I like sweet things. A lot. I adopted a pretty wicked sweet tooth from my mother, made only worst by my copious consumption of artificial sugar. Which blah blah, I know it’s not good for me, but my dad is diabetic, and I got into a Splenda and Stevia habit sorta early. One thing I don’t do – aspartame. That’s a teeny bit before my time, and to me, it kinda taste like shit.
All this to say, that my copious consumption of artificial sweeteners in the past, especially during the summers at camp when I’d road trip a lot (diet sodas) has increased my sweet tooth by a ton (the crap in artificial sweeteners tends to do that), and I’m pretty discerning in my sweets.
So, about a week ago (cue Bobby Schmurda dance) a friend mentioned offhand that she’d gone to this bakery/pastry shop. She didn’t understand how serious I was about the shop, and as soon as I left her, I hunted around downtown Raleigh to find the shop. I found it, pulled in, and started to ogle everything behind the glass case, but sadly, I’d forgotten my camera.
The owner came out (his name is Daniel and he has a beard, btws), and saw that I was drooling, and was kind enough to chat with me and help me pick a few treats, and even slipped a few extra in the bag for me to take up and nosh on later. So I grabbed a friend, and headed back just a few days later for a coffee date.
To me, there is almost nothing more therapeutic than coffee, a sweet, and some time with a friend. I left feeling like I had filled up my belly (for one), and filled up my love tank for two. Sweets, words, coffee, and a very golden afternoon with a good friend was so healing.
So technically, LucetteGrace, named for the owner’s daughters, is a patisserie, which a bakery that exclusively serves french cakes and pastries. Located at 235 S Salisbury St, the sweets are sweet, but in a different way than American sweet. You have to try it to understand, but the treats go perfectly with a locally-brewed cup of Larry’s Beans (919 better stand up!), and an afternoon with friends. What’s really cool about the patisserie, in addition to the taste, is the ambiance and decor of LucetteGrace – the space is clean and decked out in yellows and grays and seems like a good space to sit for an afternoon with your laptop for a productive dessert sesh. It’s a nice alternative to a Starbucks; no shade to them of course, I’ve been hanging out there and have gotten a lot of work done at these places for years. Bottom line – it’s difficult to mass-produce shit that tastes good, and Daniel at LucetteGrace has captured something special here.
Where’s your favorite place to get work done?