Few foods compare with the comfort of fresh baked goods with their warm smells wafting from the ovens, the visceral experience of going to the bakery, peering into the cases and having to decide between a variety of texture and flavor combinations. For me, the experience sparks fond childhood memories of visiting my grandparents when they would often take me to the local bakery in their town. Granted, as an eight year-old, my selections often consisted of doughnuts, but still, those experiences ingrained in me the notion of the bakery as a communal institution.
Offering a wide variety of treats and savory items, Sweet 16th bakery in East Nashville is continuing that tradition. At Sweet 16th, the goods are baked fresh daily and the variety of choices is excellent. On our first visit, we selected lemon, vanilla and currant scones and a large piece of chocolate and beer bread pudding and neither failed to satisfy. The scones were near perfect, light and crumbly, yet dense enough to hold and eat without making an enormous mess at the table. The flavors blended well, slightly tart with the mellow aftertaste of vanilla which was not overpowering.
The bread pudding tasted as good as it sounds, if not better. Dense, rich, and weighing in at nearly a pound for one piece, this is definitely an item to share. The hedonistic and often overlooked combination of beer and chocolate provide this delectable with its characteristic flavors. Though I imagine they’d be reticent to reveal trade secrets at Sweet 16th, I tasted both milk and dark chocolate flavors mingled with the malt of a stout brew. I must admit here that I am allergic to chocolate and only make an exception for Mole Poblano. I believe I now have two exceptions. Sure to please both the chocolate lover and the beer aficionado, the chocolate and beer bread pudding is a winner.
Located at 311 N. 16th Street, be sure to make Sweet 16th a regular stop on your East Nashville ramblings. Their menu changes regularly, including daily soups, so there are always new options. (I also picked up a vichyssoise for lunch while I was there, which was great on such a hot day.) Sweet 16th also accepts call ahead orders so consider them for special events; though, if you are considering a sampling of their menu for Sunday brunch, you may want to visit them on Saturday as they are closed on Sundays and Mondays.