I knew the brownies were going to be badass, but the buffalo chicken sandwich caught me totally by surprise.
Back in mid-2013, I'd reviewed the Heavenly Dessert Truck when Curbside Cuisine was in its infancy, and pretty much swooned over a sea-salt-caramel-cream-cheese glaze on a dark, fudgy square. So finding the maple-bacon brownie equally compelling today proved a "no-duh" moment.
But before we raided a big cake-box full of sweets, we nibbled through five of HD's new grilled sandwiches. They rotate through on the truck, and also serve as mainstay savory items at HD's 2-month-old bakery and café near the Platte Avenue Walmart (and, more importantly, the El Poblano Mobile bus).
Old School Bakery provides a stellar sourdough bread, cut thick enough to hold up to an oily crisping that fuses each sandwich's cheese element to the other rich fillings. In that buffalo chicken, Colorado-made Schultz's Gourmet Sweet Heat hot sauce joins a blue cheese and smoked Provolone funk-and-flame combo with a fresh celery coleslaw. It's virtually everything you like about wings, as a sandwich.
Chipotle-raspberry jam acts as the spin on a crisp apple-Brie; Muenster and herbed goat cheese pair with spinach and peppery arugula on the Heavenly Grilled Cheese; Swiss and turkey dress up in both a chili sauce and green chilies to earthy effect; and sweet caramelized onions join smoked Gouda on a commendable barbecue pork sandwich. All delight, and are increasingly found outside area breweries via the truck for easy beer pairings.
Inside the new café, a clean French aesthetic reigns, with stark black-and-white walls popped only by the color of tiny Barbie pink-and-lime green accents (the color palette of HD's logo): painted iron bench railing, candle holders, wooden chalkboard framing. A pastry case provides all the other vibrancy upon entry, with upward of 15 different items.
Pastry chef and co-owner Stephanie Van Wuffen rattles off her daily creations, her signature headband holding a blond tangle out of the way as she hustles to keep up with booming business. (Her mom's online-only enterprise, Starlyn's Chocolates, connects through a private door.) Van Wuffen's a Palmer High School and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs grad, with chops honed at Denver's Johnson & Wales University.
Her creations don't look anything like cottage-industry upstarts, maintaining a traditionalism or, in some cases, even a minimalism. Let your tongue follow the swirl of peanut butter though a decadent ganache bar, or the icing zigzag across a red velvet cookie. Savor an epic, coconut-rich German chocolate cookie. Study the perfect textures of HD's crème brûlée (chocolate) and cheesecake (killer caramel apple), or macarons (strawberry, pistachio or zingy lemon mascarpone) that feel like bites of airy clouds.
My cannoli was better than what I got in Boston, my Key lime tart ideally under-sweet. A chai-tea-infused mini cupcake with a chocolate Swiss buttercream showed playfulness expanding across seven other organic Numi flavors (steeped into the milk). A Spanish Peaks vanilla latte goes nicely in the morning with a pistachio biscotti, or dense banana bread, or the finest pecan sticky roll I've tasted, all moist and brown-buttery and beautiful.
You've got to give Van Wuffen this much: The biz is no misnomer.