I recently mentioned a lunch out with the girls where we went to Bubba Gump in Jupiter. Bubba Gump is a chain of restaurants trading off the popularity of the movie Forrest Gump. It’s tacky, kitschy, and touristy. There’s even a location in Times Square, and it doesn’t get more touristy than that.
One of my girls just sent me a link to an article that said the Jupiter location closed down merely days after we ate there. I’m not too torn up about it. The food was warmed over mediocre at best. What it had going for it was location–directly across the Jupiter Inlet from the lighthouse.
To be very honest with you (and as if it weren’t obvious from this blog), I’m not a fan of large corporate-owned chain restaurants. We’re overrun with corporate franchises. “Oh, do you have a Texas Roadhouse near you?” And don’t even get me started on Applebee’s.
I love locally owned restaurants. Which brings me to the place I want to talk about today. This is the two-year anniversary of one of my new favorite places, Alaina’s Bake Shoppe & Cafe, located in Palm Beach Gardens at the corner of Military Trail and Northlake Boulevard in the Joseph’s Plaza.
I discovered Alaina’s a few months ago when I began using the dry cleaner next door. Glancing in from the sidewalk, I saw the cafe tables and retro glass bakery cases and I was reminded of a little bake shop like you’d find in Manhattan or some other big city. Irresistibly drawn inside, I found luscious cupcakes, pastries, and other baked goods. Holy cow!
Alaina’s has been part of my Thursday afternoon routine ever since–pick up the dry cleaning, pick up something yummy. Once, after a particularly crap day, I approached Alaina’s counter shouting, “I need chocolate butter cream. STAT!” They get me there.
One rare Thursday afternoon, Mr. R. was with me and we decided to have lunch there for the first time. I don’t remember what he had because I was in my own private reverie. I had the Spartan panini–roasted chicken, homemade hummus, tomato, cucumber, tzaziki, romaine, feta, and red wine vinaigrette, served on a pita wrap. Their own baked gourmet potato chips were on the side. Did you just hear that? The angels were singing.
Feeling peckish? Treat yourself and support local business. Go to Alaina’s. STAT.