Days after my Road Trips For Food (RTFF) to Alaina’s Bake Shoppe and Café in Palm Beach Gardens, I am still smiling just thinking about the incredible lunch 12 of us had there.
I have passed Alaina’s for months now but had not wandered in. Fortunately, a friend told me that this would be a terrific place for an RTFF. Concerned that it would not be big enough to accommodate a large crowd, I called and spoke with Alaina, who reassured me that this would not be a problem.
I enjoyed chatting with Alaina and learning about her roots in the kitchen. She is passionate about food. Alaina told me that she has had a sweet tooth (sound familiar?) and a passion for baking since she was 8 years old. Everything that Alaina learned came from her mother and grandmother. I am so thankful that they were such wonderful teachers.
Alaina Sabatello owns and operates Alaina’s Bake Shoppe and Café. Alaina manages the day-to-day operations, establishes the menus and is responsible for ALL the baking and baked goods. Brent Witherell, Alaina’s fiancé, is responsible for the café, establishing the menu with Alaina and creating the Panini and assorted sides. In keeping with an, ‘All in the Family’ theme, sister Carlina Murigo is responsible for overseeing the guest services and dining area.
The restaurant runs like a well-oiled machine: all 12 lunches came out at the same time…something most restaurants find challenging. Everything served at Alaina’s is made in-house, including the bread for their sandwiches. I am not a big sandwich eater. I tend to save as much room as possible for dessert and bread has a tendency to fill me up. Yet, when Carlina brought the bread out to show us the choices and as I read through the menu, I could not resist trying a sandwich.
After all, with choices such as ‘Two Pigs & a Birdie,’ ‘What the Cluck’ and ‘For-Getta-Bout-It,’ it simply begs the question, “Which one?” I opted for the ‘Fig-In-Delicious’ and after one bite I knew I chose wisely. The bread is out of this world and the sandwich was filled with fresh sliced figs, brie, Italian prosciutto ham, organic arugula and finished off with a balsamic glaze. I ordered a half sandwich and still took half of that home…my kind of sandwich.
Once the sandwich and salad plates cleared, it was time for the main event – dessert. When I spoke with Alaina about the RTFF, she very graciously asked what kind of desserts I like to eat. I told her that I do not have a favorite and was looking forward to trying what she loves to bake. And Alaina does know how to bake.
Out from the back came a pair of 2-tiered dessert plates filled with samples of Alaina’s Neapolitan, Key Lime Pie Bites, Bread Pudding, Chocolate Brownies, Bite Size Éclairs, Bite Size Cream Puffs, Lemon Bars, Panna Cotta, Strawberry Short Cake Shots and Caramel Macchiato Dessert Shots. As if those samplers would not be enough, we were also the very happy recipients of Italian Ricotta Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cupcake, Pumpkin Spice Cupcake, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cupcake and two Molten Lava Cupcakes.
With all those choices one would think we would not be able to try them all. Perhaps all 12 of us did not try every dessert, but I most certainly did. It would be difficult to pick just one favorite, so I won’t even try to do that. The Panna Cotta, Neapolitan, Key Lime Tart and Molten Lava Cupcake were probably the ones I continued to go back for ‘one more bite.’ Yet, I would be hard pressed to pass on the others.
I thought it would be a nice idea to bring home a cookie for Shoshana and Samuel, so I asked Alaina which cookie she would recommend trying first. It was nice to see Alaina struggling to pick just one, since I was having the same difficulty deciding myself. In the end I brought home a Chocolate Chip Cookie and a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie, as well as a Neenee Nutter Butter cookie, which is Alaina’s version of a Nutter Butter Cookie.
I thought I could not possibly fit one more bite into my mouth, but as soon as I got home I simply HAD to try these three cookies. What a mistake that was. They were all so incredibly delicious that I had trouble stopping!
When you go to Alaina’s Bake Shoppe and Café, I’ll bet you will have the same trouble making choices as I. I strongly suggest going with a group of friends, so you can maximize the number of food and dessert options. Either that or bring a really big doggie bag. You will need it.Alaina’s Bake Shoppe and Cafe 4377 Northlake Blvd Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 (561) 318-6945 http://www.AlainasBakeShoppe.com