Sugar and Spice | Restaurant Reviews | Salt Lake City Weekly

Sugar and Spice 

Biscotts Bakery and Café blends Indian flavor with European technique.

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  • Alex Springer

I've been a regular at the Saffron Valley location in South Jordan, which has kept the little strip mall where it calls home on my radar for some time. I have very distinct memories of visiting Biscotts Bakery and Café (1098 W. South Jordan Parkway, #110, 801-890-0659, when it first opened—the only thing better than going out for dinner is going out for dessert afterward—and it's been fun to watch this hybridization of bakery, coffee shop and Indian-inspired café take off. Now that Biscotts has a second location in Daybreak (6172 Lake Avenue) and will be opening a third in Sugar House, I can't keep the place to myself any longer. So why not let y'all in on this tasty little secret?

The fact that Biscotts is only a few doors down from Saffron Valley isn't a coincidence. Both eateries are owned by local restaurateur Lavanya Mahate, who has built a more than sizable empire with her Saffron Valley locations across the Wasatch Front. With Biscotts, Mahate is nurturing her passion for gorgeous desserts while maintaining the spirit of corner coffee shops that have been a staple of Indian culture for decades. Like Mahate's other culinary ventures, Biscotts thrives by letting the roots of her cultural background create the foundation for something unique to the communities in which she operates.

Though one of the reasons I consider bakeries to be one of my vices is predictability, Biscotts keeps things just off-kilter enough to pique my interest whenever I go in. Most of my trips to this local bakery are to indulge my insatiable sweet tooth, especially if I have a hankering for cake. Biscotts always has a stunning array of sumptuous, colorful cakes cut into perfect layered rectangles and carefully slotted in their display case. The fluffy sponge of the Dreamsicle-hued mango cakes ($3.50) are been drenched in mango puree, imparting all that beautiful citrus flavor in a whipped, cloud-like texture. Seafoam pistachio cakes ($3.50) emphasize this subtle cashew cousin with airy flavors and a pleasant crunch. If cake is your thing, they'll have something you'll fall in love with.

No judgement from me if you spend most of your Biscotts visit perusing the cake menu, but it's worthwhile to check out their specialty desserts when you're feeling extra indulgent. For example, the pomegranate cheesecake ($4.50) puts a unique spin on this classic dessert. Not only does it look like a tiny queen wrapped in shimmering royal purple and topped with a crown of white chocolate and berries, but the flavor combo of pomegranate and caramel is unexpected dynamite. Biscotts also has a decent variety of seasonal desserts, such as the Grasshopper Puff ($4.50) which shows up around the spring and summer months. It's a tricked-out creampuff filled with silky chocolate mint cream and topped with a swirl of mint frosting, and fans of the choco-mint flavor combo will want to check this out.

While Biscotts is an excellent destination for those after a wide assortment of creamy, fluffy and subtly flavored desserts, their lunch and breakfast menu has evolved quite nicely as well. If you're in for breakfast, I'd recommend the Breakfast Croissanwich ($7). It's a classic combo of scrambled eggs, ham and melted provolone stuffed inside one of Biscotts' housemade croissants—flaky, crisp beauties laminated with a delicate crust that dissolves into buttery goodness on your tongue. It's a light but flavorful way to kick off the morning, and it pairs quite well with any of Biscotts' freshly brewed coffees or chais.

If it's closer to lunch, you'll want to check out the curry chicken wrap ($8.50) or one of Biscotts' savory puffs ($3.50). I'm always a little hard-pressed to say anything positive about a wrap, but this is something Biscotts takes seriously enough to consider. Inside a toasted tortilla, you've got some tender grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato and pickled onion tossed with a breezy curry aioli. It's not a roundhouse kick of curry flavor like I was expecting—just a fresh-tasting blend of well-balanced flavors. For those looking for more of a flavor-infused sucker punch, the savory puffs will be more up your alley. Similar to a meat pie, these hand-held puff pastry pockets are packed with chicken tikka, paneer, eggs and veggies. They're perfect for those after something portable, reasonably priced and flavorful for lunch—you can't do much better than these.

On the surface, Biscotts is a great example of the neighborhood coffee shop concept. The staff is always welcoming, there are plenty of excellent caffeinated beverages to choose from, and there's always something sweet or savory to sink your teeth into. The more I've visited, however, the more I realize just how sophisticated their flavor profiles are. I've been to plenty of bakeries that just try to pack as much one-note sweetness into their pastries and pass them off as gourmet, but Biscotts seems to have risen above that trope. Regardless of what you get at Biscotts, it's easy to tell that some serious thought has gone into creating the flavors within each puff, pie and pastry.

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