Restaurant Review: Bakery Gingham
With screams of glee, they enter in twos and threes. Young and old, shy and bold, they stream in continuously. To a shop in German Village that gives adults the Peter Pan privilege to be just like kids again.
They pass by a huge and wacky cartoony cake that could only be described as Seuss-ian; they crowd gleaming glass cases with their "feed me sweets" faces and the scene is all very amuse-ian.
Yeah, this place sure knows how to bring 'em - this kooky quaint cupcake salon called Bakery Gingham.
There ought to be a gym on every other block in German Village. Because from vintage cream-puffing bakeries like Juergen's and Schmidt's to ultra-modern dessert artisans like the incomparable Pistacia Vera and Yosick's Artisan Chocolates (>), the enchanted old village's clickety-clacking brick streets are the attractive home to a wealth of top-shelf sweet shops.
By joining the mix of old-world traditionalists and up-to-the-minute desserty high artists, Bakery Gingham is wisely capitalizing on the single-serve craze that's holding our sweet-tooth nation under its pastel spell: the cupcake.
Pulling up to Bakery Gingham, you'll see its signature tint - hot pink - rocking the awning that blares out from its vintage black and white tile. Inside, it's a bright little wonderland full of whimsy - and sugar.
Separating the big back-of-the-store baking operation from the small front-room shop are lively candy-striped curtains; beyond these there's a nifty geometric paint job in smooth tones of blue, green and more pink. These fanciful shades blend well with the artwork on the walls, many celebrating sweet treats, and the colorful cupcakes themselves.
There's three chairs and you can get a cup of Cup O' Joe coffee if you want it, but what I observed on a recent afternoon was a controlled in-and-out stampede of eager people getting cupcakes to go.
One whole case is devoted to them ($2.50), and the Technicolored kiddie-fun flavors vary weekly. In general, they feature bright, moist cakes beneath buttercream frosting fortified with mouthfuls of sugar. The cupcakes are also frequently crowned with bits of commercial candies.
Some flavors to look out for: supermoist, jam-loaded strawberry bearing Gingham's signature color on its frosting; the new hockey-celebrating Blueberry Stinger, with a Boo-Berry tasting cupcake beneath a cream-cheese buttercream frosting; and a deep and intensely flavored Haute Chocolate.
Filling up another case in Bakery Gingham are cookies ($1-$2). Like the cupcakes, they're homey, not fancy, and sort of like really great bake-sale fare. Expect to see these: dense, chewy and oaty chocolate and peanut butter "No Bakes"; thick and satisfying Oatmeal Butterscotch Banana; and buttery little Thumbprints garnished with blackberry jam.
Bakery Gingham will also produce made-to-order special occasion cakes - a fun browse through their photo album of past creations is yet another romp through a world of sweet indulgences.
189 Thurman Ave., German Village
Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily
E-mail G.A. Benton at email@example.com