Food Stuffs: Villabate’s Iconic Strawberry Shortcake ‘Burger’


Corner Media’s managing editor Mary Bakija poses with the burger, photo by Bensonhurst Bean

Food Stuffs: Let’s be honest. We’ve all eyeballed Villabate Alba‘s second most distinctive dessert (the first, of course, being their famous orange- and cherry-garnished cannoli) with curiosity and suspicion.

The bakery’s individual-sized strawberry shortcakes look exactly like big, juicy burgers thanks to immaculately glazed and seeded “buns,” and rings of chocolate brownie that can only conjure the texture and shade of a well-done beef patty.

Slightly pricier than Villabate’s other baked goods, the burgers cost $4 a piece. I brought one of these beauties into Corner Media‘s office in Ditmas Park (where Italian delicacies are scarce) last week, and it made me instantly popular among my five colleagues.

Photo by Bensonhurst Bean

Figuring out how to divide the perfect-looking burger among my fellow editors was a challenge. So we took a few minutes to pose the thing for a final photo shoot (see above) before butchering it.

Photo by Bensonhurst Bean

When we finally cut the cake open, half-frozen, real strawberries (ketchup?) tumbled out along with gobs of whipped cream. The plump and juicy berries offered a stark and refreshing contrast to the sweetened bread, the rich cream, and chocolate patty. The brownie was soft and airy, so as not to overwhelm the bread-y bun and decadent filling.

Photo by Bensonhurst Bean

Once the spell was broken, the dessert started disappearing quickly, and pretty soon, the plate was licked clean. All of the Corner Media taste testers gave the burger five stars for presentation and taste.

Photo by Bensonhurst Bean

Congratulations, Villabate, on creating not one, but two fabulous, inimitable desserts that are worth the trek for Northern Brooklyn foodies and tourists alike.

Villabate Alba, 7001 18th Ave,(718) 331-8430. Open 7am until 9pm daily.

Food Stuffs is a column exploring the gastronomic landscape of Bensonhurst and the surrounding neighborhoods. Each entry will cover anything and everything remotely related to food. Because here in Bensonhurst, food is always news.

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  • Larry Litmanen

    Well, this is a very timely article.

    Last week i had a date and decided why not buy two pastries for me and the special lady at Villabate. Total came out to a hair under $10.

    How is it that a pastry is sold for $4.50, i personally love Villabate, love their sesame buns, love coming there for ice cream, love the staff, love the food. But $4.50 a pastry? In Bensonhurst?

    I understand that you do have to pay more because let’s be honest no Italian Bakery can hold a candle to Villabate, it is THE BEST. But still i feel like $4.50 per pastry or slice of cake is a little too much.

    PS my nephews love the Burger Cake.