Attached to the lackluster The Fancy Biscuit is the Shyndigz Market and 2Go Café. Shyndigz is the Ron Howard to The Fancy Biscuit’s Clint. The Dennis Quaid to its Randy. The Michelle Pfeiffer to its Dee Dee. Whatever relationship exists between Shyndigz and TFB, with its shared seating and go-between walkway, it’s abundantly clear there’s only one winner in the family gene pool.
Shyndigz Market and 2Go Café functions as the small storefront accompaniment to the bigger full-service Shyndigz Restaurant. Specializing in sweet cuisine with a limited savory menu, it’s a must for our next visit. This time, though, we were fortunate to find ourselves at the Shyndigz Market and 2Go Café, the single best bakery we’ve encountered on American soil. Going to the Market is more than worth a trip of its own, but if you find yourself there in a lucky bit of happenstance after attempting to choke down a fancy biscuit like we did, it’s an absolute godsend.
Skeptical at first, since neither of us lean toward sweets, we couldn’t help but marvel at the ornate layer cakes, bars, and pies displayed invitingly behind glass. Featuring a rotating menu that can be tracked on their website’s monthly cake calendar, the offers that day ranged from Belle Isle Reese’s cake, to Butterfinger, to Spotted Cow (chocolate cake and vanilla buttercream). After careful deliberation, we landed on the Chocolate Funfetti and a slice of the Oreo mocha pie (though the key lime pie and s’more bar I left behind continue to haunt me).
Expecting modestly portioned desserts, we were surprised to open our plastic containers which held a thick slab of layer cake so tall it buckled under its own weight any time you attempted to stand it on end, and a generous wedge of dense pie topped with about 6 inches of fluffy cream. Paul who had approached the test with some apathy, had his taste buds awoken with a flush of revelation after his first bite of cake. “This is just…cake?” he marveled, “I’ve never eaten cake like this. You know how every restaurant we eat at in Richmond becomes the one I want to bring back to Alexandria? Forget it. This is the one!” We alternated between bites of pie and cake, greedily licking the fork before we dove in for more.
The Oreo mocha pie was excellent. A solid inch thick chocolate cookie crust held dense but creamy mocha filling. The slight bitterness of the coffee complemented the tooth-achingly sweet whipped cream flecked with Oreo crumbs and chunks of Oreo cookie.
As good as the pie was the cake was even better. The buttery funfetti icing struck the right balance being neither too creamy, nor too sweet. And the fun bits of sprinkles added a pleasant textural contrast. The chocolate cake with real rich cocoa flavor and the perfect moist crumb shone for its simplicity and adherence to really superb baking technique. We defy you to find a more perfect cake.
Shyndigz proved so good we returned the next day to order another slice of Chocolate Funfetti—this time gluten free and just as remarkable—and a slab of Salted Chocolate Caramel. The latter featured the same perfect cake as the funfetti, this time nestled between layers of chocolate buttercream and house-made caramel. The caramel provided a delicious salty sweet contrast but sometimes leaned a bit grainy. Again, the Chocolate Funfetti won the day.
In anticipation of our next visit, birthdays, holidays, random weekdays—really any day is a great day for Shyndigz cake—we’ve taken to stalking their website for the daily specials. I’m already bereft I’ve missed September 24th’s pumpkin chocolate chip. Each day they accept a number of special order whole cakes. We’ve decided that there are a few must-try flavors that could inspire whole cake orders. For Paul, he’s set on Ultimate Chocolate and Oreo. I’m partial to the Raspberry Almond and Banana. If we decide to share, we’re thinking Lemon Lava.
Would it be insane to order two 5×8 inch cakes, and eat them with plastic forks sitting in a hotel room while wearing plushy white robes? Would it be genius? Asking for a friend.