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Restaurant lunch highlights:

Uppercrust Bakery

Uppercrust Bakery

EDITOR'S NOTE: Ben Guzick likes the idea of being the Uppercrust Bakery's new owner. Being called the UB Head Chef is a completely different set of recognized qualities for this new bakery owner.

Meatloaf is correct: Two out of three ain't bad

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

uppercrustsfThe GLOB Master is getting more into the idea of finding a lunch spot for a great lunch and an opportunity to write a GLOB review during and after lunch.

You know what I'm talking about don't ya? I am seeing it all over town any more in the most unsuspected places. Students, Moms, business people hanging out in a café with a cup of coffee, maybe a good book, Idly spending their time in the cerebral environs of community gathering. Kind of like being a part of something without giving up your independence, solitude.

A week ago I was downtown on a Friday night waiting for friends in front of the Crane Ramen soup shop in a mileu of hungry noodle soup patrons waiting for a dinner table. Over in the corner of the Crane Ramen patio was a very interesting woman alone, deeply immersed in the pages her book. The symmetry of a horde of hungry diners milling around the door and this single individual, in her own little world free of dinnertime frantic-ness was stunning.

Surprisingly upon returning back that way after dinner the attractive, solo, avowed reader was still content in her corner of the dinner world with her novel.

Drat, curses, I am still kicking myself for the lack of courage and introductions toward this refreshing contrary-to-the-crowd individual on my part.

Those were my thoughts spying two empty tables in front of the Uppercrust Bakery on NW 26th Blvd. near NW 43rd St.

"A dozen customers standing in front of the Flying Biscuit and I will have a perfect table for brunch," I gleefully thought walking into the coolest bakery in N. Florida.

UCBbenGuzikKudos to new Uppercrust Bakery own Ben Guzick for appropriately moving the bakeries opening time to 8:00 Tuesday through Sunday to satisfy the early morning sugar lovers with their food-on-the-run mission of pastry 'gnoshing' before work.

I have a routine every time I walk into the UB.

I check out the unique greeting card racks for any new additions. There a many new Valentines day cards now available that I spent more time than necessary perusing the I LOVE YOU declarations presented in a host of clever, interesting greeting card covers.

I walk around the side counter to see what kind of spectacular, exotic, designer cakes, pies, and pastries are available for that special moment for sharing.

Lastly that will be me standing in front of the counter, in line with today's roses, cookies, and more fresh baked sugary delights than you can shake a serving knife at staring this diabetic down.

UCBcocoaI was thinking about a hot cup of their Hot Chocolate that blew me away the last time I had lunch there with GLOB Staffer Michelle Cardel during the holiday season.. Thick, creamy rich, made with dark chocolate that filled you mouth with luscious, mouthwatering flavor.

Talk about raining on my brunch parade. Sarah from behind the counter frowned, puffed her cheeks and explained, "That hot chocolate was so good," She said apologetically. "You will have to come back next year when we have it during the holiday season," she said with a look of empathetic understanding.

I often think of the artist know as Meat Loaf's great lyric because it fits almost every where so don't be sad GLOBers, two out of three ain't bad.

 

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I use the two-out-of-three analogy and it fits here because I can still order, and be rewarded this brunch hour with two scrupulously, scrumptious, fresh baked sweet and savory UB Roses:

zzGLOBbullet An Uppercrust Bakery Artichoke, Garlic. and Sun-Dried Dried Tomato Rose, $7.25 really looked divine peering out at me from the glass case empathetically suggesting, "Eat me.".

zzGLOBbullet The Peaches and Cream Rose with a giant scoop of buttercream adorning a perfectly toasted Rose with Peach Glaze, $4.75 looked mouthwatering and completely desirable.

While ordering two customers came in curiously inquiring about a cup of the Uppercrust Homemade soup of the day.

"My mom and dad come often for lunch and dad comes primarily for his daily cup one of the six soups: Vichyssoise (potato-leek) Butternut squash, Soupe aux lentilles, Curried cauliflower, Mushroom and wheatberry stew, and Tuscan white bean stew $6.50.

There is a complete Uppercrust Bakery menu at the restaurant link at the bottom of this page.

