I believe it was Marie Antoinette who once said, “Let them eat Tastykakes.” Or maybe that was just the Marie Antoinette impersonator during the Storming of the Bastille re-enactment during Philly’s Bastille Day celebrations of years past. Regardless of whoever said the quote, we should heed the advice.
Tastykake, of course, is a Philly original, serving wonderful baked products for close to 100 years. Sure, it merged out of necessity with Flower Foods, Inc., but that doesn’t mean it changed any of its recipes to its krimpets, kakes and pies. And one of the best things about Tastykake products is that you can incoporate them into other foods, such as milkshakes, ice cream and blended alcohol drinks. Thanks to the good folks at The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (Visit Philly) and Foodspotting, I had the opportunity to take part in an “Eat Up” tour of various Tastykake-inspired dishes throughout the city.
The first stop on the tour was SquareBurger, which is Stephen Starr’s burger and shake spot at Franklin Square. There are a lot of great features about Franklin Square, including the carousel, mini golf and green space, but SquareBurger is a must-visit. The burgers are solid, though they are for another time. We were here for the Cake Shake
The Cake Shake has Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpet and caramel sauce blended with vanilla ice cream. One sip of the Cake Shake is all you need to get hooked on it. The butterscotch blends well with the caramel and vanilla, creating a wonderful sugary flavor. As a bonus, the cake chunks at the bottom are great for scooping out the remaining ice cream. The regular Cake Shake runs $4.50 at SquareBurger. It may seem steep, but think back to Pulp Fiction, when Vincent is skeptical about a $5 milkshake until he tries it. “This is a pretty f—— good milkshake!”
Next was 10 Arts. New Chef de Cuisine Nathan Volz laid out a tantalizing spread of Butterscotch Krimpets and Kandy Kakes. We should all be so lucky to have just stacks of Tastykake products around us.
Then, Chef Volz brought out the “main course,” Tastykake ice cream. As Chef Volz described the process of making the ice cream, the cream is actually infused with peanut butter, and the production takes a few days. Tastykake ice cream is brought out in the summer and served as part of 10 Arts’ ice cream/sorbet assortment (3 for $10). I would describe the taste of the ice cream as decadent and rich. Also, the cone is wonderful.
The final stopping point was Square Peg, a recently-opened restaurant featuring Executive Chef Matt Levin. With its theme of fun and diner-inspired food and drinks, Square Peg has a lot of great selections on the menu, such as meat loaf, fried chicken and tacos. Appetizers include favorites like Deviled Eggs (pickled mustard seed, wasabi mayo) and Bar Bacon (house cured).
Its featured Tastykake product was the Apple Pie “spiked shake.” Jim Bean, White Tail Caramel Whiskey, Apple Pie Tastykake and Apple Pucker Vodka, topped with fresh cinnamon and some pie crust pieces. Needless to say, this drink, regularly priced at $9, packed a little more punch than the Cake Shake. You can definitely taste the alcohol, but the apple pie flavor also stood out. It was a great drink.
All of the food and drink selections were delicious. The only disappointing thing about the tour? No one has yet incorporated Tastykake products into entrees. Someone should find some inspiration and get to work on that.