My Daddy’s Cheesecake Bakery & Cafe
7 Town Center Loop, Santa Rosa Beach, 850- 267-1002 map

 As those of you that live here know, last Thursday and Friday were two days when the heavens broke loose and we were seeing 3″-5″ of rain per hour at times. Two days of flooding rains, and wet, chilly weather were the pits. So on Friday afternoon, I threw on my bright yellow rain boots and braved the storm to visit the newly opened My Daddy’s Cheesecake Bakery & Cafe at 7 Town Center Loop in Gulf Place – nothin’ like a piece of cheesecake to bring the spirits back up on a cruddy day.

Tina and Rick Stanfield opened the bakery last December and have done a wonderful job of converting the cozy space into an inviting breakfast, lunch and early dinner spot. It kinda feels like a more intimate Panera Bread in many ways, sans the noise and flurry of activity, with soft lighting, soothing earth tones, dark tables and stools and attractive banner marketing pieces hanging on the walls.

 The first thing you notice when you walk in is the huge display cases of cheesecake and other baked goodies. I can’t remember what the “other baked goodies” actually are as I was drawn in by the cheesecake display and totally ignored everything else.

They had at least 12 different kinds of cheesecake to choose from – from Classic to White Chocolate Truffle. I settled on the N’Orleans Praline which was $1 off if I ordered with lunch ($2.95/slice or $1.95/slice if you order with a lunch/dinner item) – which I did and will get to in a minute. The cheesecake was superb. More in the style of a New York cheesecake, the cheesecake filling was on the drier side but not in a bad way, just in a New York-style cheesecake way. It was perfectly balanced and had a thick bottom layer of graham cracker crust. My piece was missing the front inner section where I assume more pralines had been and had a nice layer of gooey caramel. I look forward to eating my way through each kind of cheesecake.

 For lunch, I ordered the Daddy’s Reuben ($6.79) which I have been craving ever since. “Freshly baked marble rye bread covered with thin slices of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, & our special blend of 1000 Island dressing”, it was hot and absolutely delish. The bread had been buttered I think and was Cheese2 toasted to perfection, and the corned beef was tender and very flavorful. I love sauerkraut but am not a huge fan of 1000 Island dressing but their homemade dressing was awesome, and a perfect compliment to the sandwich. It was served with my favorite kind of chip – crispy, crunchy kettle cooked chips – and a pickle spear. With a fountain drink, my whole lunch came to $11.05 and it was worth every cent.

I don’t get over to Gulf Place much but I have heard they have been busy since they opened and, if my lunch is any indication, I can see why. Their menu is huge for such a small place. For breakfast, they offer all kinds of sandwiches ($3.59) – on biscuits, sourdough, croissants, or ciabatta – as well as omelets ($4.79 – $5.99), biscuits and gravy ($2.99), and something called Hash It Up ($3.79) – “Add just about anything you like to Daddy’s shredded potato hash browns. Try cheese, onions, sweet peppers or jalapenos just for starters.” as well side items and fresh baked goods.

For lunch, there are like 10 different salads, 14 different kinds of sandwiches and 9 different wraps as well as soups and a healthy Kid’s menu. Add in all the cheesecakes, baked goods, and an impressive looking espresso machine and fresh brewed coffees and all I can say is … WOW! I will definitely be back!

Welcome to SoWal My Daddy’s Cheesecake!

Reviewed by Jill Gaupin of SoWal Scene

Jill is die-hard foodie and a big part of her life revolves around eating, cooking, and drinking wine…oh, and talking about eating, cooking and drinking wine, too.