 

UCBrose

Sarah warmed my savory Rose and I swear it made the melted cheese, tomatoes, artichokes come alive in a cacophony of flavor accented by the sweet tinge of the feaux croissant.

I say feaux as the bakery owner was quick to explain the UB Rose idea is a ling time bakery recipe created by former owner Jackie Duffy.

Because of a head injury a long to me ago I found myself struggling with so many delicious options for this noonday meal.

Gazing at the pastry counter loaded with such a variety of incredible sugary choices I think I might have been happier selecting one rose for nrunch/lunch, and taking six more pastries home with me. (BTW: The GLOB Master suggests you give the UB's Pistachio Pinwheel a try on your next Uppercrust adventure.)

 

UCBpeachROSE

Thanks to Ben's suggestion of the Peaches and Cream Rose – his favorite sweet rose – I was presented with a marvelous looking pastry medallion of peaches, a giant scoop of butter cream, and a very sweet, sugary glaze sitting atop a perfect toasted, sweet rose with a pronounced amount of sugar included in every bite.

I have ten-and-a-half months to consider, rekindle my excitement for the most amazing cup of hot chocolate the GLOB Master has ever tasted.

I can do that GLOBers.

Have you tried the Uppercrust Bakery Almond cookies GLOBers . . .?!?!

 

 

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UCBgifts600

Lunch with Elf is unexpected surprise

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

uppercrustsfIt was the best laid plans of the GLOB Master. The idea was a holiday Gainesville Lunch Out Blog staff gathering at the Uppercrust Bakery in the Millhopper Plaza on NW 16th Blvd to close out 2018 with images of incredible lunch entrees like UB Rose pastries, Incredible quiche of the day entrees, and amazing homemade soup selections.

That was when GLOB Ayuervedic Health Coach Chaya-Sharon Heller informed us she had clients, appointments that prevented her from making our lunch.

Some of the nastiest weather this holiday season set in this Friday morning leaving GLOB Staffer Emeritus Lynn Dirk (Bad cold, cough), and Image Editor Erica Corbett (congestion, head aches), canceling their lunch plans at the last minute.

Lucky for me GLOB Eating Healthy Columnist and Assistant Professor, Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics, Gainesville's favorite Christmas Elf Dr. Michelle Cardel re-assured me she wasn't missing this opportunity of an Uppercrust Bakery lunch with the GLOB Master.

This elf, er, ugh, GLOB Staffer braved the inclement weather thinking a bowl of UB soup would be just the correct diagnosis to combat any flu, viruses, or other airborne illnesses pervading the rainy, wet environment.  As sad as I was feeling for my missing colleagues it was fun seeing friends and holiday well wishers coming to life upon seeing my life-size Christmas Elf lunch partner.

UBmenu300This lunch stop is uniquely special with a variety of lunch items created every morning including fresh home made soups, and sweet and savory pastries. Upon entering the bakery there is a large menu board describing what is on the daily menu for lunch. I noticed the other day they have also the lunch menu on a new menu board outside the Bakery. There is an Upper Crust Bakery menu link at the restaurant link below.

"I love the Uppercrust Soups," Ms. Cardel said. "I could eat soup every day of the week for lunch," she added.

"Oh!" The Elf exclaimed. "Butternut squash AND lentil soup today!"

I was in agreement the soups were delicious. Their daily quiche entrees including the acon & Leek, the Sweet Pepper Sofrito, and pimento Dulce would make any bowl of soup a superior lunch duo.

 

UBquiche

FRESH QUICHE ALERT: If you are thinking of a quiche lunch the bakery makes just enough quiche pies to get them through the lunch hour.

Sadly our 1:00 lunch start resulted in NO QUICHE TODAY!

 

"That's fine," The Christmas Elf remarked. "That is a very large serving of lentil soup I just ordered," She observed.

"No problem Doc," I said. "I'm betting with my Butternut Squash Soup and Artichoke and Garlic Rose I will have plenty to share." I said.

 

UBrose

The roses are amazing inventions of slicing a Croissant in half and adding extraordinarily deliciousness topping to this pastry treat.

If pastry flour wasn't such a diabetic devil for me I could eat one of the roses every day for lunch.

We agreed the lentil, and the Butternut Squash soups were superb. The butternut squash flavor was pronounced, and the broth creamy with a delicious flavor of chicken stock with a tangy bite of occasional onion.

