Cream & Sugar
If you're a fan of locally owned eateries that serve local products, look no further than Cream & Sugar in the heart of Mobile's Oakleigh District. It's a cafe, bakery, ice cream parlor and candy shop all rolled into one. I was pleasantly surprised by the wide range of items offered and the quaint atmosphere.
C&S is a little off the beaten track of the downtown area. Instead of being in the hub of Dauphin Street, it's nestled in a more residential area. I didn't see a parking lot, instead everyone just parks on the street. It looks like it caters to the more walking and bicycling customers. C&S is really cute. It's really a converted house with a little gazebo on the side and a plot of grass for kids to frolick while parents enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.
|12 oz. Caramel Macchiato $3.50|
Since it was breakfast time when I visited, I decided to go for the whole experience. To drink, I had a caramel macchiato. I'm a bit of a coffee snob as I worked in coffee house from freshman year of college up to about 3 years ago. I thought the amount of espresso was a little weak however the milk was at just the right temperature and the froth was nice and thick. I would have liked a little more caramel drizzle but then I have an affinity for the stuff.
The item on the menu that intrigued me the most was the frozen drinks. I love that the base is ice cream instead of just milk. I would assume it would taste a lot like the Barnie's Freezer from way back when since that was made with an ice cream base. I will be going back to get one of these frozen drinks to compare. At $4.75 for a 16 oz drink, it would be worth it since it's a combination of a shake and a frappe. I also like that C&S serve locally roasted coffee. The barista told me the espresso, regular and flavored coffee all come from Carpe Diem.
|Bagel and Lox $7.00|
I asked about a whole bunch of different things on the menu and was eventually steered to the bagel and lox; which is a smoke salmon and cream cheese on a toasted bagel. It's a simple enough dish but I have not been able to find anywhere in Mobile that serves it. This one isn't quite NY style but close enough. I like that C&S gives you the options of having as much (or little) of tomato and onion you desire. I think the capers break up the saltiness of the salmon and the richness of the cream cheese really well. C&S also didn't scrimp on the amount of salmon on the bagel. There was plenty to cover up both sides of the bagel. It wasn't sliced paper thin either. It's perfect for the average person for breakfast but since it was really dinner time for me. I needed a little something else.
C&S serves breakfast and a limited lunch menu everyday. I'm told several of the lunch items and the goat cheese and crab quiche comes from it's sister restaurant; the Palette Cafe. The barista could not rave enough about the gumbo and several other dishes. I gathered that some of the food is not made fresh daily and not necessarily to order. Instead it's made at the Palette Cafe the day before and then brought over to C&S. It's not bad thing, just something to note.
After getting my fill of bagel, C&S cake case kept on tempting me. There are something call cake balls. Apparently it's cake that been crumbled, then reformed into balls and completely coated with a flavored icing. Think of it as a cake bon bon! How cute. There was such a variety of flavor from red velvet to almond joy and even a pumpkin spice. Each was $2.50 a pop; which is a little high in my book but I understand it's really popular.
On the bottom shelf were cake galore and each slice was HUGE. I zeroed in on the carrot cake because it's been quite a while since I had a good one.
C&S's did not disappoint. There's plenty of carrot in every bite and I like the spices in it. The cake was nice and moist. There was a ton of toasted pecans on the icing which was nice and thick. These cake slices must have been meant to share because they were really big. As you can see, it's three layers about 3/4 inch a piece. Now that's a tall cake and some of the others are even taller. I got about a third of the way through and I was finished. I did try to eat more as I sipped my coffee but that didn't work. I ended up picking most of the nuts off and tossing about a third of cake.
The baked goods are apparently made in house. In addition to the number of cakes and cake balls, there's also cinnamon rolls, muffins, scones and I even saw some cookies out. These are obviously not made the day of, but when you consider other coffee shops have their pastries shipped frozen then is defrosted; I'll take tightly wrapped "homemade" pastry any day. Being wrapped in the clear plastic allowed the pastry to retain it's freshness up to two days after it's baked.
I had great service at C&S. Everything was pretty prompt. It took a little while for my bagel to come out but I wasn't in a rush so it didn't bother me. Both baristas were really nice and answered all the questions I had about the products. I also enjoyed the nice homey feel of the cafe. There's about 8 tables scattered along the walls of the dining area. Some are four seaters and some two tops. It could be a tight fit if there's a crowd but overall nice tables, nice chairs. The front patio and gazebo are two other options for seating on a nice day as well.
For a look at Cream & Sugar's menu, click here. I noticed that they have not updated the prices on the website. It had increased about a $0.50 to $1 give or a take.