Bill got the meat sandwich on eight-grain bread, and though he started out overwhelmingly disappointed by the three thin slices of cold cuts and cheese, he later exclaimed that the bread and dressing made it very tasty. That's the thing about Colognese's breads, be they rosemary, asiago, sunflower seed loaf, or raisin/honey/oat loaf — the particular choices that day — they are like a meal unto themselves.

But if I had to choose a different pastry for a lunchtime dessert, I would have a hard time deciding between the dark chocolate brownies, the raspberry-pecan squares, the gluten-free almond amaretti cookies, and the Italian espresso/plum brandy muffins (these pastries vary, as do the breads, from day to day).

What else do I love about the Village Hearth Bakery Café? The DIY beverage center, with chilled simple syrup for cold drinks; self-serve milk and half-and-half in a small fridge beneath the countertop; a tub for recycling your dishes. A pile of enticing board games. The garden of roses and veggies bordering the outdoor deck. And last, but certainly not least, the community event of Sunday night grilled pizza — one is always margarita ($11), the other a seasonal special ($13).

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