Thursday, September 30, 2010

Weekend Breakfast at Cake Cafe

Before his cakes and pastries were spotlighted in the New York Times, Steve Himelfarb was just a man who wandered the city trying to sell slices of cake. I remember nearly a decade ago when I moonlighted at a Decatur Street daiquiris shop, where a successful afternoon was marked by a $5 bill in the tip jar and an appearance by the "Cake Man."

Today, Himelfarb and I have both progressed into other pursuits without leaving our old ones far behind. I have moved from one bar and into another, and Himelfarb's business now has a permanent home in the Marigny at Cake Cafe, where the breakfast fare draws as much interest as the chocolate and red velvet cakes.

While the long line to order and crowded dining room may deter you from waiting, a little patience will be rewarded as the food comes forth from the kitchen at a speedy pace and a table usually turns while enjoying your first cup of coffee. Outside, trios of tables line the building along both the Spain and Chartres streets sides, and these are likely to be highly coveted now that the weather has begun to turn. Inside, the tables are packed tightly together such that getting to your seat resembles a maze or game of Frogger. The dining room is usually a buzz with chatter from patrons, and you get the sense that every diner is living a carefree life, at least for the duration of that particular meal.

You are advised to take advantage of the freshly baked bagels and breads. Breakfast sandwich (top) comes with eggs and your choice of bacon or sausage on ciabatta, bagel or croissant.; I would recommend upgrading your choice of cheese to a generous smear of fresh goat cheese.

Yellow corn grits are finely ground and cooked into a smooth and creamy texture. The “Healthy Grits” ($8.50) is a generous serving of grits topped with roasted eggplant, mushrooms, and red peppers, plus a scoop of goat cheese. Add two eggs cooked your way for $2, and witness the magic of a flowing egg yolk.The accompanying biscuit is heavy but soft on the interior and crusty on the outside. After eating my first I only wanted another, but The Folk Singer gave me the evil eye when I suggested ordering a dozen to go.

Maybe 2 or 3 items on the menu pass the double digit threshold, even though the simple, well done fare tastes more expensive than that. Fruit pastries are portable breakfast for those who need to eat and run, and sandwiches are also available for those looking for more lunch during brunch. And of course, don't forget a cupcake for dessert.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I MUST eat this soon!!!