I rarely if ever attend a business’ so-called “grand opening” or “opening day.” I’ve found such events to be watered-down, mostly PR-driven vehicles that are ripe with a false sense of customer service (think over-staffed and not necessarily even regular staff persons). These types of events also have too many freebies – yes, I said too much free stuff! Think about it, RMT’ers, if you are getting something for way cheaper than you normally would or are receiving it for free, human nature dictates that it’s automatically a better product or service even if it’s not that great to begin with. Oh, and not to mention that these events are simply far FAR too crowded for my taste; plain and simple, I hate crowds, especially crowds that have no idea what’s going on in a place they’ve never been before.
For all of those reasons and more, that’s why you shall never find me at opening day of Dodgers baseball in the spring, Del Mar Racetrack in the summer, or the mall on Black Friday.
Now a day after a grand opening – color me there! I’ve found that the day-afters generally are the best way to get a truer sense of a new store or restaurant and their products. My take is that you are catching that business the day after their public debut and thus in a much more relaxed and honest atmosphere. Their guard is down, they are back to normal business pace, and in turn, they’re usually in a much better mood – all which are things that put me in a good mood as well, and definitely put me in a better position to actually buy a little something, too!
So when a friend of mine told me about a Grand Opening last weekend for a new bakery in town, Bundts on Melrose, I looked over the advertisement and decided that Sunday would be my day to pop in for some cake (PS – Saturday was the Big Event). In a crazy coincidence I’d JUST driven past Bundts on Melrose not the day before my friend told me about this place, and I’d already memory-banked it as a new place I wanted to try ASAP due to my obsession with anything bakery-related (you can read about my donut obsession here and here and my other bakery-related posts here). I actually can’t remember now why I didn’t stop that day I drove by the first time, but good thing I didn’t as it might not have even been open for business yet!
Here’s the short and sweet summary on Bundts on Melrose. One, it’s not on Melrose or anywhere close, but tucked back in a small mini-mall in the 4100 block of Long Beach Boulevard just south of Carson Street in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach (CA). Two, yes, they just sell bundt-style cakes – for now anyway (not sure of future plans). Finally, there’s an ample variety of cake flavors to choose from on a daily basis; on the day we were in, the flavors offered were vanilla, red velvet, pineapple, German chocolate, lemon, strawberry, orange, and caramel, and three of those six were available for free sampling (vanilla, orange, and caramel).
There are two sizes of cakes, regular and minis. Regular cakes are 4 oz. each and minis are 1.5 oz., and pricing is one regular cake for $5 or two for just under $10 or six minis for $10, plus other counts and pricing available depending on quantity and sizes desired. If you calculate that one out, RMT’ers, you will find that getting a nice little sampler box of minis versus just two regulars is a much better and tastier value.
As for the taste, the best way I can describe the texture is that of a nationally renowned creamy, crispy donut crossed with a more traditional old-fashioned glazed donut or buttermilk bar. All of the bundts from Bundts on Melrose literally melted away in my mouth bite after bite, especially the orange cake as it was fresh and hot from the oven within the hour of our visit; the orange flavor also resembled that of a 50-50 ice cream bar. We also brought home and tasted the vanilla, lemon, and strawberry cakes. T’s favorite was the vanilla (of course) and C and I look forward to getting more of the lemon cakes in the future. All of the bundts are glazed lightly and dolloped with a dot of cream cheese frosting in the center of the cake, giving it just the right touch of icing to let folks taste the cakes for what they are: Scrumptious.
Bundts on Melrose is open six days a week (closed Wednesdays) for all of your bundt cake needs. Whether you walk in to get a small box for a play date (hint, hint) or you need to call ahead and order larger quantities for a catered event, Bundts on Melrose’s owners will be there with smiles on their faces and a friendly, helping hand to ensure that you CAN have your cake and eat it, too.