The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Sweets in Philadelphia: Capogiro and Miel

This entry originally took place on February 27 and 28.

pomelo sorbet and fior di latte
It starts with gelato. As always.

Like the last time I went to Philadelphia, my first fooding stop during my visit two weeks ago was Capogiro, aka, the gelateria I wish we had in New York City. After lazying around on a bench in Rittenhouse Square with Alex (it was an uncharacteristically warm night, perfect for bench-sitting), we met up with Lisa (previously of Jacques Torres' macaron woman fame) and her friend at Capogiro.

I got a cup of pomelo sorbet and fior di latte gelato topped with a free (FREE!) pump of whipped cream. Because what goes better with a creamy, 50 percent dairy-filled dessert than foamy heavy cream? ...Yeah! As usual, both flavors were great—sort of delicate and strong at the same time, that is, not overpowering and not too sweet. Pomelo tastes like a tart-less grapefruit and fior di latte is just sweet milk, or vanilla without the vanilla. You would barely know that the sorbet were dairy-less considering how creamy and smooth it was.

For once though in my whipped cream-loving life, I'd say that whipped cream may have been more of a hindrance than a help. While unsweetened whipped cream goes great in something that, ingested straight, is likely to incite nausea—I'm lookin' at you, hot chocolate from Angelina—when something is already perfectly flavored à la Capogiro's gelato, whipped cream just muddles the flavor. I've learned my lesson.


The next morning Alex brought me to French bakery Miel to fulfill my ever present craving for viennoiserie that, for whatever reason, I rarely indulge in in New York City. Knowing that nothing will live up to the memories of what I ate in Paris is a bit of a deterrent.


But Miel and their display case of golden, flaky pastries ballooned by the leavening power of air and buttery layers did pretty well, besides that having Alex by my side always gave me some sense of being in Paris (it's where I became friends with him).

chocolate croissant innards
Hello, layers.

My pain au chocolat was satisfyingly light and stacked with thin, defined layers. Soft and sturdy with a bit of chew at the same time, oh yesss. The outer crust was not of the delicate shattering armor sort, but you can only ask for so much. I would gladly eat this again.

raspberry croissant alex noms
Alex noms.

Alex's raspberry croissant also appeared to be full of flaky goodness.

lots of cakes

But why stop at viennoiserie when you can have more? More cakes! More tarts! FOR BREAKFAST!

passion cake
Cake time./dd>

We shared a Passion cake made of coconut bavarian cream and passion fruit mousse on a coconut Genoise cake. Basically, mostly light creamy stuff and light fluffy cake. It's lighter than most acceptable breakfast dishes, I'm sure. Nicely flavored and not too sweet.

caramel chocolate tart with salt on top salty caramel tart
Tart time.

We finished with a salted caramel chocolate tart made of a crumbly chocolate cookie crust filled with thick, chewy caramel topped with a dense chocolate ganachey substance. I would've liked it better if the caramel had been saltier and if the textures of the three main parts were more harmonious—the strong goo-force (something that has to do with the measurement of how sticky and resistant something is when you attempt to cleave it from its mother chunk...or whatever) of the caramel made sure that after cutting through the chocolate top and shattering the bottom crust you'd still struggle to free the middle layer of caramel as it clung on with ever lengthening flagellum-like extensions. You know what I mean. I can't say it tasted bad; I just took issues with its structure. If it had been a one-bite chocolate bon bon filled with salted caramel and a cookie center, it would've worked fine.

If only every breakfast could consist of croissants, cakes, tarts, and Alex. How content I would be.

Philly Day 3: Brunch at The Pink Rose, and a Good Dog Burger
Philly, Day 2: Breakfast Pizza, a Most Awesome Brunch Sandwich from Morning Glory Diner


117 S 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Another location at:

119 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

204 S 17th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103


FN / March 14, 2009 7:12 AM

TGWAE - thanks, now I don't feel as guilty as I used to for eating dessert for breakfast, wahahahaha!

Helena / March 14, 2009 8:43 AM

I am positively crying into my crappy peanut butter on toast after reading this!

LaserLiza / March 14, 2009 9:37 AM

You always confuse me, Roboppy, because what you always call pain au chocolat I am used to calling a chocolate croissant ( unless pain au chocolat is something different that happens to look the same). MY BRAIN IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE FROM PASTRY CONFUSION (not a sentence you hear every day)!!!!!!! HELP!!!!!!

roboppy / March 14, 2009 10:46 AM

FN: We shouldn't feel guilty in the first place! Haha.

