It's a sunny random weekday when I find myself wandering through the Tenderloin--YES! IT CAN HAPPEN! No seriously, I was just walking around killing a rare work day off with no particular place to go. Usually it's during these times that I stumble across places I never knew about, either because they are tiny, off the beaten path or new. So it was when I came across a place called CookieLove which fit into all three of those categories.
It's a small narrow space with a cozy sitting space up front and a rather large kitchen in the back popping out--cookies! I felt like I'd done quite a bit of walking and could a little mid to late afternoon pick me up. They have about 12 or so flavors on the menu all for $2.50. Though, sadly, they are out of the one I really wanted to try--the maple bacon chocolate chip! Figures. I'll just have to console myself with some other choices. It takes me a minute or two to peruse and figure out where my taste buds are at now.
Going a little classic and starting with the peanut butter cup. The cookie itself is a standard brown sugar cookie with a little peanut butter mixed in. Take out the peanut butter and you have the recipe and base like you'd find in a chocolate chip cookie. The cookie part was nice, good texture, little soft on inside, little crusty on the outside, it's a good taste profile to start with. It breaks down for me as it's a little on the small side (all the cookies were), the peanut butter cup you see crushed on top is literally all the chocolate you get and the peanut butter taste in the cookie is sparse at best. Bummer, was kind of hoping it was going to be chopped up in the mix of the cookie, but it isn't, thus the descriptions a bit of misnomer. Maybe (more) peanut butter (more) chocolate chip instead?
Well, triple chocolate decadence seemed then be a good bet to get a chocolate fix. Shame on me though for not reading the sign carefully enough as this was also a gluten free cookie. It was thin, so much so, when I picked it up, it bent all on it's own. It was also overly sticky--stick in your teeth sticky. Like a burnt chocolate taffy kind of thing. Definitely not a fan of this particular cookie. Seems like it needs some more finessing to get right or even palatable. Too thin and too sticky just aren't working for me.
I decided I wanted to be a little adventurous and got the lavender white chocolate chip. It's the basic brown sugar base again, still good texture and cooked nicely. They had small samples of this at the register and after one taste I decided to go all in. After one bite it has a nice floral background, some sweetness from the white chocolate, there's a little saltiness to offset the chips. Second bite, oooh, there's a little more floral, little less chips. Third bite, okay, a lot more floral here and yeah, I can see lots of lavender seeds in the cookie. Fourth bite and there is so much lavender on my tongue now my tastebuds are making my mind think soap at grandma's house. Oy! I like the idea of small notes to give you hints of lavender but here's another cookie where it may need refining. First taste fine, the rest, too much, particularly where the lavender is concerned.
I finished out my cookie foray with a chocolate dipped potato chip pecan. The base is sugar cookie mixed with chips and crushed pecans. Flavor wise, this was my favorite cookie with it's mix of sweet, salty and crunchy. Plus you get the semi-sweet dark chocolate nod on one end that adds some great flavor. The bad thing about this cookie is it is way too thin fell apart when I picked it up--and it's not even gluten free! There is promise here. Maybe if they make it thicker or even give up the dip part and just add chocolate chips into the mix with the nuts and chips. Again, a cookie that needs just a bit of adjusting and it could be a real winner for me.
I guess where CookieLove is concerned I'm a bit torn. I'm a cookie fanatic, as anyone who's read this blog knows. And I know this place has only been open a couple months and are thus still finding their footing like any new eating place in this city. I think they have some good ideas, possibilities and flavors that could really burst forth with just a little tweaking here and there. Though I'm still conflicted by the size and price value combo thing I have with cookies. I do think these could be just a bit bigger and thicker for that price. Plus, I am still interested to try that bacon cookie. While I may not at this time be able to fully recommend, I will probably wait a few months then head back to see where they are at. I mean, they are cookies after all and I'm willing to keep trying till I get a good one. Somebody has to right?