Friday night I realized just how long it’s been, at least a couple of months, since I got to Champs Vegan Bakery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. You know it’s been a while when you stand dumbfounded at the glass door, a ‘whoa’ falling from your mouth; when you go to a bakery that’s now a diner.
Still the same neon sign invites you, but you’re met by retro padded booths and a stretch forever counter dotted with cake stands of sweets, like crumbs leading the way to the main case. It’s actually quite inviting…much more so than the hit and run (come in, get out) feel previously. You want to grab a cup of coffee and grub, sit with friends and enjoy.
Actually, that’s probably the biggest difference: the prominence of their food selection, not just sweets. After fellow vegan establishment Boneshakers closed its doors, Champs carried a limited menu, including the Merckx Werkx with tofurky, sham, olive tapenade, chipotle mayo, lettuce, tomato, on a ciabatta hero. I got to cross this off my wishlist this past summer.
The food menu was almost tucked away, though. So much so, my sister thought it was a brand new endeavor. The new diner setup means an integration of the two.
After I wiped the drool from my mouth, I tried to be sensible and get a couple of cookies: Chocolate Crinkle and Green Apple Stained-Glass. Um…but then I spotted the Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie. Oh…wow. ‘Well, I did have a pretty sensible dinner…Cookies tonight…and the pie for breakfast?’ Great plan until I spotted the Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Muffins, ehhem, inconveniently positioned by the register.
She was a little disappointed with her mistake…until she raps on my door at 8:30am letting me know she was heading out. (My butt was so not getting up.)
‘Oh, you know how I screwed up with what I got last night? Well I devoured that other thing with the chocolate and pb at like 4am. It was basically like a huge Reese’s.’
‘Is that a good thing? Did it make up for the other?’
Top picks: PB&J Pie (me) most def and the Chocolate PB Cup thigamajiger (my sis).
Champs Vegan Bakery and Diner
176 Ainslie St
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211