A few weeks ago, on a swelteringly sticky day, the Food Snob was traversing Main Street and something caught her eye: a sign for basil lemonade.
The sign told the Snob to walk around the side of the building, next to the backside of Joe King's and Eagle Square Deli, to get a taste of what was sure to be a refreshing beverage. Unfortunately, a different sign greeted the Snob on the entrance of the cafe, Irresistible Cravings Bakery and Eatery, telling her that the owners would be back in five minutes. Having less patience than a barn fly, the Snob decided to try back another time.
Last week, the Snob brought her mom to see what this cafe, which opened five months ago, was all about. Inside was cozy yet classy, with nice mahogany furnishings. There are a few spots for outdoor seating, a definite plus, as well as a few tables inside. The space inhabits about a third of what used to be 55 Degrees, the now-defunct wine bar. The front section serves as Christian Michael Salon, so don't be too surprised if you overhear a bit of barbershop gossip coming from the curtained glass door at the front of the cafe. The narrow layout is a little strange: As you walk in, the kitchen is immediately to your right, with a coffee station and breads to your left. Seating is in the back, and you order near the bar, where all the pastries are.
The menu is pretty basic, featuring mostly build-your-own sandwiches (though if you request it, they will make you a salad, as they did for the Snob's mom, who's on a restrictive gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, sugar-free, fun-free diet) and a few specials, like a French beef sandwich with seasoned roast beef on a French baguette with Boursin cheese spread, and a Tuscan chicken panini with marinated chicken on focaccia bread with fresh basil, tomatoes, parmesan, provolone and mozzarella cheeses with balsamic vinaigrette. The specials change on a weekly basis, and the cafe also serves soups and chili that change daily.
The Snob ended up with a different special (they were all out of the Tuscan chicken): a chicken sandwich with smoked ham and pineapple on asiago bread and grated asiago cheese. The combination was unusual but really nice, and the chicken had a great peppery taste. All the sandwiches are $6 - not a bad price, but they don't come with any kind of side, and the meal looked a little sparse on the plate with nothing to accompany it. The Snob's mom wasn't thrilled with her salad, which had a little meat and few veggies besides the lettuce, but, as Mama Snob admitted, "It's hard to get excited about salads when it's all you can eat."
What's cool about the cafe is that it roasts all of its own meats and bakes its own specialty bread, with a variety that includes baguettes, focaccia, ciabatta, harvest grain and sweet breads. In addition to an impressive selection of pastries - cupcakes, cookies, danishes, muffins and tarts - you can also find jams, seasonings and spice rubs to take home with you.
All told, the bill, with two raspberry iced teas, came to $17.44. The cafe isn't anything the Snob would go out of her way for, but it's a nice change to the downtown sandwich grind, and the space itself is definitely worth checking out. Plus, the pastries looked awesome. On second thought, maybe the Snob will make a second trip.
Irresistible Cravings Bakery and Eatery
55 N. Main St., Suite #2
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.