Lunch available at downtown bakery

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2011

By Robin M. Perry
For the Salisbury Post
SALISBURY — The Sweetest Thing, downtown Salisbury’s very own bakery, has added a lunch menu to the long list of pastry and cake delights. The selections are creative, thanks to the culinary talents of Lynn and Josh Harrell, owners/chefs.
The Sweetest Thing opened in August when Lynn Harrell took the leap from pastry chef at the Salisbury Country Club to bakery shop owner and operator. A Salisbury native, she attended culinary school (baking and pastry) in Orlando, Fla. She married Josh Harrell, a culinary school graduate on the cuisine side. Josh had been a general manager for Cook-Out.
Business was good, and Lynn found she needed more help. So Josh left Cook-Out to join her in September, “a very big step for us,” said Lynn.
While he enjoyed the bakery side, learning new recipes and how to serve the public, Josh missed the cooking side of the business, so he started making sandwiches, such as chicken salad and pimento cheese for customers. Then he started experimenting with other sandwiches and soups, and found it to be quite popular with the bakery patrons. They got their full food service permit and added twice as many tables to serve lunch. They hope to add more tables outside, once the sidewalk construction is complete.
Lynn loves what she is doing now and it shows as she talks about her business with such passion and excitement. “I grew up in Salisbury and love the downtown and everything about it,” she admits. “We have created something people here like — the bakery, lunch and catering — and are offering things they can’t get at any other shops,” she said. They already have regular customers, and have created and named some of the sandwiches in their honor. These come under the “you name it” category on the menu.
For example, the “ Dyson” is a crunchy baguette torpedo with turkey, bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato and basil mayo, a favorite of Glenda Dyson, owner of Just the Thing Learning shop on Main Street. “ Matt’s Musical” is bacon, basil-garlic goat cheese, gala apples and cranberry mayo on your choice of freshly baked bread. We tried this one and had it on honey wheat. The combination of flavors was different, but delicious — I always like to try new things. Lynn says this is one of their best sellers, named for Matt, another “regular” who is a musician. (Each sandwich is $5.49 or $8.50 if you add a side, drink and dessert).
On the regular sandwich side, their homemade chicken salad with roasted garlic, bacon, apples and sunflower seeds make this an all-time favorite ($4.99). The pimento cheese is described as a perfect blend of white and yellow sharp cheddars with just a dash of cayenne pepper ($4.99).
They also offer specialty sandwiches like the Monte Cristo — honey ham, melted cheddar, sweet and spicy mustard served on raisin bread French toast ($5.49) or the Veggie sandwich-grilled brussel sprouts and artichokes with lettuce, tomato and house-made romesco sauce ($5.49). Quesadillas are also available for those who may not be in the mood for bread. The Hawaiian quesadilla has chicken, bacon, cheese, apples, red onion and sweet bourbon BBQ sauce and again, is a great combination of flavors, especially the barbecue sauce ($5.49). You can also get a barbecue chicken or veggie quesadilla.
Soups are homemade and rotate on a regular basis with two offered each week. A few options include the roasted corn chowder, cream of asparagus, tomato basil and Italian cream of chicken ($2.99). Salads are fresh and plentiful too, be it a cobb, chef or house salad ($4.99). There are many options for fresh dressings too.
They bake bread every day for the sandwiches, and for sale to the public. You can try asiago cheese crusted bread, rosemary olive oil, honey wheat and multi-grain with walnuts, in addition to the French baguettes and sweet breads, such as cinnamon raisin. Josh also comes up with sandwich specials each day like the Little Miss Piggy — pork tenderloin, salami, ham and bacon topped with blue cheese butter or the Curious George — bacon, herb goat cheese and blackberry jam on banana bread French toast ($4.99).
Of course you will need to save room for dessert — how can you sit in a bakery and not eat the mouth-watering cupcakes, cookies, cream horns, brownies or cake balls?
Lynn features different cupcake specials every day. On Wednesday, it was coconut key lime, strawberry and rocky road flavor cupcakes. She said on Saturdays she bakes bacon, egg and cheese cupcakes and pancake cupcakes. We’ll have to go back to try them. The red velvet cake ones are her best sellers and available every day.
Lynn and Josh want to fill a niche in Salisbury and give something back to her home town, doing what they love. Now isn’t that one of life’s sweetest things?
In addition to the bakery and lunch café, which is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., these two chefs also handle catering, from small parties to opening receptions at the Meroney Theatre. They also have to-go meals and will deliver for six or more orders. They are at 121 East Innes St. Call ahead for orders to 704-603-4257 and visit www. thesweetestthingsalisbury. com.