Draped in fondant flowers and bright swirls of buttercream, Buddy Valastro's cakes would catch anyone's eye?but that's especially true for fans of reality TV. The master baker and his visually stunning creations both star on TLC's Cake Boss, which has filmed at the Valastro family's Hoboken confectionery, Carlo's Bakery, since 2009.
Buddy's cakes have also won national notice beyond the show, including features in publications such as The Knot and Brides. And beyond designing delectable cakes for special occasions, Buddy shares his secrets through hands-on cake decorating classes, which are taught by his dedicated team of bakers at locations throughout New Jersey.
A cake decorating specialist for Carlo's Bakery, Gabby Parisi, talked to us about what it's like to attend the bakery's fondant cake decorating classes (buttercream cake decorating classes are also available).
Are the fondant classes beginner-friendly?
?People find fondant intimidating because the tools and know-how aren?t readily available, but when you come to the class, you realize it?s even easier than working with buttercream."
What types of decorations can students put on their cakes?
"We use water and a paintbrush to apply flowers, fall leaves, bows, and other shapes. It?s super easy once you know all the tricks?you can do almost anything [with fondant], it's really kind of magical. Buddy likes to describe it as the Houdini of cake decorating.?
Are classes available at all Carlo?s Bakery locations?
"Classes are available at our Morristown, Red Bank, and Ridgewood New Jersey bakeries as well as at our Jersey City/Lackawanna Cake Factory. There are no classrooms at our Hoboken, Westfield, or Las Vegas bakeries."
What?s the craziest cake ever made in Carlo's Bakery?
"I?m sure a lot of people will be familiar with the cakes from the TV show, Cake Boss. Buddy always says the craziest cake we?ve ever made was the Transformer, or the life-size Nascar cake."
Maybe you'll be drawn in by the window, displaying baskets filled with rustic baguettes and sweet tarts. Or perhaps the enticing aroma of freshly baked bread will beckon you inside. Either way, it's hard to walk by Choc O Pain Bakery's storefront. Step inside one of the bakery's two locations, and you'll be greeted with glass cases displaying French treats such as flaky croissants, fresh fruit tarts, and cookies just like the ones hanging on the walls of the Louvre. Though the menu abounds with treats for sweet teeth, guests can stop in for simple, yet elegant meals of veggie quiche and sandwiches served on homemade ciabatta.
There's only one real constraint when you're ordering coffee at Bean Vault Coffee—you can't get iced coffee that was brewed hot. The Bean Vault team cold-brews their iced coffee over the course of 18 hours, a process that extracts an extra jolt of caffeine from the beans. Outside of that, however, the drinks are ultra-customizable. There's espresso, traditionally brewed coffee, and pour-over. Vegan customers can choose between
three milks, including coconut milk, rather than having to dilute their coffee with water. Even customers who make their coffee at home have options here: the team can grind whole-roasted beans to suit any home-brewing setup, and they even craft custom pour-over stands upon request.
At Dubliner, folks can drink like the English at this British-infused pub planted in the Hoboken region of Hoboken.
Plan to indulge a bit at Dubliner, though, because they don't offer any low-fat fare.
Catch the sports highlights on one of the TVs at Dubliner.
You won't need to get a sitter before heading to Dubliner — kids are more than welcome at this family-friendly establishment.
Birthday, engagement or baby shower, celebrate any exciting moment with all your loved ones at Dubliner.
Enjoy the beautiful weather while you chow down — with outdoor seating, Dubliner is a great summer destination.
Dubliner also features a DJ and dancing.
Noise levels at the bar can be ear-piercing, so save the t te- -t tes for another night.
Keep it casual at Dubliner — the bar is laid-back and patrons dress accordingly.
You can easily find street parking near Dubliner or pull up curbside and make use of the valet service.
Dubliner is home to many cyclists who appreciate the parking racks outside.
You'll typically spend about $30 per person to dine at Dubliner, so plan your budget accordingly.
Dubliner serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by whenever is most convenient for you.
Find the ice cream flavor that satisfies your sweet tooth at Rita's Water Ice.
The menu doesn't include any low-fat items, so set aside some extra calories for your visit.
Rita's Water Ice can also cater your next party; call today for details.
At Rita's Water Ice, you can easily find street parking just steps away from the door.
You won't find better prices in town than at Rita's Water Ice, so grab all the snacks you can carry.
Head on over to Rita's Water Ice first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening — Rita's Water Ice is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Come for a tasty meal at The Brass Rail that the whole family will love.
The menu at The Brass Rail does not include any low-fat options, so come ready to indulge.
You'll find a wonderful selection of drinks from The Brass Rail's full bar to top off your meal.
Big groups always enjoy coming to The Brass Rail.
Making it through another workweek call for a drink at The Brass Rail.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful weather during your meal at The Brass Rail.
Heading over after work? Make sure to call ahead to reserve your table since crowds tend to pack The Brass Rail on weeknights.
The Brass Rail tosses the jacket-and-tie dress code convention in favor of a more casual dining experience.
Hosting a swanky shindig? Call up The Brass Rail for their catering services.
Enjoy mind-blowing dishes in the peace and quiet of your own home with delivery or takeout from The Brass Rail.
Make use of the generous parking validation from The Brass Rail.
If your preferred mode of transit is of the two wheel variety, you're in luck — there's tons of bike parking outside the restaurant.
Fancy snacks do come at a higher price, but wow are they delicious.
Reviewers rave about the dinner menu at the restaurant, though breakfast and lunch are also served.