Friday, September 28, 2012

Sweetly Divine (Pastries and Sandwiches) Review - Logan, Utah

It's official. I am no longer a Cache Valley-ite. Last week the movers hauled away our belongings and the sale of our house closed. There are so many things I'll miss about Cache Valley

One place I'll miss desperately is Sweetly Divine, a world-class pastry shop in Logan that also serves homemade soups, salads, and sandwiches. You might be thinking, "World class? In Logan?" Yes, it's true. I've had pastries at Sweetly Divine that are the equal of treats in fancy, well-known shops in New York City and San Francisco. It's the perfect place for a lunch, and has awesome treats to bring your friend on her birthday or your wife on the way home from work. Just look:

Beautifully delicious Sweetly Divine pastries. Clockwise from top left: Lemon Bar, Apple Strudel, Palmier, Pear Mousse, Cannoli 

I don't think Cache Valley realizes or appreciates what it's got in Sweetly Divine, and I'd like to see that change. A lot of new chain bakeries have come into town. Their food for the most part is pretty good. Their prices for the most part are pretty high. They do not measure up to Sweetly Divine. This is the real deal!

Sweetly Divine
1309 North Main, Suite 90, Logan, UT
(directly north of Costa Vida in the Shopko shopping center)

Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am - 10pm
Prices: Pastries: $.80 - $5.75, Lunch/Dinner Items: $3.25 - $7.75, Whole Specialty Cakes & Pies: $16.50 - $40.50 (special order)
Liquor: No
Year Opened: 2006
FYI: Breakfast items and additional items are available by special order. Sweetly Divine jellies are available by the jar, and are great for spreading and recipes

Pastries are a tricky business. Don't we each have our own dear little favorites? When I first went to Sweetly Divine I tried some pastries that were great, no doubt, but they weren't MY pastries. The next time I tried some others and, wowie! I hit the jackpot and created a Sweetly Divine craving that will probably never be satisfied no matter how many I eat. It's the Lemon Bars and the Pear Mousse that did me in.

And that's to say nothing of the Pickle Soup.

Yes, you heard me right. Pickle Soup. It's soup. It's got pickles in it. And it's amazing! It's a special that's only available every other Tuesday. The recipe is a traditional one from chef/owner Mark Godrowski's home country of Poland. I'd liken it to cream of potato soup with a slight, dill-y kick from the shredded pickles. They really mellow out when cooked. Mark's soups are homemade, something that can't be said about most of the other restaurant soups in the valley. The selection changes daily. Other choices include Bacon & Spinach, Clam Chowder, Italian Wedding Soup, Borscht, and Tomato Basil.

The sandwiches feature savory fillings between slices of soft, house-made focaccia bread. Each sandwich is spread with interesting condiments including Sweetly Divine's signature line of sweet pepper jellies. My favorite is the turkey sandwich, and my husband likes the ham.

But enough about all that savory stuff! Let's go back to the sweets.

I've always liked lemon bars, and Mark's lemon bars are the best I've ever had (with apologies to my sister, who also makes a mean lemon bar). The custard on these lemon bars is so perfect -- bright, vibrant, glistening yellow, smooth and tart in the mouth. Mmmmm. And the pear mousse! Divine! sweet and heady pear-infused cloud fluff mousse, layered on a moist cake base, encased in a delicate shell of icing. Too good!

Then there's the cannoli. I thought I didn't like cannolis, but it turns out I just don't like BAD ones. Sweetly Divine's cannolis set a new standard. I'm convinced you can't get a better one outside of Philly, Boston, or NYC.

A newer occasional specialty I haven't been able to try yet is kouign aman. A croissant-like pastry from France's Brittany region, the kouign aman (also spelled kouing aman, and pronounced roughly "queen ah-mahn") is a current darling in the culinary world. Les Madeleines bakery in Salt Lake City has a famous version that's been featured on Food Network, and that's where I first started my addiction. They're known, basically, as "crack". Chewy, creamy, buttery, sweet, and delicious, they are labor intensive to make and worth whatever price you have to pay. I'm so disappointed I moved away before getting to try Sweetly Divine's version.

Service at Sweetly Divine is friendly and competent. There are several tables for dining in the restaurant, and everything is really convenient for taking to-go, as well. A few little changes could improve experience. Labels on the wares would be helpful. Earlier morning hours to take advantage of pastries for breakfast would be wonderful. And I wouldn't mind if the sandwiches were a tad thicker (with more vegetables?). I guess that's my American appetite coming through. But please don't change a thing about the pickle soup!

Have you been to Sweetly Divine? What's your favorite? Your mouth should be watering after seeing the photos, so get up and head to Sweetly Divine!
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