The Blog Post that Almost Never Was: Grandps's Bakery

It's been a little over a year since I visited Grampa's Bakery in Dania Beach, FL.  What's taken me so long to write this post?  Well, it's because I've been debating if an honest post about my visit would break my mother's rule that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".  I've finally come to terms with this and have modified Mom's advice and will now subscribe to "If you can't say something nice, at least be accurate".

That said, my visit was a bust.  I was in Fort Lauderdale for a week of training.  I was excited because there were three places that Guy visited within a short distance of my hotel, and between seafood, cheese steaks and baked goods I would be in heaven.

As I've already shared with you the other places were very good: The Blue Marlin and Sonny's Famous Steak Hoagies.  I stopped by Grandpa's after having lunch at the Blue Marlin, and with a few hours to kill before returning my rental car and flying home.  My plan was to find something light to munch on and to milk a cup of coffee as long as I could.

The entry was a traditional bakery with a dining room attached to the left.  For whatever reason I didn't expect to see the bakery counter.  What should have been the first warning sign was that they had a HUGE flat screen TV mounted above the front counter playing a continuous loop of Guy's visit.  Not to sound like a Guy basher, but if that's their only claim to fame, there's not much hope.  But I digress... 

I told the hostess that I was dining in, and she lead me to a booth along the front window at the middle of the restaurant.  It was 2pm on a Friday and I expected that the lunch croud would be long gone, but I didn't expect that they'd be this slow.  There weren't three other occupied tables in the entire place.

We had passed a glass display with rotating glass shelves piled high with pies and cakes, and a chocolate cake was calling my name, so i ordered a slice and a cup of coffee.  They had those silly 1940's 6oz coffee mugs which always fit my hand like a child's tea cup.  My mug was a little dirty, but I wiped the rim with my napkin and decided to let it slide.  (This is a big step for me, and this goes against my OCD in a big way.)

After several minutes my slice of cake finally arrived and I took my fork and dug-in.   And just about puked.

Apparently the slice I received was the slice that was adjacent to the previous cut, and apparently that slice had been take from the cake at some point in 1977!  The exposed side of the cake was so stale that it was dry and, well, there's no other word for it; "Stale".   I was so disgusted by that first bite that I coudn't take another.  OK, where is my waitress?   Nowhere to be found for the next 5 minutes.

My cup was empty and my plate was full.  You think the waitress would notice?  Nope.  She walked past on the far side of the room (less than 20 feet) and never once glanced my way.

I pulled out my smart phone and checked them out on Yelp.com.  Why didn't I do that first?  If I had I would never had wasted my time.  But how could Guy be so wrong?

Back int he car I pulled-up the DD&D episode below and watched it again.  It was then that I learned an important lesson that has served me well ever since.  Notice how much time they spent watching them make pancake batter.  How many items does Guy taste?  How many times is he drawn back to the plate?

I'm now much more adept at reading between the lines when watching Guy and I've chalked this visit up as a lesson.  Now, learn from my mistake.

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