When we moved to Allentown in late 2009, our restaurant reviews reflected our neighborhood. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was good to eat in the area. Where was the best pizza? Chinese take out? Dive bar? What was down the Elmwood strip? Now, it’s been almost two months since we moved to Cheektowaga and Alli and I are slowly making our way through our new community.
The results are obviously not as exciting as the city. Sure we’ve made some horrifying trips to Dairy Queen, but we’ve also had a couple nice surprises here and there. One of those pleasant surprises was visiting Wheatberry Bake Shop which is right down the street from our new house.
I walked into the purple building on a whim one Saturday morning and was surprised to see the scope of the bakery. There’s a large glass case of baked goods and shelving for focaccia and bread. Behind the counter is a very large kitchen with lots of equipment and plenty of room for wedding cakes. Their hours during the week can be limited for people with 9 to 5 jobs like myself. They are only open until 6pm at the latest but thankfully they are open on Saturdays and Sunday morning/early afternoon.
On my first visit I just decided to order a little bit of everything sweet. They had about six different flavors of French Macarons, so I grabbed four different flavors at $2 a piece. The flavors were ok but a bit subtle. Our biggest complain was the texture. The outer shell was very hard and almost too crunchy. The anise and Italian sprinkle fig cookies both went over well with my father in law, who is no stranger to either. Since we visited near Fat Tuesday, I grabbed a couple sugar coasted Fasnachts that were really fantastic. They had the perfect amount of chew that you’d want in a yeast donut.
Because I always over-order, I also grabbed four cupcakes to take home. We’ve had some hit and misses with cupcake bakeries in WNY so I wanted to see how Wheatberry held up. They had about ten different flavors to choose from on this visit and even some vegan options. I decided to grab their Guiness flavored/Irish themed chocolate, a vegan peanut butter cupcake, a standard chocolate with vanilla frosting and a red velvet cupcake. We thought they had nailed that crucial frosting to cake ratio and the cake itself was moist and crumbly. The vegan cupcake was indistinguishable from the rest of the cupcakes, which is quite the accomplishment. I thought the Guiness flavored cupcake really stood out. We’ve had several Irish themed baked goods in the past and in comparison, they managed to use the bitter/sweet combination really well.
Eventually, we did return to try out a couple loaves of their bread, as well as try more sweets. Their bread selection isn’t gigantic, but they have at least six different types of loaves available each day. Their sourdough had a nice kick but we thought the texture was a little too dense. Their Italian or ‘Rustic’ bread however, is fantastic and was great for sandwiches and morning toast.
The bakery actually has a lot more to offer, but we simply haven’t had enough time to try it all. They have quite the selection of other baked goods including cake pops, coffee cake, cookies and even Sweet Jenny ice cream. If you follow them on facebook, they post new soups that are being offered and the new topped focaccia flavor of the week.
Since the bakery is literally so close to our house, we’ll probably go there on a regular basis. We’ll still go out of way to grab a loaf of bread from Elm Street Bakery or Breadhive (more on those ladies later), but Wheatberry is still a good option. When we moved to Cheektowaga, we realized that we were moving to the land of chain restaurants and fish fries but I’m happy to have found a locally owned establishment with some tasty treats.