Mary’s Cakes and Pastries // Your Next Lunch Destination

The sky is the limit when it comes to lunch options in the Tuscaloosa area. However, there’s one place in town that offers made from scratch lunch options with a combination of a delectable dessert and beverage all for five bucks. This place is Mary’s Cakes and Pastries in downtown Northport. Though the shop is known for its eye-popping cakes and mouthwatering dessert options, Mary’s provides lunch foodies with a cost-effective incomparable lunch experience. Depending on the season, Mary’s provides a myriad of grab and go lunch options including pizzas, gumbos, salads, and delicious chicken salad sandwiches. Patrons also have the opportunity to pick any dessert in the case under two dollars along with a canned beverage. Those that frequent the bakery are acquainted with Mary’s signature shortbread cookies, cake shots, and mind-blowing chocolate chip cookies along with other favorites. Even Mary’s beverages provide some novelty with the collection of sodas including root beer and nostalgic Tab diet cola.

Owner Mary Cesar has a personal passion for incorporating locally grown foods in her own diet and the tasty offerings she provides in her shop. “I like to let my purchases at the farmers market inspire my menu,” says Cesar. In addition to the farmers market, Cesar has also been purchasing local ingredients via Snow’s Bend Farm’s community supported agriculture CSA program. Aside from your typical fruits and veggies, Mary’s boasts a delicious made from scratch pizza with dough made straight from the grains of Druid City Brewery as well as feta cheese from AA Farm Creamery in Millbrook. Those with nutrient restrictions will delight in the option of made from scratch gluten-free and Paleo treats for lunch and dessert.

I made a recent stop to Mary’s for lunch on a sunny day in downtown Northport. I was quickly greeted as I entered the shop while staff energetically piped more frosting on a tray of shortbread cookies and an elegant wedding cake. Checking out my surroundings, I opted for a chicken salad sandwich on croissant with an adorable looking strawberry cake shot and Tab diet cola. Though the seating options inside the bakery are limited, I decided to perch myself on one of the available high tables to watch the bakery in action while enjoying my lunch. Folks hustled and bustled in to grab treats to bring to work and parties. Mothers and their daughters slowly trickled in to review their wedding cake options. My chicken salad sandwich rivaled other chicken salads I’ve had in town while nestled on the fluffy croissant. My cake shot had the perfect balance of icing, cake, and strawberries as I licked my cup clean at the end of my lunch meal. Leaving the shop, I ventured over to Mary’s bakery supply consignment store attached to the shop. Vintage cook books and various kitchen gadgets paraded the nice open space. As I got in my car, I made a mental note to consider sitting outside for lunch next time with the various benches and wrought iron tables surrounding the shop.

Overall, I consider Mary’s to be the ultimate grab and grow lunch destination. With incomparable desserts and locally sourced food items, your next five dollar lunch should come from Mary’s Cakes and Pastries.

Mary’s is located in downtown Northport behind Billy’s Sports Bar and Grill and is open Tuesday through Saturday.  Tweet us @ThePlanetWeekly and let us know where you are eating!

Sheena Gregg, MS, RDN,LD is a registered dietitian and local “Filipino foodie.” Follow her on Twitter @AFilipinoFoodie


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