Ham and Gruyere Croissant
Ricotta Pancakes with Vermont Maple Syrup and Fruit Compote
Chocolate Croissant Pudding
Chocolate Banana Walnut Bread
Continuing to show signs of a dining scene on the rise, several artisan bakeries moving step-in-step with flourishing Wineries and organic Produce grown in the northern part of the State, places like Ollie Vaughn’s were virtually unheard of as little as four years ago, the high hipster quotient tolerable thanks to the good service and even more impressive products.
Small and easily passed by, signage along East McDowell Road blending into a background of street art and a disheveled gallery next door, parking is readily available in an adjacent lot with entrance immediately tempting patrons with baked goods, additions added throughout the day as the small restaurant transitions from Breakfast to Lunch.
Best described as a full-service Coffee Shop, the focus on well-sourced Beans and scratch-cooking evident even before perusing a small menu, it was with wide-eyes that a party of three perused glass cases and pedestals, a total of seven items from Quick-Breads to Viennoiserie selected and offered warm in addition to one made-to-order plate from the kitchen.
Locally owned and operated, the 7a-3p hours making Ollie Vaughn’s an ideal workday stop for both downtown denizens and those on the outskirts, it was on intentionally mismatched plates that each selection was brought forth individually by a young man with big spacers, bright hair and pointed fingernails – all items presented with a brief description mere moments before tucking into the toasty Ham & Cheese Croissant as well an Almond version that were each chock-a-block full of bold flavors without compromising the shattering exterior integrity.
Receiving the plate of Pancakes more quickly than anticipated, a pillowy Ricotta base and Fruit Compote impressing even skeptics, more good bites were found in a coiled Nutella Roll that surprisingly allowed the spread to dry into a Brownie-like core at its center while the dark mound of Croissant Pudding was as moist, dense and rich as expected with Chocolate slightly melted by a quick rewarming trip to the oven.
Not particularly sold on the Carrot Cake, too much sweet and not enough spice beneath a dollop of Cream Cheese Frosting, both the Pecan Bar and Chocolate Banana Walnut Bread fared far better, the former going light on Brown Sugar filling while doubling-down on Nuts and a buttery Crust while the latter is weighty and well-advised for sharing even though pockets of Dark Chocolate Chips and bitter Walnuts ensure that no two bites are exactly the same.