By Erin Gannon Special to Published Dec 22, 2007 at 5:16 AM

In a culture where coffee shops are often measured by how quickly they can whip together your double tall chocolate mocha and your friend's triple grande soy latte, Le Cakery takes things a little slower and simpler, but no less tasty and caffeinated.

Le Cakery, 13320 Watertown Plank Rd., Elm Grove, is a jack-of-all-trades doubling as a coffee shop and bakery with catering services. Coffees, teas, lunches and baked goods are expected from a coffee shop, but Le Cakery extends its services to event planning with specialized catering, gift baskets and made-to-order cakes for all occasions, including weddings. They also sell small gift items, such as Good Earth products, bags of Door County coffees and various chocolate-covered trinkets.

Darell and Patti Larson run the family owned and operated business with their daughter, Lindsay, serving as the head pastry chef. She was trained at the Art Institute in Minneapolis and makes mouthwatering desserts such as cakes, truffles, brownies and strawberry almond cheesecake, which I very happily caved in and bought. And, for those of us counting calories, the éclairs come in a mini version to satisfy bite-sized cravings.

Although small, Le Cakery offers a comfortable atmosphere akin to sitting in someone's kitchen over a cup of coffee or lunch. Compared to numerous other coffee shops I have drifted in and out of lately, Le Cakery takes the pace down a notch and focuses on homemade menu items and unique coffee combinations.

Le Cakery serves Door County coffees and teas, another reason to make a visit, with flavors I have yet to see at other coffee shops. The Hawaiian mocha, German chocolate, white cherry and piña colada lattes caught my eye, but classics such as cappuccinos, café au lait and café Americano also are offered.

Gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads and quiches are made from a regular menu and daily specials. The spinach and feta quiche was delicious, the crust being my favorite part, and came in the perfect portion with a fruit cup and bran muffin to complement the dish.

The Mediterranean tuna takes a zesty spin on the traditional tuna sandwich with a hint of lemon juice and paired with a focaccia roll. Other sandwiches come with unique homemade spreads such as horseradish and cream cheese spread, Cuban spread and pesto.

Erin Gannon Special to
Originally from Michigan, Erin made her move to Milwaukee shortly after graduating from St. Norbert College in May 2007 with a degree in English. Erin tapped into her writing skills as an intern for the college magazine and is excited about the opportunity to combine exploring her new home and a love of writing with When she isn't writing at one of Milwaukee's many coffee shops, Erin can be found reading, running - she's obsessed - or trying to learn guitar. Searching for the best margarita in town is pretty high on the list of hobbies, too.