The roast beef sandwich and tortilla soup at Williams Confectionery Crafts.
Bonnie Walker and I stopped by Williams Confectionery Crafts for lunch on a recent Tuesday, when the special is always chicken and dumplings. Thick, doughy strips were covered in a chicken gravy that produced an appreciative smile on Bonnie's face as spooned up each succulent morsel.
"These are just like my mom makes," she told Joyce Williams, a retired school teacher who has run the unassuming northeast side restaurant on Toepperwein Road for the past six years.
"That's the nicest compliment anyone can give me," was her response.
And it's the same feeling you'll have if you wander in for breakfast, lunch or an early dinner, for savory treats like chicken-fried steak or King Ranch chicken casserole or for any of the delectable desserts, which range from hummingbird cake to raspberry-white chocolate bars.
That day, I had breakfast on my mind, so I went with an omelet stuffed with a little bit of everything, including some diced orange pepper, almost raw spinach leaves, ham, bacon and sausage. The sheet of egg wrapped around the lively jumble of ingredients was beautifully cooked and just about all I could want.
The red velvet cake has pecans on top.
On a more recent visit, a friend and I decided to try the soups and sandwiches. She ordered the roast beef, while I settled for baked ham. The meat on both is cut from the bone, not from some deli. So, the roast beef was more akin to pot roast, with a colorful blend of bell peppers and red onion on top and some provolone cheese melted into the wheat bun. Days later, memories of the meat, so flavorful and tender, keep calling me back. The pan-fried bits of ham with lettuce and slices of a perfectly ripe tomato.
A tomato bisque with a touch of cheese on top was tangy and comforting — and a bit more welcome than the gelatinous tortilla soup, the lone misfire on several visits.
As good as the savory treats were, the sweets were the real reason people have flocked to Williams. The display case that runs the width of the dining room and the counter behind it were laden with old-fashioned treats highly reminiscent of the kind that my mom, now a retired baker, used to make. On one visit, several types of chocolate cakes, filled with whipped cream or topped with bits of chopped candy bar, sat next to 7-Up cake, hummingbird cake, lemon cake and pink or strawberry cake. Then there were cupcakes, cookies, bar cookies, and the puddings, including bread and banana, the latter of which drew sighs of delirious contentment from Bonnie. I opted that day for a slab of cherry strudel with a sticky glaze and airy dough wrapped around the fruit filling.
A baked ham sandwich with a golden tomato bisque.
And I haven't even gotten to the pies, including coconut chess, buttermilk chess, sweet potato, sweet potato-cream cheese, apple and more.
On the second visit, the cake lineup had changed to include a caramel drizzled coconut cream cake and a towering red velvet cake, both of which were airy yet substantial, with the cake complemented by the luscious frostings.
Williams Confectionery Crafts has even more, including coffee drinks, ice cream treats, oversized cinnamon rolls and to-go orders, whether you want a few dozen cupcakes or a specialty cake decorated for a birthday, anniversary or even wedding. I'm ready for my next visit.
Williams Confectionery Crafts
12107 Toepperwein Road
Dinner until 7 p.m.: Monday-Friday