As we're walking out the door after lunch at Urban pL8, the new café on Huff Road in the former Pangea location, the cashier/waiter/food runner yells out, "Hey! Can you guys wait one second?" He's fumbling with something in the semi-open kitchen, located behind the bar in the high-ceilinged, loft-like space.
We stop, wondering what he could want. Did we forget something? Had we done something wrong? He rushes around to the counter, and, leaning over, clutching two brown paper bags in his hands, presents an offering. "Fresh baked cookies!" he explains.
Those cookies, melting and warm and comforting, say a lot about Urban pL8. There's a true spirit of goodwill at the restaurant, an aim-to-please attitude that's both earnest and endearing. The execution of that goodwill isn't always achieved with panache, but it's hard to resist once it gets to you.
Urban pL8 is owned and operated by Betsy Pitts, who's spent time in the kitchens of Bacchanalia and Floataway Café. But don't let her high-falutin' credentials lead you astray. Urban pL8's goal is to be a neighborhood lunch and occasional dinner spot (it's only open for dinner Friday and Saturday nights), not an upscale scene. Pitts' staff is affable, attractive, and often flummoxed. The whole place has a kind of thrown together feel, like a lovable family who set out to start a business and is trying really hard despite not knowing exactly what they're doing.
(Photo by James Camp)
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