A collective cheer went up when the CIA Bakery Cafe opened in the Pearl Brewery Complex this spring. At least in my family. The first time we went to the farmer's market this year I remarked that it would be wonderful to have a little cafe/coffee spot nearby. The pastry and coffee at the farmer's market are great, don't get me wrong, but they are only available on Saturdays.
It is located on the corner across from the Full Goods building, and directly adjacent to this awesome example of knit bombing. They have a case of delightful pastries both savory and sweet....
As well as a light lunch menu with soups/salads/sandwiches. The oven roast turkey is excellent, nothing beats a homemade brioche bun. Their rotating agua fresca selection is delicious as well. I have tried the lemonade, the ginger peach and the jaimica--perfect on a hot San Antonio day.
Another favorite is the passionfruit choux puff--takes me back to my Hawaii days. The pastries are as tasty as they are pretty. A window lets you peek into the teaching kitchens of the Institute.
We settled on the candied apple poundcake. I think I have the only 12 year old that would remark, "Hey, edible gold leaf."
The cheddar and chive scone provided a nice savory counterpoint. The poundcake was moist but not greasy and studded with a generous amount of candied apple chunks. The scone was dense but not dry and for <$10 (including a small coffee for me) it felt like a good deal for great food. If I saw someone walking by with a Starbucks cup I would have wanted to bat it out of their hand, drag them into the cafe and tell them to try some real coffee and pastry. They have a wonderful outdoor seating area, perfect for people watching. The cafe is closed on Monday, and only open until 5 pm so you will need to plan ahead if you want one of their gorgeous pastries for dessert.