Gracious Bakery and Cafe recently opened up in the Woodward Design + Build building on the corner of S. Jefferson Davis Parkway and Euphrosine Street. You know, that no-man’s land between the canal by Earhardt and I-1o. Gracious is an easy place to zip past, but we recommend that you don’t. Coffee, breakfast, lunch and dessert are all available here and, to date, have all been fantastic.
I’m no coffee buff, but I know what I like. I keep my coffee simple and I find that most coffee you can buy just doesn’t measure up to what we brew at home, to the point that I’ll skip coffee all together than pay for a cup most anywhere else. So far, I’ve found that Gracious a welcome exception to that rule. As Gracious is on the way to my weekend activities, I’ll definitely stop by for a cup if I didn’t have time to make it myself or if I need a little more pick me up. Granted, I’m not a fancy coffee drinker so you’re on your own for the espressos, cappuccinos, etc. but if you can pull off good coffee, I’d say that is a great start.
Gracious’ breakfast has proven similarly reliable. Tasty, filling and not over the top expensive. The pastry menu is pretty varied and covers both sweet and savory. My favorite pastry when I’m in need of something a bit more filling is the Black Forest Ham, Ricotta + Gruyere Brioche. The first time I had one of these reminded me instantly of my lunches on the run in Paris, the ever-present croque monsieur.
Speaking of lunch, that is where we have the most exposure so far with Gracious and it has been as promising as breakfast and pastries. We’ve pretty much made it through most of the lunch menu, which consists of (mostly) sandwiches and a few salads. Cupcake’s favorite sandwich so far has been the Rosemary Crusted Roast Beef, while I’ve preferred the Soppresata + Coppa. The Meatloaf sandwich was good, but seemed to consist of more bread than filling.
One thing I found disappointing about the sandwiches was the promised sides. Each sandwich comes with a small side salad or chips, but they seem to be afterthoughts and I’ve found neither particularly fitting. The small salad certainly is small, almost to the point of being non-existent. And the chips are plain blue tortilla chips, which is disappointing when the roast beef or coppa really call for some great kettle potato chips. The disappointing sides are pretty easy to overlook because the sandwiches are enough on their own and with the fair pricing, you feel like the salad or chips are a true lagniappe.
Gracious hasn’t been open long, but it has been making a great first impression. Not just with us, but across the city. Gracious isn’t out-of-the-way for us, but if it was we’d make the trip. And so should you. Best of all, we haven’t even told you about the amazing looking desserts.
Gracious Bakery and Cafe
1000 S. Jeff Davis
Monday – Friday: 6:30 am – 3:00 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 2 pm
If you’ve checked out Gracious, let us know what you think.