Do you remember the birthday cakes you had as a kid? No? That's probably because your parents didn't go to Work of Art Cakes, the Old Town bakery that creates lasting memories in the form of inventive confections.
This family-run business began as a cafe under the grim shadows of the former Cabrini Green Housing Projects over 30 years ago. While no longer a sit-in establishment, the deli/cake shop enjoys a number of fresh clients thanks to the newly built condos across the street. Despite its veteran status on the block, the shop maintains a fresh, clean, lofty look. Comforting sunlight pours in through humungous floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights.
Drop in for a relatively healthy sandwich to-go: roast beef, roast chicken, turkey or ham for $5.50. Clients (many of whom stop in from the law offices next door) claim they've successfully lost weight choosing Work of Art's freshly made salads and soups ($2.95-$5.95). However, the bulk of the shop's success comes from the cakes.
Award-winning shopkeeper, Hoa Dong, creates an assortment of goodies. A box of drugstore chocolates on Valentine's Day can't compete with a chocolate jewelry box filled with Sarah Bernhardt cookies. Heading home for the holidays? A gingerbread house will make your visit extra sweet.
If you want a Work of Art cake, put your order in early; the place books up fast. Birthday cakes start at $29.95 and wedding cakes start at $8 a slice.
Centerstage Reviewer: David-Anthony Gonzalez