Helena: Aw.. :( Wipe up those tears. With a croissant.

LazerLisa: It's the same thing, just the French name. You'd think croissant au chocolat would make more sense,, I didn't name it. A croissant with almonds is called croissant aux amandes in French.

Jamie / March 14, 2009 2:31 PM

MMMMM delicious! I suffered a bout of food poisoning tonight... from meat. Im swearing off meat! (for like a week)
but your foods look sooo delish! I feel like i need to make a trip to philly now

Christina / March 14, 2009 4:03 PM

Your definition of breakfast reminds me of an episode of Arthur, "Dessert before breakfast, dessert before lunch, dessert before dinner, dessert before dessert!" Which I tend to agree with, really.

roboppy / March 15, 2009 12:50 AM

Anna: It is a buttload, I gotta say. I should do a post with just croissant innards.

Miss Needle: Oo, thanks for the info!

Olivia: Scones do not fit into the French pastry craving!

Jamie: At first I thought you said you were "sweating meat." Which I am glad you're not doing.

Christina: Dessert before dessert. YEAAH!

Yoko: Noo...I hope that isn't fail! They looked fine (better than ones I've seen in NYC at least) but Mitzy has really spoiled me with her macarons to the point that I don't see the point of eating others unless they're like...OMG AWESOME...or have something special goin on. Then again, the Miel ones were cheap and was probably worth a try. Hm. Next time?

Jesse: Wheaties can suck it.

JerzeeTomato / March 15, 2009 2:15 AM

I told you to go to Miel in 2007 I am so glad you enjoyed it. I just love Rittenhouse Square, so much to do and eat.I so want credit for turning you onto it. Hint Hint

katherine / March 15, 2009 3:11 PM

those pastries looked really good! anyway i've tried the recipe you posted once on big fat chewy chocolate chip cookies and god... they were really good! thanks for sharing and keep eating!!! =D

mary d / March 15, 2009 4:08 PM

Leave it to Amy to lead me to a blog like this while I am eating a Breyer's yogurt.


Free heavy whipped cream. That is eye catching.....but looking at the gelato, I'd pay for it. Even if you think it would have been better without, I'll take my chances. ~Mary

Laura [What I Like] / March 16, 2009 11:14 AM

I do hope you've tried that super dark chocolate gelato paired with pistachio at die for! And next time you're there you have to swing by Metropolitan Bakery for the croissants, pain au chocolate, etc. Yum.

Bonnie / March 17, 2009 11:41 AM

So you were down in my neck of the woods (kinda...I'm an hour away). What beyootiful pastry! I will have to take a trip to Philly, I'm always neglecting it for NYC but I do love that city. Thanks for the luscious photos and review! I always count on your blog for the fabulous food tips.

yoko / March 17, 2009 3:08 PM

I've actually only ever had macarons at Miel, so I don't know how they would compare with Mitzy's. But I would say they're pretty good. But as Irene in her comments said, their madeleines are awesome (and cheap, too), so those are worth checking out next time, too.

roboppy / March 17, 2009 4:48 PM

JerzeeTomato: I should also credit Alex and Carol and Mitzy...and possibly other people for telling me about Miel. ;) But you were one the first! It's a good rec.

Irene: I'll try em next time!

Katherine: OH YEAAH I love that recipe. I never use any others. Not that I don't think there are better ones, but that recipe is good and easy.

Mary: Yogurt is good too!.. ...okay it's not the same.

Laura: Oh noes, didn't try the dark chocolate. Ok, another thing for next time. I gotta try Metropolitan Bakery too.

Bonnie: I hope you make it to Philly now that I have enticed you..with..sugar.

Yoko: If only we had more cheap macaron and madeleine action in NYC.

SuperChomp / March 24, 2009 7:49 AM

Aw man, pomelo sorbet! I want, I need! A non-dairy awesome-fruit flavoured cold dessert? I'm sure that is overwhelmingly missing in my life.

That first pain au chocolat photo looks like a panda face. Although it is missing chocolate ears.

That passion cake looks just like some of the cakes I had in Finland. Moussey and tasty.

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