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Taste takes the cake

Lincoln resident to offer old- fashioned treats at Patty Cakes
By: Cheri March The News Messenger
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Lincoln resident Maria O’Mallan is a firm believer in the notion that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Particularly when it comes to the taste buds. Fittingly, Patty Cakes – the bakery café O’Mallan is set to open at 650 G St. this summer – will not be a frou-frou sweet shop. Instead, the owner explained, flavor will reign over beauty. “I’m not really into fancy decorating,” O’Mallan said. “I’d rather have a regular cake taste good and be moist than look pretty and taste dry.” O’Mallan said she will offer a changing array of cakes, from the classics – red velvet, German chocolate and pound cake – to more exotic flavors such as Japanese mochi, a recipe she picked up in Honolulu. Her bakery will also feature old-fashioned treats like banana nut bread. “There are a lot of old-school recipes handed down to me from my grandmother,” she said. “My family baked a lot.” O’Mallan, who hails from Guam, said she’s excited to bring her multinational menu to Lincoln. “Guam is kind of like the gateway to Asia,” she said. “We’re familiar with lots of types of food.” For instance, she might offer kelaguen, barbecued chicken seasoned with lemon, hot peppers and coconut. “It’s spicy and lemony and you eat it with a tortilla,” she said. Other possibilities include bibingka, a Filipino sweet rice pudding, and sushi. An opening date has yet to be determined, but Patty Cakes is currently in the pre-design process and will likely go before the planning commission in June, said Steve Art, the city’s economic development director. Though the downtown space the shop will occupy is new, it wasn’t set up for a bakery. “We’ve had some challenges – we had some issues with the venting and the outside barbecue – but we worked through them,” he said. And if all goes well, Lincolnites will soon have something they’ve been craving for a long time, Art said. “It will be nice to have a bakery downtown,” he said. “There’s really nothing to compete with it right now.” In addition to in-store eats, O’Mallan plans to keep a counter stocked with fresh, pre-made meals for customers on the go. “People are so pressed for time nowadays,” she said. “They just want to get back to work.” The restaurant owner is already familiar with time-starved customers. She formerly operated a quick-stop restaurant for hungry truckers in Yuma, Ariz. But Patty Cakes will be different. “In Yuma, we just fed them the basic, all-American food,” she said. “But this time, I’ll sell what I’ve been doing and perfecting so long. I’ll be selling what I like.”