 

UCBrose

I noticed the Elf was enjoying a bite of our Artichoke and Garlic Rose pastry when I offered her a taste of my soup.

"I think you will have to take this soup home M.C." I said. "It is way more than I can finish," I said pushing the soup container toward the Doctor.

 

UCBsoup

"Great," Michelle sad. "I ate all of my incredibly delicious lentil soup," She said between bites of the Rose.

A sumptous lunch surpise was some of the richest, mouth watering, dark chocolate hot choclate I have ever experienced.  In true GLOB lunch out form I was happy to share the deep flavors of my tasty cocoa with my elf lunch mate, albeit in very small sips

Amidst the sound of bad weather all around us our conversation covered all the long time friend bases with topics like friends, children, and parents. Christmas was discussed on many levels including gift giving, buying presents, and making gift lists.

 

UCBelfB

The list idea came me up as the elf saw me scribbling a few bulleted gift items the GLOB Master was thinking about this holiday season.

Rising from the table, and a fabulous lunch hour with a Christmas Elf I pushed my list across the table toward Michelle being sure she didn't forget Mike Sanford.

Thanks for lunch GLOB Master," Michelle said. "And a very Merry Christmas to you and Gainesville's Lunch Out Blog."

Walking away I swear I saw the Elf drop my gift list serendipitously behind her. As the note slowly glided to the ground the paper dissolved into twinkling, sparkling, gold, and silver flakes disappearing into the backdrop of a delightful, rainy, cold afternoon.

 

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UCjulyTOPPER

Have you ever looked into the all glass restaurant entrée cabinet and saw that special something you just had to have? It was Friday afternoon and I was excited about an evening of theater and the Actor's Warehouse Opening Night presentation. Just as importantly theater partner and special friend Kristina Steinfeldt and I have gotten into the habit of adjourning to a good place after the show to discuss exactly what it was we just viewed. The GLOB Master thinks it's true that in the case of formulating opinions about ... art, theater, performances I have found a lively conversation regarding the objectives the screenwriter, director were trying to convey is invaluable. compelling discussion with a willing associate makes a world of difference in formulating a good case, justification for my personal opinion. And speaking of opinions I have salivated over the cake and pastry cabinet at Mildred's Big City Foods more than once here in the GLOB.  The Uppercrust Bakery literally has glass cabinets of pastries and sweets that puts them -- in my opinion -- at the top of sugary dessert wonderfulness. By luck as I walked around the corner of the UC's pastry cabinet I spotted the last berry topped, sugar crystal flecked, butter cream frosting, three layer cake with cream cheese and vanilla bean filling, image above. "Did you make that amazing looking cake for a special occasion," I asked hoping it would be several days old, past peak buying time. "No sir," the staffer said. "We made the cake this morning, we make all our cakes and pastries fresh every morning," The staffer added. I looked at the cake thinking I had never seen such a stunningly looking, 'object 'de gastronomic'. I quickly purchased the cake before I changed my mind. AW's play was engaging, smart, and funny, but in the back of my mind I was imagining what the inside of our discussion cake must look like. After the show we quickly found 'our spot' for stimulating conversation and more importantly examine this pastry delight. I cut the first piece thinking it would add to the image if readers could see the inside of this three layer sugar bonanza. The flavors were amazing the blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries and sugar crystals added the perfect amount of additional sweetness in a cake that was surprisingly not overly sugar-fied. Not eating a lot of sugar any more we split the piece I sliced and as I bit into the cake the icing, filling and yellow cake simultaneously melted in my mouth.

"You know I 'm eating just this one piece Kristina, you have to eat the rest," I said in a serious voice between bites.

Kristina lowered her head, shielding her giant grin declaring, "All right GLOB Master, if I must," she replied with an empathetic look of knowing compassion. I chuckled thinking to myself what a delicious, incredible ending to another perfect theater opening night.

