Alpine Bakery has been around a while making desserts for tons of people around Atlanta. Even if you havent been to there, there is a good chance you have had one of their dessert because they sell a lot to many restaurants in the area.
Last year they moved a block up the street into the Cilos shopping center and opened up a new dining area. In their previous location they sold a lot of pizzas and calzones for take out orders. The new restaurant, in addition to their fabulous desserts, features an extensive menu of italian dishes. What you will not see on the menu are their pizzas and calzones (which you can still order).
If you follow me on twitter, you will know that I love getting dessert from Alpine, so this is a review of their restaurant. The two entities must be separated as you will find out. So we decided to go to Alpine Bakery for dinner on a Thursday night(6pm). Even going early there was a 10 minute wait. So while we waited we strolled around the dessert displays and marveled and daydreamed about which ones we would shove into our bellies.
Once seated in our waitress brought us some waters and a small loaf of fresh baked bread. The bread is amazing!! You would expect nothing less from a bakery, amiright?? While we waited for our waitress to return to take our order we took the time to look around. First we noticed a packed house. Second we noticed quite a few waiters and waitresses zipping from table to table. We just wondered why they came to our table so infrequently. Whatever.
We chose to order off the menu and get the calzone. The calzones come in two sizes: Small (which is actually large) and Large (which is actually ginormous!). The small feeds two people who eat normal amounts of food, or one teenager. The Large, we were told, will feed a family of four, or one teenager.
ABout 15 minutes later we received our calzone. And for those of you who dont know, a calzone is basically two pieces of pizza sandwiched together and filled with cheese. Im not sure if it’s an American invention or an Italian invention. But the levels of cheese volume lead me to believe its American (USA!! USA!!). At first glance, the dish is beautiful. Great looking curst and everything. So Laura and I cut it in half and shovel each’s portion to our respective plates. A few bites in I notice something. The ricotta cheese is cold; like really cold. Then Laura speaks up, “Uhhh is your calzone cold??”. It was so weird because the the dough was cooked, the cheese was melty, but everything in the calzone, pepperonis, ham, mushrooms, ricotta cheese was ice cold. Even the maranara dipping sauce was cold. Damnit, now I have to speak up and say something.
This is where the slow wait staff cripples a dining experience. It took a some time to flag down our waitress. Once we did, told her the issue, she happily took the cold-zone and went to get us a new, hotter one. Oh crap, I just remembered, it took a long time for us to get the first one. And that one wasnt cooked long enough! This was going to take forever…..
and it did….
Just as this post drags on and on, so did our meal, or shall I say, the wait for our meal. Finally, we got the new calzone. Much better, and all in all, a really good calzone. Alpine Bakery certainly doesnt skimp on the toppings (or stuffings) or cheese. If you like calzones and you are willing to wait, I mean really willing to wait, get the Alpine Bakery calzone. As for me, I’ll probably get the pizza next time. But I’m not eager to get back there.
Before we left the restaurant, the manager took the action to comp a dessert. A very nice guesture on their part, and since we are no fools, we got the strawberry swiss roll. You see, we have eaten so many desserts from that place we don’t even have to look at the displays. We know what we want. And once we got home, that strawberry swiss roll didnt stand a chance.
We opened the box and gazed upon it like two hungry tigers looking at wounded gazel. <Insert montage of me ripping apart the cake with my bare teeth> It, as always, was phenomenal.
To summarize: Alpine Bakery is a great bakery, not a great restaurant. They need to work out the kinks of the restaurant operations. But what they do best is bake. Breads, desserts, they are all wonderful!