When Audrey Chang was a student at Penn, she dreamed of being an investment banker.
After burning out on real-world finance, though, the 26-year-old is now living out a tastier dream as an "Audamac" baker.
An "Audamac" by another name is simply a French-style macaron. But the rainbow-colored delicacies she's crafting at her new bake shop in Chinatown - opened after a year of selling her sweets in Suburban Station - come with a signature Chang twist.
Inside each tiny meringue cookie sandwich are two fillings, a traditional buttercream encircling a more unusual flavor inspired by her childhood as a Taiwanese-American in Dallas, Thailand, and Japan. Just a few of the nearly 50 flavors that rotate weekly - taro milk tea, salted-sesame caramel, masala chai, and strawberry lemonade - are a clue to her inventive creations.
Her puddings (salted caramel; banana) are nearly as good. And suddenly Chinatown, which continues to evolve dramatically, now has a sweet spot worth a trip.
- Craig LaBan
"Audamacs" $1.50 each, puddings $5 each, Audabon Bakeshop, 145 N. 11th St; 215-625-2806; audabonbakeshop.com