Consider the Cream Puff at Evelyne’s on Center in St. Albans | 7 Nights Spotlight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Consider the Cream Puff at Evelyne’s on Center in St. Albans

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Evelyn's on Center in St. Albans - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Evelyn's on Center in St. Albans

Consider the cream puff: A cloud of just-sweetened, tongue-tickling froth tucked into a petite pastry shell, the confection is just big enough to supply a few sublime bites. Depending on the season, Evelyn Martin fills hers with fruited cream or paints their lids with maple glaze.

Location Details Evelyne's on Center
15 Center St.
Champlain Islands/Northwest
St. Albans, VT
802-782-1852
closed: Sun.
Baked Goods and Market & Café

Since Evelyne's on Center opened in downtown St. Albans in February 2015, the featherlight treats have been flying off the shelves.

Evelyn's on Center in St. Albans - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Evelyn's on Center in St. Albans

But visitors to Martin's shop get more than sweet deals. She spends most of her time cooking out back but happily shares tips gleaned from more than three decades of making pastry at beloved Burlington-area spots such as the Daily Planet, Sneakers Bistro and the original Waterworks. Asked about holiday baking, she rattles off ideas: "Chocolate and peanut butter, dried fruits, dates, nuts, raisins, figs — you can add those to apple pies."

A modest case holds the day's sweets, each as appealing as the puffs: galettes cradling thin-sliced apples, peaches or cranberries; almond tarts with sliced nectarines, glistening with apricot glaze; cake rolls stuffed with buttercream and pistachios; nut bars spread with inky ganache.

Evelyn's on Center in St. Albans - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Evelyn's on Center in St. Albans

To the right, a table holds stacked cookies wrapped in cellophane and meringues and macaroons in glass jars. Above these, a chalkboard — scribed in neat, colorful letters — proffers chicken-liver pâté, curried egg-salad sandwiches and split-pea soup. "Fresh baguettes, 3 p.m.," it finishes, inviting nearby workers to bring a warm loaf home for dinner.

Buying dessert for the family? There's plenty to choose from, but Martin's small cakes — carrot or chocolate or lined with ladyfingers and sized to feed two to six people — have been selling faster than she can make them. "I hear it all the time," Martin says: "'I'm so glad you make those small cakes, because you can have people over and there's none left over.'"

Yet another reason to come back for more.

This article was originally published in 7 Nights: The Seven Days Guide to Vermont Restaurants & Bars in April 2016.

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