Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Doughboys' Hummingbird Cake: A glorious fight to the finish

I pretend not to care. It’s a big piece of cake – far too big for one person to eat in a single sitting. Probably too big for even three people to eat in a single sitting.

But I’m not the average person.

And the hummingbird cake at the recently re-opened Doughboys on West Third Street in West Hollywood is not the average cake.

I stare at my friend’s poised fork with disdain, wanting to shoo it far away from the lush banana walnut cake with its heroic heap of cream cheese frosting.

“He doesn’t even like walnuts,” I pout as he tears off another massive bite of the dessert I ordered. For me. To enjoy tonight – maybe tomorrow night if there are leftovers.

I sigh in defeat. There will be no leftovers.

“What is that?” The couple next to us inquires.

“Hummingbird cake.” I respond, my mouth full from the massive bite I felt inclined to take to keep pace with my friend’s rapidly-moving fork.

“It looks so good,” The man enthuses.

I swallow. “It is. He doesn’t even like walnuts.” I say as way of explanation, then force myself to smile to hide the bitterness that is simmering behind my words.

My gaze returns to the banana bread cake. There will be no savoring of this dessert. I attack it again with my fork – frantically trying to secure as much as I can before it disappears into my friend’s gaping mouth. It’s a race to the finish line now – do or die hungry time.

I pull the cake closer to my side of the table, readying a vicious snarl should my friend protest.

His fork suddenly retreats from the plate. “Uhh… that was a lot of walnuts.” He groans, his face paling.

I look up, feigning concern. “Oh? Do you feel okay?”

He frowns. “I don’t know. It was a lot of walnuts.” He repeats, his face further paling at the mention of the word.

“Do you want some tea?” I ask sweetly, extending my cup of loose leaf chamomile across the table.

He reaches for it, and I smile – victory is at hand. I align the cake under my chin and scrape up every last tender crumb while he busies himself with my tea.

Next time – and there will be a next time – I’m ordering this bad boy to go.

8136 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 852-1020


cyberHag said...

Oh the worst! It was like you had to declare your sovereignty in Cakeland. I feel for you;-)

Jenn said...

I love doughboys!! I'm so glad they re-opened. I used to get the after school special all the time. That or a caprese sandwich. I have to try ther cake.

Ashley said...

Ha, now next time I'm going to be imagining this inner monologue!

That cake reminds me of the Bar Louie days!

Gastronomer said...

These inner battles are getting out of control. What you need to do is look your pal in the eyes and say, "BACK OFF!"

Admittedly, this approach would make for a very boring blog post.

yutjangsah said...

I've found, from experience, that subtle body language works best at asserting dominion over a cake, to wit, putting your elbow around the cake like a moat and licking the frosting every inch of it with you tongue. This is a very classy way of signifying, hey, I kind of think this is a dessert for one. Try it. I swear it works.

Diana said...

CyberHag - I did! I think I've declared it loud and clear now. He's read the post. :)

Jenn - I've never had the after school special! My go-to order was always the soup au pistou and basil chicken salad.

Ashley - Diana doesn't share food!!! ;)

Cathy - Haha yeah, though it would have been amusing to see my friend's reaction when I told him to "Back off!"

Sook - Next time I do this. Thanks for keeping me classy, lady. I can always count on you to set me straight.

Bianca said...

I've always been meaning to try hummingbird cake! We finally have a KitchenAid so I hope to make it soon! Til then I'm going to Doughboys!

Esi said...

I'm not a big banana cake person, but I know that DB cream cheese frosting is to die for. I would totally eat the whole thing...and maybe you could have a bite.

Anna A. said...

Lol, Nice visual of the entire scene there. Did Hank survive the walnuts? If you shared this with me, I wouldn't eat any of it since I don't like banana flavored things, but I do like the name Humingbird Cake =))) Cute!~!!

Diana said...

Bianca - Do you have a recipe for it? I'm dying to recreate it at home!

Esi - This is definitely more like a spice cake than a banana cake. I think you'd love it -- though might be hard to order it instead of the red velvet!

Anna - I've been talking to him all week, so I think he survived okay! I'll take you next time since I know you'll keep your TALF paws off!

pblanton said...

I am a huge fan of banana cake, but we call it banana bread around these parts. However, I prefer mine with pecans rather than walnuts; and we eat it frostingless, slathered with melted butter.

Almost everywhere you order banana bread, it comes with walnuts. Wherever I take mine, people always say, "That's the best banana bread I have ever eaten!"

And it is. Recipe here...