- Mike Sanford

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FA discovers fresh bread nirvana

By Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

There is nothing the Food Adventurere loves to eat more than bread. I can appreciate loaves of seeded rye, warm pressed sandwiches of ciabatta bread and savory scones that adorn the glass cases within bakeries and specialty shops. It takes all I have to not snatch up every baked good behind these glass barriers. I tried for one week to cut out the sandwiches, bagels and pastries that encompass such a large portion of my diet, and it only made me feel ill. Needless to say, bread and flour products are not going anywhere.

uppercrustFRIEND0913jpgI have heard nothing but high regards and seriously-worded recommendations for Uppercrust "artisan bakery and luxury food and wine boutique" at 4116 NW 16th Blvd., next to the Fresh Market. After one last nudge from a close friend, Mariel, right, I gave in to a lunch date at Gainesville's oldest bakery founded in 1981.

While the proximity from campus was not an appealing aspect, I cannot deny the marvel that I felt upon opening the glass doors of Uppercrust. Immediately I was hit with the wafting aroma of rosemary, although its origins would be a feat to track, as there were dozens of loaves of freshly made bread snuggled together and rows of salivating-inducing baked goods, from croissants to "roses" and butter rolls. Not to mention that just around the corner from the checkout counter were stacks of specialty wine bottles and another food case of desserts, teasing and taunting me until I could extricate myself from the area.

 

uppercrustBREADDS0913a

I have found fresh bread nirvana.

uppercrustLEMONADE0913With a plethora of options, my anxiety as a food adventurer was growing steadily, as narrowing down lunch choices was proving to be the most challenging aspect of the day. My friend insisted we order the ham and cheese rose, and from there the ideas snowballed into a carb-overloaded menu befitting an Uppercrust first-timer. The just-out-of-the-oven turkey, goat cheese and basil rose sprinkled with rosemary was a no-brainer, followed by its oven partner-in-crime, the artichoke, onion, garlic and tomato rose. Following suit were the decadently-crafted desserts. After much debate, we ordered the raspberry cream rose and the pistachio croissant. To complete the elegant food feast, we each grabbed a bottle of sparkling lemonade.  There is an Uppercrust bakery menu web link at the bottom of this page.

We decided to sit at one of the small tables in the outside seating area in front of the bakery, which is really the only available seating at the shop. A word of warning: While pleasantly shaded and easily accessible, our dining experience was frequented by one too many love bugs for comfort. Not to mention that the few tables were quite close together.

 

uppercrustPastry-013

But to the fun part: Each selection (right, above and below) was nothing short of a confectionary masterpiece, from the aesthetics to the flavors. Diving straight into the food, the turkey rose was up first: Warm, thick slices of turkey coated the pastry beneath the weight of the crumbly goat cheese, the basil leaves a shaded covering over the compilation of meat, dairy and that rosemary I consistently smelled. The runner-up proved to be the veggie and garlic rose: Flaky, seasoned pastry shrouded the thick layers of clumped grilled artichoke and surrounded the tomato and onion slices as a hallelujah chorus rang throughout my taste buds. Even the simplest lunch option, the ham and cheese rose, reminded me of those warm breakfast sandwiches I used to order to-go from various breakfast shops.

 

uppercrustRaspberry0913

This lunch would not have been complete without the dessert pastries, though, and the two options Mariel and I agreed on were nothing short of an experience. The raspberry cream rose was first, the center fluffy dough contrasting the crisp outer edges sticking to my teeth akin to the sensation of chewing cotton candy. The sporadic dollops of raspberry cream nestled into the flaky croissant layers created the ideal sweet and tangy addition. I couldn't put it down. The windmill shape of the pistachio croissant, up next, offered a hands-on way to section off a helping at a time. The folds of baked dough encased pistachio and walnut pieces in a savory concoction speckled with grains of sugar.

uppercrussPistachio0913a

It took everything I had not to inhale every bite.

uppercrustCOUNTERS0913All of this would not have been possible without the baked — always in-house, I might add — dough that is the moist, flaky base of all these goods and, in my opinion, the true secret to Uppercrust's success. It is the variety and the unique nature of the baked goods that has set also set them apart from other bakeries. Well, it's that and the just-baked, melt-in-your-mouth sensation that every bakery is not able to duplicate, unfortunately. In this case, I was more than happy it did. This food explorer will be a return customer.

My only problem will be consumption in moderation.

The Pluses and Minuses of the Uppercrust Bakery:

The uppercrust + indicators : Unique and varied selection; well made products; quality ingredients

The uppercrust  - indcators : Seating area close together and prone to bugs

Offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about the Uppercrust Bakery. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!

