Review by J1 Reporter Jessica Brusnahan
Paradise Bakery & Café in Village Pointe at 17305 Davenport Street, Suite 101 pleasantly surprised me. An urban area, a casual ambiance, and friendly servers made the experience fun and fresh.
First off: food. I ordered the signature “you choose 2” combo, with a cup of creamy tomato soup with toppings (tortilla chip strips and sour cream drizzle) and 1⁄2 signature Fuji apple chicken salad with romaine lettuce, (antibiotic free) chicken, tomatoes, pecans, gorgonzola, apple chips and white balsamic Fuji apple vinaigrette. Altogether my meal (with just water to drink and no dessert) totaled at $8.99; plus tax I spent $10.96. A fair price for the great food I got, I thought. The rest of the menu looked similarly reasonable in cost.
Diving in, my thoughts on the food were just as I had hoped: a fresh, not watery, crunchy salad and a thick, creamy soup with salty toppings. The presentation was simple but not sloppy, enticing to eat. And don’t leave out the sweets: while I missed the famous chocolate chip cookies this time around, I’d had them a year before and couldn’t forget their crunchy edges and chewy, sweet-and-salty centers.
The aura at Paradise is pretty millennial: I saw lots of teenagers stopping for a bite to eat while shopping and young couples chatting over a fresh meal. With pop music lightly playing, the café provided an opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of a busy shopping center and relax. Reservations aren’t needed, so simply stop in and hop in line. There was a small but steady crowd in the café, but don’t worry about waiting: at most, there were four people in line. The servers are willing to help and readily suggest their top picks. In addition, the menus are easy to read and have many gluten-free, vegan, and other food allergy options. Accessibility and ambiance: check.
Out of the three Omaha locations (Village Pointe, Regency Court at 120 Regency Parkway (Suite 156), and in the lower level of City Hall at the Cater Omaha Kiosk at 1819 Farnam Street), I chose Village Pointe. I found it a bit hard to actually maneuver around the Village Pointe mall, and then parking was a challenge, so plan to spend a few minutes looking for a spot. Overall I arrived just a few minutes later than expected and my walk from the nearby Marcus movie theater to the café was less than a minute.
Though I normally prefer to eat outside when I go out, the wintry weather was not kind to my desires. Village Pointe Paradise offers seating outside, but until temperatures rise significantly I would stay indoors. It’s pretty warm in the café, so a light jacket and pants would be comfortable in the colder months, shorts and a t-shirt in the warmer months (especially if you’ll be walking around shopping through the mall).
Paradise at Village Pointe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but breakfast is limited to 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 11
a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Otherwise, the café is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m, Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Hours for other locations vary but are easily available on the Paradise online site. In addition, Village Pointe Paradise caters, so call 402-934-5757 for more information.
Paradise at Village Pointe proudly displays an “excellent” health rating, meaning (as determined by the Douglas County Health Department) that the establishment maintains very few health code violations and immediately makes changes for deficiencies upon inspection. On a more obvious note, the café was very clean, seating and bathroom alike.
I’d have to give Paradise a 4.5 out of 5 stars. The food was delicious: classics like grilled cheese and tomato soup with savory toppings or healthy spins on salads and paninis. The staff was friendly and ready to help. I didn’t so much love the walk-up counter, as I’d rather go to a table and sit down first. Also be ready to search for parking and take a walk to the café. But whether you’re ending a long day of shopping or stopping in after a movie, I recommend giving Village Pointe Paradise Bakery & Café a try, especially for those decadent desserts.