One of the perks of working in the Thornebrook area, is that Uppercrust is on my way to the office. Therefore, on most mornings, I can stop by and pick up some of Gainesville’s best pastries, fresh out of the oven. Days at the office are certainly much more palatable when you start your morning with some warm, flaky, buttery goodness.
Located at 4116 NW 16th Blvd next to Fresh Market, Uppercrust Productions has been a Gainesville institution since 1981, and in its current location since 1986. This is a unique shop that has been serving up Gainesville’s best breads, pastries, and desserts for a long time. From the moment you walk in, a distinct European feel greets you. Everything from the large display of croissants, scones, cookies, éclairs, and rolls, to the mountain of fresh baked breads behind the counter, to the towering walls of fine wines, olive oil, sauces, and gifts. This is a shop filled to the brim in culinary luxuries, and is a food lover’s paradise.
All of the delectable yummies here are baked daily, and once those doors open at 8 AM, tray after tray of tantalizing baked goods are brought out before your eyes. Most of the pastries range in price from $3.50 to $4.25 each, and there is plenty to choose from. The croissants here are second to none, crispy and flaky on the outside, soft on the inside, and buttery rich. Varieties include an Almond version, filled with almond paste, dusted in powdered sugar and almond flakes, a Chocolate Raspberry filled version, and Apricot. You must try these. Other recommendations include the Fleur aux Pistaches, a crispy flaky sugar-crusted pastry filled with homemade pistachio paste, and the Caramel Walnut Sweet Rose, a large round pastry covered in chunks of almond and caramel.
This is only skimming the surface, as the mountain of bread includes the likes of Rosemary Baguettes, French White, and Whole Wheat. There’s also an ever-rotating weekly offering of Leek & Potato, Rye, Ciabatta, and more. All of it is baked using unbleached flour, filtered water, sea salt, and a little yeast. As if this wasn’t enough to make your brain explode with desire, check out some of the fresh baked pretzels that are literally the size of your head (if you have a gigantic head like me). Beyond the sweets and breads, Uppercrust also offers an array of fresh made soups for lunch, as well as some savory pastries like the Goat Cheese & Tomato or Spinach & Feta French Roses.
While it’s certainly not cheap, with most pastries and breads ranging from $3 to $6 each, you definitely get what you pay for here. These are artisans who take great pride in hand-making everything, using the best ingredients. It’s not a dog and pony show here, there are no fancy methods in making what they make, just good ol’ fashioned techniques. Uppercrust is open from 8 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Saturday, and host wine-tastings every Saturday from 12 to 4 PM. But get in there early, and try some of these baked goodies while they’re still warm from the oven, you won’t regret it. As a friend of mine says, this is the closest thing to a French Patisserie you’ll find in the area. You may even catch me in there some mornings, getting my fix of croissants and coffee!
Oh, and bonus tip: Gentlemen, this is a great place to pick up some wine, and either some pastries or bread. A short walk down to the other end of the plaza is Dorn’s Liquors, where you can find some great cheeses (along with more wine, and obviously liquors). Combine both, and your lady will be most happy with you. You’re welcome.