You would think that driving down a certain street nearly every day for the past five years would enable you to notice even the most minor of changes on that route. Not so in my case, for although I've used Kelvin Drive as a shortcut back from the gym for the greater part of the past decade, I only just noticed that two "new" businesses had sprung up in a small cottage at the street's intersection with Bissonnet.
Granted, these two establishments haven't exactly announced their presence with garish, oversize blinking billboards. The first, Jami's Fine Foods, is marked by a simple plastic banner, and the second, its co-tenant and sister business The Village Bakery, has an even smaller sign.
That's the reason, I keep telling myself, why I have been oblivious, especially to the latter, because the word "bakery" is usually my irrefutable bat signal.
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When I finally stopped in one drizzly weekday evening, I was greeted by a friendly employee I presumed to be the owner, Richard (online pictures later confirmed this fact). The layout of the small interior is simple but welcoming; there is a counter full of platters of freshly baked cookies, and a side fridge of more baked goods including macaroons and rugelach. Perched on a nearby table is an extensive catalog of The Village Bakery's custom-order confections, which include a giant dragon cake that I may order for myself for my half birthday.
After learning the chocolate chip cookies were fresh from the oven, I requested one, plus a chocolate-dipped macaroon. I was short a few pennies on the bill, but the owner graciously waved his hand at my offer to pay by credit card and told me he hoped I enjoyed the cookies.
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Readers of this blog know I have perhaps impossibly high standards for chocolate chip cookies. The Village Bakery's chocolate chip cookie isn't the best in town, but its salty vanilla dough and high-quality chocolate chunks make it more than respectable. Even better, though, was the macaroon, a compact mound of mildly sweet coconut flakes partially coated in semi-sweet chocolate with a lightly toasted brown exterior.
Now that I know The Village Bakery is on one of my regular routes, it will be hard not to stop by. I've got my eye on their peanut butter cupcakes, and, of course, that green dragon cake. Never mind if it's intended for ten-year-old boys -- that's never deterred me before.