When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out — and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).
Restaurant: Lilac Bakery
Location: 2747 East Indian School Road
Open: About three months
Eats: Cookies, pies, scones, biscuits
Lilac Bakery is one of the newest bakeries to open on Indian School Road in recent memory. The shop officially opened its doors on February 10 and is run by baker Lauren Paulsen. According to the shop's website, the Washington state native started working in a restaurant at the age of 15, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Saint Helena, California, in 2011, and opened Lilac less than two months ago.
The bakery takes its named from the exterior walls, which are painted a bright purple color. The inside decor is relatively sparse, but the space doesn't feel cold. The centerpiece of the building is the floor-to-ceiling windows that fill the bakery with light, and the highlight is two gleaming glass cases that house fresh baked cookies, cinnamon buns, lemon bars, pie slices, and savory biscuits. Gluten-free and vegan options are available too. Guests also can purchase tea and Passport coffee. There is seating.
The Facebook description of the bakery reads, "Our baked goods are made from scratch using wholesome ingredients and authentic spices without preservatives, processed or artificial flavors added."
You can taste that in each item gleaming under the glass case. In this day and age, it's refreshing to eat a baked good that's not overly sugary. Best of all? The prices here are hard to beat. The most expensive thing in the glass case was $6 pie dough.
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We really enjoyed the chocolate and blueberry scone from the scone selections that rotate daily. Ask the staff to warm it up for a crumbly breakfast treat.
We admired the adorable presentation of the strawberry shortcake. Two crumbly shortcakes that tasted like sugar cookies were sandwiched in between a spread of fresh whipped cream that was dotted with strawberry slices. We appreciated the firmer texture of the shortcake. Like the scone, this wasn't overly sugary either and tasted homemade.
The colossal fudgy brownie (about the size of two packs of playing cards stacked on top of each other) was a truly decadent and rich treat. The only misstep among the items we tried was the bacon biscuit. The bacon tasted good and was distributed evenly throughout the center of the biscuit, but the crust was both too firm and too chewy. We'll chalk it up to the fact that we purchased this at 2 p.m. and it had probably been sitting out for a while.
Lilac Bakery is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit Lilac Bakery's website.