture? Spot on — I love BP with a french toast texture. The flavor? Amazing; the Maker’s Mark caramel sauce was like nothing I’ve ever tasted, and the BP was swimming in it! If I could marry this bread pudding, I would. Can someone make that legal?
Week 7: Eleven Eleven Mississippi
Another great week of bread pudding. The White Chocolate and Pecan Bread Pudding at Eleven Eleven rocked my world.
Although I couldn’t taste any hints of white chocolate in this BP, the texture (perfectly firm) and taste (caramel!) made me one happy chick. The standout in this bread pudding was the caramel sauce; it didn’t have a thin and runny consistency like the others. No — this was thick and sticky. So good.
Week 8: McCormick & Schmick’s
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I operate by two rules: 1. Always keep it real (even when my opinion is unpopular!), and 2. No chains. Well, I had to break the second rule during Week 8. Sorry, friends — I’ll do just about anything for good BP! And boy, did McCormick & Schmick’s deliver! Their Chocolate Bailey’s Bread Pudding was some of the best bread pudding I’ve ever had in my life.
As I was eating this chocolatey creation, I almost felt like I was cheating on ‘traditional’ BP. Why? This tasted like a rich brownie. The texture of this bread pudding was a little softer than I usually prefer, but I almost preferred it that way. I can’t put into words how delicious this bread pudding was!
Week 9: Herbie’s
After Week 8′s amazing BP adventure, I knew that Week 9 at Herbie’s was going to have some big shoes to fill. I ordered their bread pudding with high hopes.
Unfortunately, while this bread pudding was decent, it wasn’t my favorite. While I do enjoy a firmer bread pudding, this was almost too firm. In fact, it was dry! Nothing about the flavor of this bread pudding wowed me, either. I’d skip this one if I were you!
Week 10: Frazer’s
And finally — Week 10! I was hoping to go out with a bang with Frazer’s BP, but I was sorely disappointed.
This time, it was a flavor and texture issue. The flavor wasn’t remarkable — the chocolate tasted a bit bitter — and the texture? It was crispy on the top, but way too custard-y in the center. Not good! I wasn’t impressed by this at all.
So what are my top 3 choices? This was so hard to narrow down, but I did it:
2. McCormick & Schmick’s
3. Annie Gunn’s
So there you have it! 10 long weeks, thousands of calories worth of bread pudding consumed, and lots and lots of caramel. It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it, right?
I invite you to make a visit to my top 3 choices; I promise you won’t be disappointed. After you decide who your favorite is, cast your vote on my Facebook page!
Later this afternoon, I’ll post Jess’s thoughts on each BP, as well as her top 3. Stay tuned!