Escape to Pondicheri

What better way to begin than with one of my favorite getaways in Houston? Should you find yourself in our fair city, or if you are lucky enough to live here, please do yourself a favor and stop in for a morning treat or afternoon chai at the Pondicheri Bake Lab.  Let's get this out of the way, this is not a review - I am hopelessly biased.  Think: french pastries laced with cardamom, rose or orange blossom, and fresh takes on traditional subcontinent sweets. 

When the owners first opened the bake lab several months ago, it was difficult to parse out the added benefit of the space.  Baked goods and juices were still available at their restaurant downstairs, and there wasn't much of a menu.  However, now the owners have delineated the two spaces.  Fresh juice blends and baked goods are exclusively upstairs at the Bake Lab.  If continental breakfast is not your style, they have rounded out the breakfast menu with egg options.  The chai doesn't disappoint, but their coffee is truly unique, with added star anise and black pepper.  And for early risers, they are now open at 7am.

More things to love: the laid back, boho seating; lots of windows and sunlight; Ayurveda-appropriate steel kitchenware; a small array of Ayurveda-inspired beauty products, including the oils pictured below.  I have a feeling that I will be back for the rose-scented body oil.