Treat to Try: Russian Honey Cake at Cafe Elena
Cafe Elena set up shop on the northwest side in an area that’s well known for its international fare. In the neighborhood, Mediterranean and Asian options are in abundant supply, but Elena’s provides a missing piece of the puzzle. It’s namesake boasts a 35-year career as a professional chef in Russia.
While the menu features several items from Russia, the overall motif has more of an international flair. Consider a breakfast item like the Russian Grandma; it’s a combo that includes buckwheat porridge, cream cheese crepes, and smoked salmon. Alternately, Huevos Rancheros is an option from the other side of the world with avocados and pico de gallo. The Brits, Dutch, and Californians are well-represented as well.
And there’s Borscht, too. That’s for lunch.
But, for a quick treat, you can drop in and score a carefully-constructed baked sweet from its counter display. Cafe Elena is a bakery as well. On display, you’ll find a bevy of perfectly rectangular sections of layered cakes. What’s in the layers? Well, it depends on the cake (that’s always true). There are tiramisu and fruity options, but the Russian Honey Cake with Walnuts seems like a no-brainer: It’s on-theme, and it’s honey-based.
And it’s good. It’s golden-brown and honey-flavored, which adds a different, earthy sort of sweetness. Between the layers sits a whipped, creamy filling with a sour cream accent. Together, the layers make a light, tender, springy package that holds together surprisingly well while delivering an experience that seems equally at home during honey bee season (warm weather) and hibernation (colder months). The walnuts are sprinkled on top as a crown.
The cafe does carryout on baked goods and its menu. Diners can also sit and stay. The stop hosts a spacious, bright dining area. You can find Cafe Elena, and its honey cake, off of Bethel Road at 2054 Crown Plaza Dr.
For more information, visit cafeelenas.com.