Decadent Desserts & Delicious Design
Words by Jess Hagemann Photos by Eric Morales
The bribes found at Bribery Bakery are the type you’ll want to give yourself as a reward for a hard day’s work. Indulgence is easier—and yummier!—than ever before with the opening of Bribery’s newest location in the ground floor of the Mueller AMLI Apartments.
Stop by first thing in the morning for savory bacon and gruyere popovers or cream cheese-frosted cinnamon rolls literally as big as your face. Come back for the after-school happy hour from 3-6pm, offering two-dollar discounts on literary-themed cocktails and reduced-price cupcakes for the kiddos, or wine and late-night plated desserts.
On the dessert menu, between Caramel Creme Brûlée and Strawberry Grapefruit Mousse, you’ll find Billie’s Sundae, named for owner Jodi Elliot’s eight-year-old daughter. Billie’s Sundae features all her favorites: vanilla bean ice cream, hot fudge, brownie bits, and lots of cherries. Eight of them to be exact.
If you ask Jodi about her favorite sweet treat, it’s the chocolate chunk pecan cookies. They’re substantial, she says, for “when you want something that’s going to do the trick. They’re satisfying and have a little bit of everything, both the sweet and the salty.”
Bribery also offers at least one naturally gluten-free option every day, usually some form of a delicacy layering custards, nuts, and cremes. These are not necessarily ‘healthier’ options, but as Jodi says, “If you’re going to do dessert, you might as well do it right!”
Exquisite pastries demand an equally sumptuous environment. Patrons equate Bribery’s unmistakable interior (from the floral damask wallpaper to neon lighting, everything is a shocking shade of fuchsia) with the experience of “walking into a dollhouse.”
Gilt-framed mirrors and velvet-upholstered throne-style chairs lend the whole cafe a sense of luxury, while fairytale details like tabletop glass shaker jars full of sprinkles (so you can add sugar to your sugar) keep the cafe as fun and kid-friendly as it is perfect for a date.
Jodi adds: “Interior design is my outlet. I wanted [Bribery] to be fun, whimsical, and bright. It should be a treat to come here. Everything is so neutral these days. Browns, tans, grays. Dining should be an experience. People can’t help but smile and be in a better mood when they’re surrounded by bright colors!”
Passersby are sure to be tempted by the three- dimensional display case that juts out over the sidewalk to make sure it won’t be missed. Inspired by New York’s famous window displays, Jodi alternately themes the case around upcoming holidays or to showcase local art.
Bribery is far from Jodi’s first foray into the industry. She took her first kitchen job at age 16 in San Antonio, then went on to attend the Culinary Institute of America. There she specialized in pastry arts, a niche that took her variously to London, New York City, and Portland, Oregon.
After moving back to Texas in 2009, Jodi helped open Foreign and Domestic, another east Austin restaurant, where she introduced Saturday morning “Bake Sales.” Her baked goods became so popular that her fans encouraged her to open her own bakery—and Bribery was born.
The Mueller location is her second store and currently employs fifteen, most of them women, as Jodi finds it’s great to be surrounded by ‘girl power’ in a male-dominated industry.
1900 Simond Ave. #300