"I've been vegan for a decade and if I see another Vegan Treat, I will depress. Please don't make me eat another peanut butter bombe."
"This is vegan? It's actually really good." (Carefully worded of you.)
"It's Thursday. Time to put on my Vegan Treats panties and stalk the nearest Vegan Treats carrier."
I hear all three on a regular basis and am somewhere in the middle. When pressed about the success of the vegan dessert supplier, I must say it is the wow factor, the enormity of these vegan goods and the professional decorating that makes them sell.
I learned how to bake and am less of a good customer than I used to be. Still, I turned my oven off and made my brunch troupe accompany me to Bella Sera Cafe for the grand opening of the Fishtown dessert gallery.
Where are the sticky buns?
The thing you lose by not baking in-house is the smell in the air. The selection of Vegan Treats, however, made up for that, with a Greatest Hits selection of Danielle Konya's oeuvre - several types of brownies, cupcakes, cookies, five kinds of whoopie pies (regular cream, chocolate mousse, peanut butter, cookies & cream, pumpkin), and crumb bars. The cheesecake was not on display, but they offered many varieties of that on a sign. Put it in the case! It looks too good to hide in a fridge somewhere. I didn't see any of the frosted buns or gooey sticky buns or I would have bought 3. Whole cakes can be be ordered.
The coffee is kept on the other side and there happens to be an unfortunate vanilla-flavored coffee, although all of it is fair-trade. It was a lot better than the swill you get at the Rocket Cat sometimes. The espresso machine is a personal-use size and I am wondering if they plan on upgrading to a commercial machine in the future? I have a machine at home and know how time-consuming it is to make drinks for a crowd when you can't steam at the same time that you can pull dirt.
Bella Sera also carries vegan bagels and cream cheese, but that seems to be the extent of the menu thus far. They do close at 3 pm on weekdays, making it pretty difficult for most of the working class to grab the last chocolate pretzel brownie when a craving strikes. I would like a dessert cafe to stay open a bit later and hope that they adjust with the needs of the neighborhood. And maybe stock some vegan doughnuts and buns? My early afternoon self just isn't ready for brownies yet.
Update: Bella Sera is expanding their hours starting Mon., Nov. 2. They will be open Monday - Friday: 7:00am - 7:00pm and Saturday - Sunday: 9:00am - 5:00pm.
Bella Sera Cafe
2146 E. Susquehanna Road (at Frankford)