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In October I had a chance to pick up a couple things at Emma's Bakery & Cafe, located next to Starbucks on the southside. Opened a month earlier after more than a year of delays, it took over the venue of Rita’s Italian Ice. I had a long chat with the owner, Eddie, about his goals and the struggles of trying to open a food establishment during the pandemic.
The pastry case offers a huge assortment of fruit pies and cream pies. But none available by the slice for a lower investment sampling. I told Eddie that if he offered a pie of the day by the slice, I'd try every one.
The almond croissant is pleasant with abundant frangipane filling, but though double-baked, was not as crusty and crackly as I'd prefer. And I could do without the gratuitous dusting of powdered sugar. Much more to my liking was the pumpkin mini-cheesecake. Heavy and rich, garnished with real whipped cream, the taste of pumpkin came through above the sweetness and the spices were in a supporting role.
I'd been back once because I'd heard the clam chowder was worth a try. However, it had been taken off the menu already due to lack of demand.
Staff are masked and there are a couple cafe tables for outdoor seating.
Emma's Bakery and Cafe
1182 S Main St
Salinas, CA 93901
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