Caya Aufiero and John Chen have a great thing going on in Downtown Dutchtown. Their Urban Eats Cafe and Bakery is the kind of place everyone wishes they had in their neighborhood. It’s a few blocks off South Grand at 3301 Meramec at the northwest corner of Meramec and Virginia.

They had a nice crowd this evening, including the alderman, the Downtown Dutchtown board members, and lots and lots of neighborhood residents. Some said they are there every day, and I can see how that would be a great way to spend an afternoon or evening, either outside enjoying the street activity at the umbrella tables or inside enjoying the artful, fun decor.

A few, very brief speeches were made by Caya and John and the alderman, thanks were proffered for support and encouragement and patronage, and the evening was a success.The weather cooperated, too, and the party was in full swing when I got there, with a blues combo (a really, really good blues combo) playing on the corner, kids making chalk drawings on the sidewalk, and neighbors chatting and laughing and having a great time.

I made my way inside and ordered a turkey wrap from the menu. OMG! It was so good! I haven’t seen a wrap done quite the way Urban Eats does them—they pop them into the panini grill for a minute, and the wrap is slightly crisped. Holds together nicely, and the little “crunch” is a winner. Really enjoyed it, and washed it down with the house special drink called a “boozie.” It’s a blender drink made with ice, fresh fruit, milk or soy milk, and your choice of either vodka or rum. I choose the rum, strawberry, chocolate, and soy milk. OMG! It was so good!

While I was eating, local historian Nini Harris joined me, and I chatted with her and her sister a another couple. Just when I thought I was thoroughly satisfied, someone brought a piece of the richest, best carrot cake with butter cream frosting that I have ever eaten. Put enough butter cream on something, and as I eat it, I may temporarily become  incoherent. (OMG! It was good!!!!!)

I left a little before 8:00 pm to have time to post photos from the party. Hope you enjoy them.

Check out Urban Eats this weekend!

PS — They also do event catering.

Editor’s Note: I was traveling light this evening, so I took these photos with my cell phone. They’re not the best photos I’ve ever taken, but I hope they give a sense of the event.