I accidentally found this place as I was walking down Seneca Avenue in Ridgewood yesterday. The first ting you will notice about Rudy’s when you walk in is the glass displays of delicious cakes and pastries.
It might be hard for many to pick a selection because everything looks good. But knowing it was an old German bakery, I already knew what I wanted. I ordered the black forest cake with tea. The cake was served in a cup, which I did think was weird because who eats cake in a cup? But it did not change the taste! The frosting was not too sweet, and it was made from whipped cream, so it was light. The cake itself was good, but the real good stuff was the cherries, especially because they were my favorite maraschino cherries, and their liquid. I was happy that they did not clash too much with the chocolate.
Black forest cake, or Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte, originated from the Black Forest region of Germany. It was named not for the Black Forest itself, but for a liquor from the region called Schwarzwaelder Kirschwasser. It is the most well known of any German cake. In fact, the cake is taken so seriously that Kirschwasser, which gives the cake its full, cherry flavor, is a mandatory ingredient for cakes to be marketed as Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte.
Rudy’s has been a staple of Ridgewood, Queens since 1934, right after the wave of German immigration in the beginning of the 1900’s. Despite the area changing dramatically since then, German can still be heard in the streets, although it is more likely in Glendale than Ridgewood itself.
Along Myrtle Avenue, it has become fully developed with boring chain stores. But after your shopping, don’t forget to support the local businesses too! And who knows? After a trip to Rudy’s Pastry Shop, maybe a Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte will end up on your family’s table this year for the holidays.