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Monday, Jan. 24, 2022

4 [NEW ON THE FOOD SCENE] FLAVORFUL RESTAURANTS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH

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Sweet Cheezus Doc’s Sandwich Shop The Library on Fern Up For Brunch


1. Doc’s Sandwich Shop

Doc’s Sandwich Shop and Deli is located next door to its parent, Lowder Baking Company. Preston and Sarah Lowder started Lowder Baking in January 2019.

They started as a King Cake bakery out of their home, but their product bred (or bread) success, and they had to move to bigger facilities. They opened on Fern Avenue, and things started cooking.

As Sarah explained, “We expanded our menu to have breakfast pastries, fresh-baked bread, desserts, cookies, brownies, cookie cakes and then King Cakes during Mardi Gras. We would do a lunch ‘pop-up’ where we would make a sandwich out of the fresh-baked breads that we make.

“Our first was our jalapeño cheddar bacon grill cheese that we would do on our jalapeño cheddar bread just to kind of show customers that these are things you can make on fresh-baked Lowder bread. It really took off. That’s where the idea for the Lowder Lunches came from, and when the spot opened up next door, we decided it was time to open up a sandwich shop. We opened in October 2021.

Each week, Doc’s rotates the soups they offer and makes specialty sandwiches each week. Lowder said everything on the menu is made from scratch on freshly baked bread from Lowder Baking Company next door. “We use really high-quality ingredients,” she said. “We have hot, melty, decadent sandwiches, but also some lighter sandwiches. We want it to be a place where a group with a lot of different tastes can come in and find something that they would like.”

Each sandwich is made on a different fresh-baked Lowder bread, their baguettes, French bread, jalapeño cheddar bread or classic white.

Their menu is online and shows the full complement of their offerings and the build-it-yourself menu. See https://www.facebook.com/docssandwichshopshv/menu.

“We started doing the Lowder Lunch pop-up at the bakery, and we thought we would maybe sell 20 sandwiches at a time. We would end up with a line out the door, and these big office orders coming in. When the space came open next to us, we just felt we were going to regret not trying. I felt like the stars aligned to be able to make us comfortable enough to do this.”

By the way, Doc’s is named for the Lowders’ 12-year-old Dachshund, Doc (see photo at top). They also have three kids and two other dogs. She did not mention if they plan to open additional shops in their names.


2. Up For Brunch

Now for something completely different. A bright yellow eatery.

Up For Brunch opened Thanksgiving weekend 2021, and the immediate buzz was very positive. Manager Maddy Williams said, “We just didn’t think it was going to be in such high demand. Literally, everyone comes at the same time. We weren’t expecting that. We originally only opened for two days, but due to it being so popular—we weren’t expecting that—we’re open Friday to Monday now.”

What attracts those hordes of folks to the Texas Avenue address might be the yellow painted building, or the interior decorated with murals by a local artist, or even the vibe that Williams described as like Austin. But she said there’s something more attractive than that. “It’s good, quality food. It’s worth it.”

She said patrons take advantage of the brunch atmosphere to eat, sit, talk and enjoy themselves.

“Our vibes aren’t traditional local restaurant. We’re very different. We’re unique. Our food, it’s like gourmet brunch; we have quite a few flavors of mimosas, fair priced. Great signature dishes such as our brunch roll—it’s kind of a unique twist on an egg roll, but it’s filled with eggs, cheese, potatoes; you can get veggie, you can get meat.”

More menu items can be found at https://www.upforbrunch.com/menu-pdf.html.

Like the Up for Brunch Facebook page says: “Due to the rise in Covid, we are introducing ways to keep our staff and guests safe. On each table we have QR codes where you can scan/order/pay. Don’t worry if you have a flip phone, we still have the traditional printed menu for you.” And the patio is covered so patrons can enjoy their orders in the fresh air.


3. The Library on Fern

One of the newer entries on the local eatery scene is The Library on Fern. Don’t come in expecting to check out some Chaucer, but you can check out some of what owner Bryan Molitor calls upscale casual dining.

“We started this in June [2021]. We didn’t open until the beginning of November for lunch. Then we were kind of a ghost kitchen at that time. We had no advertising; we had no signage.”

The restaurant is located in the Auto Mall area of Bert Kouns Industrial Loop.

“We were just going around to some of the local dealerships and doctors’ offices and passing out menus. A week before Thanksgiving we started actually serving in the restaurant. The day after Thanksgiving we started doing dinners.”

According to the restaurant’s website, you don’t have to worry about keeping your voice down in this library. “Friends and family are always welcome to hang out, catch up and enjoy delicious drinks and bites. Try our lunch special – the brisket burger – and send your taste buds on an adventure.”

Molitor describes the fare like this: “Our lunches are designed to be within the $10- $15 range. Quick serve. We use all fresh ingredients. All of our dressings and sauces are made in-house. We have a lot of lunch specials. There is something different all the time. We have some of the best sandwiches and burgers in town.”

“We have a beautiful bar. We have a ton of high-end bourbons. Our well is a premium well. We do a lot of really nice cocktails, martinis that we’ve designed for our restaurant.”

If that’s not enticing enough for you, he also boasts a 20-tap, self-service beer wall as well as an extensive wine list by the glass and by the bottle.

Molitor also doesn’t have late fees for patrons who stay too long.


4. Sweet Cheezus

Jessica Shaw started her business out of her house. She prepared food in the French style of charcuterie devoted to prepared meat products like bacon, ham, sausage, pâtés and other items.

She said starting her own business was sort of an accident after her former employer closed due to Covid.

“I was sort of successful, but someone turned me into the health department for operating out of my house. So, I moved into CoHab downtown and operated out of there for almost a year. Then an opportunity came to move to the downtown airport. I thought I was just going to continue to do charcuterie, and it literally overnight turned into a restaurant.”

Things have been lively, she said, thanks to an enthusiastic social media following. “I’ve always pushed for that on social media. We’ve got over 6,000 followers,” she said.

It came as a sort of shock to her that many folks didn’t know Shreveport had a downtown airport. She admits she didn’t either.

The downtown airport is home to more than 350 aircraft, making it the largest general aviation airport in Louisiana. To help get the word out, they do events. Recently, they held a car meet. “It was great. There were so many people who [said] we had no idea that this existed. You’re close to us; we can come for lunch.”

The Sweet Cheezus website is https:// www.facebook.com/sweetcheezusllc and has the complete menu of offerings.

“I would describe us as American diner-type food with a classier twist. We have something for everybody. We have a fancy cheese appetizers, like Burrata, and brie, and goat cheese. We have amazing soups. And salads. It’s for everybody. You can come in and have a complete meal for under $15 including your drink.”

In addition to your food and drink, Shaw said there is something very different about her restaurant. “We push the idea that this is dining with a view because you literally sit down and watch planes take off and land. We had a sky crane land last week. That was pretty cool to watch. It’s a different atmosphere and a fun atmosphere.”

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