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Archive for Sunday, November 9, 1997

RESTAURANTS GET INTO THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT

November 9, 1997

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Treat yourself and your family to baked goods at the holidays.

Whether people are baking for themselves or finding help from local businesses, food and the holidays go hand in hand.

Waddah Ghoshen, general manager at Perkins, 1711 W. 23rd, said the restaurant hires extra help in the bakery during the holiday season.

"We always have last-minute customers who need a pie for a dinner," Ghoshen said.

Perkins, like many local restaurants, features a variety of holiday baked goods for customers to purchase. Customers should place orders early to ensure that the food they want will be available, he said.

In addition, the menu at Perkins reflects the season. Six turkey items are offered at the restaurant for customers to enjoy through Nov. 30.

As one of the few restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day, Perkins will serve the traditional turkey meal. Many of its other menu items will not be offered.

Other traditional holiday foods -- like fruitcake -- have fallen out of favor with most people. But Drake's fruitcakes may be able to give the holiday shopper a new spin on tradition.

"I think our product is more like a sweet treat than the fruitcake that commonly gets a bad rap," said Maria Martin of Drake's. "It's very rich and doesn't have that bitter aftertaste."

The cakes, brought back to the Lawrence market in 1995, have increased in popularity.

"It's hard to push fruitcake," Martin said. "But people are surprised by the sweetness, and they keep wanting more."

Customers can purchase the cakes at The Bay Leaf, 725 Mass.

A pound of fruitcake costs $7.95, a pound and a half costs $10.50. Decorative gift boxes are also available for customers who use the cakes as gifts.

Local bakeries also enjoy getting into the season.

"Christmas is one of our busiest holidays," said Sunday Hodges of Munchers Bakery, 901 Iowa.

During the holidays, Munchers bakes everything from Christmas tree coffee cakes to Candy Cane bagels.

"It's a lot of fun to bake around the holidays. It's a good time to get creative and festive," Hodges said.

St. Louis Bread Company, 520 W. 23rd, is looking forward to seeing how its second holiday season in Lawrence plays out.

Eric Cole, marketing director for Original Bread Inc., the franchisee of St. Louis Bread Co., said the bakery side of the store introduces new products for the holidays.

For example, the shop sells cranberry-walnut bagels, cranberry muffins, Danish and coffee cake for the holiday season only.

The store's pumpkin muffins are a popular choice around the season as well.

The weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas, the bakery sells soft dinner egg rolls that people serve at their holiday dinners.

Although the Lawrence store has not be open long enough to make any predictions, Cole said the Kansas City stores are the busiest on the days before Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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