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Walking into Indulgence Bakery & Café, it has a welcoming feel similar to stepping into a friend or family member’s kitchen with pots and pans on display and the smell of baked goods, fried eggs, meats and vegetables and sweet treats.
Indulgence is a family-owned business that has taken many different forms throughout the years but has remained loved and strongly supported by the community. The family’s first café, Sweet Indulgence (where I was a frequent customer in high school), opened in 1997 in a small building on the corner of El Paseo Road and Missouri Avenue. Then, in 2004, the bakery operations were moved to Si Italian Bistro & Bakery in the historic, two-story brick home on Idaho Avenue. In 2017, after Si Italian Bistro closed, the bakery found its new home, Indulgence Bakery & Café, located at 2265 S. Main St., where I hope it will stay for many years.
While the café’s limited hours don’t always match up with my schedule, I managed to visit Indulgence for brunch with a friend on a weekend in mid-August. I’ll admit that the main reason I often stop by the café is for their cream puffs ($6 per dozen) – made with a light pastry dough and filled with vanilla, raspberry and lemon-flavored creams.
Anyone who has tried the cream puffs knows why they are worth a special trip, and it’s hard to find someone who has tried them and doesn’t rave about them.
But since I was there for brunch, I restrained myself, and ordered the Crepes Rancheros ($10.50). The dish comes with two homemade crepes filled with seasoned black beans and smothered in red or green chile sauce (I ordered Christmas), two eggs (I ordered mine over-medium) and topped with a dollop of sour cream.
I enjoyed the different textures that the dish provided. The fluffy, smooth consistency of the crepes made an interesting and unexpected pairing with the chile sauce and black beans and the over-medium eggs blended well with the rest of the dish.
The dish was filling, but the portion size wasn’t outrageous like it is at some other restaurants. It can be easily finished in one sitting, if you’re hungry enough.
My friend ordered the Southwest Breakfast Bowl ($10.50), which comes with roasted potatoes sautéed with red and green bell peppers, onions and your choice of bacon, ham, chorizo or chicken. The dish is topped with cheddar cheese and two eggs any style and your choice of green or red chile sauce.
One of the things I like about Indulgence is that their menu items are unique. You won’t find another place in town with Butternut French Toast (French toast with a brown butter and sage caramel sauce, crispy pieces of ham and roasted butternut squash), $12; Peach Basil Blintzes, $11; or a Country Fried Chicken Bowl, $10.50.
Full disclosure, I am a pescatarian (meaning the only kind of meat I eat is fish and other sea creatures), so I also really enjoy the fact that Indulgence offers several vegetarian and vegan options, like the Vegetarian Biscuits and Gravy, $10; Mushroom Swiss Crepes, $12; Vegan Breakfast Bowl, $12; several salad options and a Black Bean Burger (with green chile), $10.50, to rival similar vegetarian burgers in town.
Another perk of Indulgence? They offer breakfast and lunch all day, which is wonderful for breakfast lovers and those who like to sleep in late.
The only downside of the café is that if you’re on a diet and avoiding sweets, trust me, you WILL be tempted. If you’re not on a diet, however, or looking for a reason to celebrate, be sure to take in the café’s dessert display. Here, in addition to cream puffs, you will find an assortment of cakes, pies, brownies, bars and more. Whole bakery orders can be placed with 48 hours of notice.
For information about Indulgence Bakery & Café and a full menu, visit indulgencebakerycafe.com or call 575-523-1572.
Alexia Severson may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.