 

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Find your 'old world' Food On The Run here!

by Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

Something about the Uppercrust Bakery (UB) on NW 16th Blvd. exemplifies old world charm. Aside from the familiar fragrances of bread, cookies, and croissants stuffed with chocolate and cheese, there are gourmet and speciality items stacked in every nook and cranny of this store creating a feel of being transported to a french village in another era.

Uppercrust features an assortment of holiday gift options and stocking stuffers. They offer interesting French glassware, linens, fetching hand-made olde-fashioned European cooky molds, ceramics, luxury food products, and unusual wines. Uppercrust also custom creates gift basket to your liking.

uppercrustsf

The cleverness of this bakery/speciality shop is that there are so many unique, interesting and tasty products in this tiny bakery that when you visit you want to wander through the shop inspecting every package or item that catches your eye with the possibility of uncovering a special food treasure.

There is a fabulous array of amazing gourmet delicacies in jars, boxes, and bags and many rows wine bottles with interesting labels.

Plus the folks behind the UB counter are extremely attentive to their customers. I always feel like a valued customer when I enter the cozy confines of this 'other world'. Maybe the friendliness is because thay have so many returning customers. Or is it the UB has so many returning customers because this is a Top Crust bakery selling quality products.

Stopping at the UB the other day to pick up a loaf of their addictive Rosemary garlic bread I noticed they had an extraordinary menu of tasty lunch items available for the customer that was in the grab-and-go, pick-em-up-and-eat-em-up, or -- as we say in the GLOB world --the FOOD ON THE RUN (FOTR) mood.

Several different kinds of fresh baked golden brown pastry, cheese, meat and veggie lunch items are arranged inside a glass presentation case to tantalize me as I walk in. There they sat, their melted cheese, and buttery goodness wafting their bountiful aroma directly at me, or so I thought.

Now I am somewhat of a large individual. I'd like to think that is why I thought it would be OK to buy four or five of these pastry medallion belly bombs. They would make a great lunch.

Reason prevailed however and I decided to be responsible and purchase just two of the Ham & Gruyere Cheese Rose delicacies for my FOTR experience.

Since this was a FOTR moment I didn't have a problem eating one of the 'roses' as soon as I got back to my car. The hard part of this eating exercise was saving the other rose for later.

Allow me a chance here to do a Food Network 'Best Thing I Ever Ate' impersonation:

"What they do is take a thick slice of honey glazed ham, gruyere cheese, fresh herbs, spicy mustard, light pastry dough and bake them into a rose-like shape at a very high heat until the pastry dough is mouthwatering, flaky, and golden brown. Then at that first bite the flavors of this ham, cheese, mustard and herb goodness explode into a glorious mouthful of french cafe heaven."

You know what my mistake was? I should've bought another Ham & Gruyere Cheese Rose to eat while I was writing this UB review. . .

Since I didn't do that, I am going back now to get another one, and I think I will also get one of those Artichoke & Swiss rolls while I'm at it . . . .

The Pluses and Minuses of the Uppercrust Bakery:

The uppercrust + indicators : This friendly, small bakery is filled with very tasty FOODie happiness. Their FOTR lunch items are unique, one-of-a-kind lunch treats including their own, fresh pate perfect for that GLOBer in a hurry.

The uppercrust  - indcators : It's a small, but very popular FOTR stop so be prepared to demonstrate a certain amount of patience while waiting your turn.

Offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about the Uppercrust Bakery. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!

Last modified onSunday, 17 February 2019 15:00

Additional Info

  • Phone Number: 376-7187
  • Address: 4116 NW 16th Blvd., Gainesville, FL
  • Urban GLOB Location: NW 16th Avenue
  • Latitude: 29.674365
  • Longitude: -82.386951
From:

1 comment

  • R. Hong
    R. Hong Monday, 30 November 2015 11:55 Comment Link

    When travelling, I love to try the bakeries and I am always comparing them to Uppercrust. So far, I haven't found any which are even in the same class. Uppercrust does such a good job with their baguettes and pastries that I usually don't have room to try the sweets. I highly recommend any of their savory "roses" (similar to a stuffed croissant).

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