When’s the last time you had a big slice of cake? That slice that when it’s cut, you say, “Oh, wait, no, that’s way too big,” but you take the plate bearing the heavy piece anyway.
You can get a delicate, or decadent, cupcake in many places in Dallas, but to get a good slice of a homemade cake, you have to go to Oak Cliff to Cretia’s. You can easily make a good day of it: Lockhart Smokehouse is on the same block as the local bakery.
The glass cases still have plenty for the cupcake fans, but they welcome more baked good lovers with pies and cakes. Before the store moved across Bishop Street to its current location, I tried out a slice of blackberry pie. A moist and flakeless crust surrounded a dense slice, stiff with blackberry preserves and jelly. The tart, seedy bites proved to be a perfect dessert to a summer night. But the slices of cake were calling, too.
The frosting of the cakes are soft and sweet, providing an indulgent protection for the moist cake inside of it. While acceptable, the red velvet is nothing better than most options. The wedding cake is one of the best slices–not overwhelming with flavor of course, but giving you a bite of smooth, white cake marrying its sweet, white frosting. A chocolate cake with white frosting may be tempting: It’s beautiful and fine, but not worth your dollars or its calories compared to others.
Strawberry cake, while not at the top of most people’s minds, is worth getting every time–in a cake slice or cupcake. Similar to the others, the smooth, moist frosting gives you a bite you know is worth whatever amount of butter is in it. And the strawberry taste is incredible without the fulfilling frosting. Resist your urge to scrape it off, and you have a meal all to itself in the dessert.
Cookies are also in the cases here, and you can easily take them to go if you made the wise choice to have cake already (or if you had a beef rib at Lockhart’s prior to your visit).
Your experience of the staff can vary depending on the person behind your counter, with some being perfection and others displaying their unfamiliarity with the food. Some people working there know their information on Cretia’s cake. They start telling you what kind of cake it is before your arm fully extends to point to it; they tell you why exactly the wedding cake is just barely a better option than the chocolate cake; they know the exact timing to pull a slice from the cake onto your plate in one piece. Others there try with smiles on their faces, but don’t succeed as well. They can’t tell you if the red velvet cake’s frosting has cream cheese or not; they can’t say, without a long pause, what their favorite cakes are; your “slice” of cake comes out in a lump with a dollop of scooped up, leftover frosting on top of it.
No matter which service you get on a day, it will still be from a friendly face, and at the very least, and, more importantly, your slice of cake is decadent and more enjoyable than the selections at a particularly famous cupcake shop.
Location: 500 N. Bishop Ave., 75208, 214-941-0082
Hours: Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.
Ambiance: Small space–enough for a big line to order dessert, not a lot for people to stay and eat
Payment Information: Major credit cards accepted
Alcohol: None served