When I first heard about this family-owned bakery located inside a Kroger in The Heights neighborhood of Little Rock, I was curious, intrigued, but also a little skeptical. It’s not often that a grocery store bakery offers much more than stale donuts, overly sweet cupcakes, and hideous birthday cakes with plastic figurines of Dora the Explorer protruding from 3-inch-thick frosting. But as I walked up to the counter at Silvek’s European Bakery, I knew this was no average grocery store bakeshop. Flanked on either side by the produce department or the cold cuts and deep-fried burritos, Silvek’s is an oasis for the sweet lover’s soul.
The options are many at Silvek’s but the friendly family running the shop are helpful and can help point you in the right direction depending on your needs. Fresh loaves of bread in all varieties rest atop the counter and fill baskets on the wall. You’ll find a crusty Italian loaf, poppy seed dinner rolls, hearty 8-grain, or Bavarian rye. You’ll hardly be able to resist snagging one of their two-foot-long, soft French baguettes, the perfect accompaniment to any number of fruit and cheese plates you can dream up (no extra trips needed…your already in a grocery store!).
The sweet treats offered by Silvek’s are nearly innumerable and entirely pleasurable. One large case houses around two dozen full-sized round cakes, perfect for your last-minute birthday or other celebratory needs. Just around the corner you’ll find a vast selection of both common bakery treats as well as uniquely European specialties. Delectable fruit tarts are a customer favorite, filled with sweet, creamy custard and fresh strawberries and kiwi. The honey-toned flavors of the chewy, sticky baklava are keeping many customers returning for more. Tiramisu, éclairs, fudge bars, lemon squares, cannoli, and chocolate caramel tortes are just a few of the items you can expect to be forced to choose from behind Silvek’s gleaming glass display cases.
You will surely not want to miss their apple crumb cakes. Soft, cinnamon-laced crumb cake is topped with an apple streusel and silky sugar glaze. Be sure to grab one of the flaky, buttery sweet bowties or a raspberry almond tart.
Perhaps the greatest item I’ve sampled is the unassuming almond macarons. What appear to be nothing more than brown cookies dusted with powder sugar are in reality an unearthly experience for your unsuspecting taste buds. Each macaron has a slightly crisp exterior with a thin sugar glaze, and an interior that’s soft and chewy, with a sweet perfume of almond and molasses. It’s brilliant.
Now, the next time your significant other asks you to dash over to the store for milk and eggs, you can go knowing there is a silver lining to this otherwise face-numbingly dull task. Soon you’ll be adding “Stop by Silvek’s” to every shopping list you every write.
Silvek's European Bakery
1900 N Polk St