Thursday, September 3, 2009

Take the Cake

Take the Cake
4137 Hamilton Avenue

A rather unassuming storefront belies the gaggle of goodies inside

Owners Doug and Melissa have a good thing going. Their groovy little restaurant in Northside, Take the Cake, is a perfect blend of savory and sweet. Leave your diet at the door, because as their name suggests, desserts feature prominently. Step into the restaurant and the first thing you see is the glass cabinet showcasing a mouthwatering display of sugary goodness. We arrived in time to get a good look - five minutes later and we would have been elbowing through the crowd for a glimpse.

Communal seating gives diners the opportunity to make new friends

The menu changes daily but always features a couple of vegetarian options; call first or check out their website to find out what's cooking. On the day we visited, the vegetarian specials included:
Spinach Tomato Quiche
Green Curry & Tofu Soup with Jasmine Rice
Mediterranean Salad
Tomato/Green Chili/Cheddar Bread Pudding
Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Bisque

It isn't often that I'm spoiled for choice when dining out, and because everything sounded so good it was with some difficulty that I arrived at the decision to try the bread pudding. Let me just say this: if everything they make is as delicious as that bread pudding, they really do take the cake. Rich and decadent, the pudding reminded me of a thicker, creamier version of the Mexican cornbread my Mom makes, the difference being that we'd never thought to drizzle homemade tomato bisque over the top. I simply cannot convey in words how magnificant it was. With an undercurrent of cheddar and a pleasant jalapeno sting, this dish is unabashed comfort food.

The tomato/green chili/cheddar bread pudding - a hearty hunk of heaven

Locally sourced Amish chicken salad with golden raisins and spicy pecans and greens

It's a good idea to order dessert when you place your lunch order because the sweets can disappear quickly. Everything is made daily from scratch, and no trip to Take the Cake is complete without sampling something from the showcase. My friend and I both honed in on the three-berry cobbler, but in the spirit of research I opted for a sinfully rich chocolate brownie after my friend nabbed the cobbler - before he'd even decided on his lunch order.

Scratch-made three-berry cobbler

Let's look at that again - nom nom nom

Chocolate brownie is chocolaty

The restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday, is open Tues-Fri 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays. Be sure to follow them on Twitter - every Tuesday they tweet a magic word that gives 10% off your bill if you mention it.

Take the Cake on Urbanspoon


Sara said...

That bread pudding looks ah-mazing. Please have your next post include your own attempt at recreating that dish - with recipe included!


k said...

i have nothing to say but everything looks fabulous. your photos are great! sooo hungry.

Veggie Option said...

@Sara: I'm going to give it a shot and will post the results. Thanks for reading!

@K: Thanks! My little point & shoot Olympus Stylus 300 never lets me down.

Chris Salley said...

I eat here almost every Saturday for lunch. It's always good!

Penelope Art & Design said...

This shall be going on my top 5 places I must try ASAP. Thanks for all these posts! Really helps when finding veggie friendly places to eat.