Worth the Drive

Good Bite

The Tom's New Yorker Sandwich, Cordon "Ramsey" Blu Sandwich, Backyard Garden Flatbread and Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake. Photo by Laura Paquette.

Even though we live in a thriving tourist destination, it can be easy to forget to take some time off to rest and recharge. On Anna Maria Island, The Cheesecake Cutie and Cafe welcomes travelers and locals looking to kick back, relax and partake in some light and delicious fare.

Opened in 2020 by husband and wife team Kane and Jennifer Geils, The Cheesecake Cutie and Cafe was inspired in part by Jennifer’s friends, who encouraged her to start a business selling her outstanding cheesecakes. “The cheesecake recipe is my mom’s; it’s 40 years old in our family,” she says. “I used to remember watching her make it by hand.” Jennifer left her full-time job in early 2020, and she and Kane fell in love with the cafe’s current space on Anna Maria Island and relocated from Orlando to the Gulf Coast to open the eatery later that year. Since then, the establishment has grown to become a go-to stop for delicious cheesecakes, like the Blueberry Lemon, but also muffins, sweet and savory flatbreads, breakfast goodies, sandwiches and salads.

To start your day off right, try the Tom’s New Yorker sandwich, made on a bagel shipped in overnight from New York City. The dish features three scrambled eggs and cheese, but we recommend adding some fresh vegetables, a specialty of the cafe, and meat, like bacon or ham. The sandwich’s portion size is generous, and every bite is delectable. Pair it with a cold brew coffee, roasted and infused with cheesecake graham cracker crust by Java Dawg Coffee, for the ultimate comfort breakfast. For lunch, sample the Cordon "Ramsey" Blu sandwich, with rotisserie chicken, ham, Swiss cheese, arugula and house Dijon mustard on a pretzel roll. The Dijon pairs beautifully with the chicken and arugula. If you’re in search of veggies, order the Backyard Garden Flatbread, laden with spinach, bell peppers, Greek olives, red onion, tomato, goat cheese and mozzarella. This shareable meal is so good that you might find yourself sneaking extra slices from your dining companions. On a hot day, opt for the chicken salad, made with herbs from the cafe’s onsite garden, or the Old Bay Shrimp Salad.

Whether it’s a sandwich dreamed up by Kane or a cheesecake made with Jennifer’s mom’s recipe, every dish has a story behind it. “All of the recipes that we have on our menu are family recipes from either ourselves or one of our employees,” she adds. “Everything we do is our own.” While local restaurants like Kiwi Style Fish and Chips and the Freckled Fin carry the cafe’s cheesecake, you’ll have to make the trek to Anna Maria to experience everything the menu has to offer, as well as Jennifer and Kane’s contagious enthusiasm and hospitality. Trust us, it’s well worth the drive.

The Cheesecake Cutie and Cafe, 3324 E. Bay Dr., Holmes Beach, 941-779-2253, cheesecakecutie.com.

The Tom's New Yorker Sandwich, Cordon "Ramsey" Blu Sandwich, Backyard Garden Flatbread and Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake. Photo by Laura Paquette.

The Cheesecake Cutie and Cafe

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