fresh as a tendril: new leaf pastry kitchen.

New Leaf Pastry Kitchen feet signI hate my winter wardrobe. I can’t really even call it a “wardrobe.” It’s this weird, random collection of clothes that kinda fit and are kinda warm and look semi-okay, accompanied by shoes that make my size-eleven feet look Elfin and an over-sized coat that’s only over-sized because I’m too tall to shop in the kids’ department. Pants, especially, cause me a great deal of inner turmoil. To put it simply, I just don’t have flesh where pants makers expect people to. Once in a blue moon, I find some pants that “fit” (meaning, they reach my feet and they don’t fall down) and I hold on to those pants til they’re completely threadbare, even if it means they go out of style.

It was one of those mornings where I couldn’t even approach “content” with my pants selection. Every pair I owned was strewn across the bed and I was officially running late. I was supposed to be at the New Leaf Pastry Kitchen at 9:30 to meet Brandy and the kids. But no — there I was, putting on and peeling off pair after pair of jeans. Ugh. I finally chose the pair I felt the best in and headed out the door. I warned her via text that I was wearing my 1996 mom jeans. And that’s no joke: this pair of jeans was one I’d gotten ages ago, and their time had definitely come and gone. She replied, “F-R-I-E-N-D-S.” Ha!

And then I started reminiscing about that show. (What a lame title for such a clever show!) My favorite one is the Christmas-themed one where Ross dresses up as the Holiday Armadillo. Then I remembered that Friends even made fun of pants crises: the one where Ross wears leather pants and then gets stuck with them halfway down in the bathroom of his date’s apartment. We all learned a lesson that day: lotion + powder = paste. So I was grateful I was not in that predicament. Turns out Brandy was a little late, too, so we all arrived, and everyone was wearing pants, even if they were 1996 mom jeans.

New Leaf Pastry Kitchen patioNew Leaf is located in the Hardesty Higgins House, in the area where Mrs. Hardesty’s Tearoom used to be. The cafe is bright and spacious with several tables and a self-serve coffee station. Enticing concoctions fill the display case, some delicate, some sturdy… all exceptionally beautiful, almost too pretty to eat. New Leaf offers celebration cakes (by special order), morning pastries, European pastries, “savories,” cookies, and breads. They also offer classes and workshops: coming up on February 13 is a class on making Passion Fruit Cream Puffs, from 6:30 – 8:30pm.

New Leaf Pastry Kitchen displayAs hard as it was to choose, we all made our selections and sat down to dig in. Bree chose the Chocolate Bouchon, which is sort of like a brownie shaped like a tall muffin. Cal was very excited about his Chocolate Raspberry Macaroons.

New Leaf Pastry Kitchen macaroons New Leaf Pastry Kitchen chocolate bouchonElla picked out a warm, tender Apple Strudel Tart served with vanilla ice cream… so silky and decadent!

New Leaf Pastry Kitchen apple strudelBlake ordered the Dark Chocolate Scone, and Brandy chose the Sweet Potato Biscuit with Polyface Sausage and Cheddar. I think I got the best deal by tasting a little bit of everyone’s food, and I can honestly say that I could eat that sweet potato-sausage-cheese number EVERY DAY.

New Leaf Pastry Kitchen sausage biscuit New Leaf Pastry Kitchen sconeWhen you take a look at the menu online, you’ll notice dozens of items listed. They rotate through menu items, balancing variety with fresh, seasonal ingredients. So when you go, you may or may not see any of the items we’ve mentioned here. But you’ll find something just as fabulous, and their system is a reason for you to return frequently!

The New Leaf Pastry Kitchen is located at 212 S. Main Street in the Hardesty Higgins House, diagonally across from the Yellow Button. You can try them out tomorrow! They open at 9 every day but Sunday. Enjoy!

Copyright © 2012-14 · All Rights Reserved · ilovemyburg.com. Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.

 

burg bites no. 3: shank’s bakery

Shank’s Bakery causes cravings. I know because I’ve been going there regularly since they opened when my daughter was two and continuing through my second pregnancy—the cardamom-banana bread was something I had to have at least weekly, and then it just became a family tradition for us. The kids and I visit the bakery every Saturday, and in the summer, Tuesdays too, before we head to the Farmers’ Market.  You just can’t go wrong with this place.

On this particular evening, I only got a cup of decaf—Mexican Esmerelda, to be exact, roasted by Lexington Coffee Roasters.

The kids shared three mini cupcakes (the icing is to DIE for) and one Valentine’s Day star-shaped cookie with the word “when” on it. Maybe that’s an inside joke I don’t understand, or maybe they left off the question mark, or maybe it meant, “When you wish upon a star…” At any rate, in the few seconds it took you to read that, the cookie was devoured and but a memory.

 Okay, so here are a few reasons we love Shank’s Bakery:

1. The design. It’s slick, it’s sleek, it’s classic. The white walls and black floors… the one red accent wall with the wood-paneled and granite-topped counter… are clean and minimalistic. Simple. Uncomplicated. A reflection of the foods served there. I love the curve of the old-school display case, which is refrigerated, by the way, because none of their goods contain preservatives. And that looooong wall of floor-to-ceiling windows makes the modest space (fifteen seats) feel expansive.

2. The food. I love being able to get a wholesome dessert. I mean, calories are calories, but at least I know I’m not feeding myself or the kids processed and nutritionally empty foods. If you’re gonna indulge, make it worthwhile. For such a tiny place, they have a wonderful variety of breads, breakfast pastries, desserts, coffee drinks, teas, and smoothies.

Our favorites
* multigrain bread. We usually devour the whole loaf in one day. Cut the thickest slice you can fit in your toaster, toast it, apply a generous layer of butter, and ahhhhhgggggg. <drool>

* Danish. Specifically, blueberry.
* cupcakes. They are a delicious vehicle for the melt-in-your-mouth icing. I’m not kidding.
* snickerdoodles.
* and those adorable 4-layer, 6-inch cakes. Recently I bought one just because it was pretty. I couldn’t resist. It was pretty dang delicious, too.

The bakery is conveniently located on Water Street at the parking deck. Take a moment out of your day to visit them soon. Chances are you’ll see me there, cleaning up the nearly full cup of milk my son knocked over or scraping icing out of my daughter’s hair. And apologizing to all who had to witness it.