Cupcakes take a stand at the Waldorf Astoria's new coffee shop.
Photograph: Barrett Doran
Stroll through the mountain-chic lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Park City, and you’ll find a pastry shop no larger than some walk-in closets. Here, an innovative chef is taking sweet tooths of all ages on a nostalgic ride.
Open since late 2011, Crave Coffee Shop seems to be from another era, or another continent. Designed with crisp white tile walls and featuring a case full of decadent pastries offset with old-fashioned goods like clove gum, the shop feels like a fusion of a French bistro and Woolworth’s—and the feeling is good.
One glance at the pastries evokes both familiarity and surprise. Executive chef Mary Cech says that when she’s creating something new, she trusts her whimsical side. “I think of things that kids and adults alike will find visibly attractive and that will take them back to their childhoods.”
The “PB&J” is a peanut butter cake with peanut butter frosting, drizzled with raspberry jam and toasted peanuts. “S’more” is campfire-ready with chocolate cake and graham crackers, of course, but the chunky, fluffy, house-made marshmallows make this treat shine. If you ate a lot of spaghetti as a kid, Cech’s “Spaghetti & Meatball” cupcake will hold special attraction for you. A vanilla cake is slathered with “noodles” of white chocolate frosting, topped with a chocolate truffle “meatball” and raspberry “marinara.” Mangia!
In addition to indulgent standards such as croissants, pain au chocolat, and cinnamon rolls, and savory sandwiches such as delectable turkey and brie, Cech has crafted some tasty low-fat and gluten-free options. The gluten-free raisin-bread muffin is heavenly. Cech also creates custom-made special-occasion cakes. A birthday cake made locally by a nationally renowned pastry chef? It’s a no-brainer.
Selections including house-spiced nuts, healthy nut-seed bars, and juicy blueberry muffins are made fresh daily and served quickly, appealing to on-the-go, outdoorsy locals and guests alike. Besides all that, how many other coffee shops have their own valet?