Hoboken, New Jersey, a mile-square town across the river from New York City, is known as the birthplace of Frank Sinatra and baseball. Restaurants turn into clubs at night, the quaint brownstone- and tree-lined streets are filled with 20-somethings who can't afford both Manhattan apartments and beer, and there are a lot of Italian bakeries.
It seems that every block on Hoboken's main thoroughfare, Washington Street, has at least two bakeries serving cakes coated with rich buttercream frosting, fresh bread, and pastries filled with ricotta cheese and doused in rum.
One of the more famous (and delicious) is Carlo's Bakery. When I lived in Hoboken years ago, after my Saturday-morning run I would treat myself to coffee and a pastry there. Carlo's always smelled like powdered sugar and oranges.
The bakery opened in 1910 and has been a working entity ever since. In 1964, it was acquired by Bartolo Valastro Sr. After Valastro died in 1994, the business was taken over by his widow and her children. Bartolo "Buddy" Valestro Jr. showed exceptional talent for baking and soon the small bakery became famous, with many New Yorkers taking the ferry or PATH train across the river for pastries or a fancy cake.
In 2009 Buddy got his own show on TLC. The Cake Boss is a reality show that pairs Buddy's wild creativity with the typical family feuds that come when everyone you know works together 24-hours-a-day.
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SHOW ME HOW
Buddy is bringing his whisk and spatula to the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater Sunday, January 13, 2013, when his Bakin' With the Boss tour comes to town. In the show, Buddy will talk about the family business, and will have interactive cake decorating contests where audience members can show off their talents for prizes. An audience Q&A session and and cake decorating demonstrations will round out the show.
Tickets cost $48.50 and $38.50 and go on sale Friday, October 26, at 10 a.m. at livenation.com. VIP meet-and-greet tickets ($87.50) will also go on sale this Friday.