The sign out front of this place just says “Bakery & Cafe” and in the middle of the signage there’s a URL listed “bigjoyfamily.com” – which goes to a site that no longer exists. Aside from the website woes, this is a little bakery and cafe (as the name suggests) in Clairemont that’s a cozy little place for coffee and treats.
My friend and I come here from time to time just to chat and drink coffee. It’s a small place tucked away in one of the many mini malls on Convoy. There’s a restaurant right next to this place that I really want to try someday which just has signs out front that simply state “SEAFOOD”. I’m putting it on my to-do list.
I remember the first time I came here, one of my observations to my friend was, “We’re the only partially white people in this place,” to which she gave me one of her slightly nervous laughs. It was true though – it was mostly an Asian crowd. Being half-Filipino I sort of fit of the bill, but not really. The same lady always greets us behind the counter whenever we come by – she’s quiet but gives excellent service. This particular time around I wanted to try the “Alligators” – they looked like some caramel-nutty crunchy bars, but the lady behind the counter said to me, “Oh no, not those. Those not fresh. I’m embarassed to sell them.” So instead I chose a macadamia nut cookie, asking if those were okay to get. She smiled and nodded her head. My friend wanted to get one of chocolate checkerboard looking cookie. The lady told her she could only buy a bunch at at time (I don’t remember how many) but she told my friend she would give her one “on the house” to try.
I got the Green Tea Latte this time out of curiousity and now that my curiousity is satisified I probably won’t get it again. It wasn’t terrible, it was just a little too weird for me. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but frothy green tea didn’t suit well with me even though I drank all of it. I was amused enough with my green drink though, but next time will go back to my regular staples, which are the hazelnut or irish toffee coffees.
What I like about the coffees is that you get them in nice china. The ladies bring your coffee and treats out to you on big, pretty trays. I like sipping out of china cups, they just make it seem more homey and relaxing. The only strange part about this place is some of the seating. They have a certain number of low tables that are not comfortable for most people, not even me, because they’re too short. Now I’m pretty short, but these tables were just too much. They have these cozy booths that I like, but they have mirrors right up on the wall against it so I have to see myself out of my peripheral vision which I don’t like, but they’re better than the crazy short tables.
In any case, I’ve tried a variety of their desserts. They have shortcakes, cheesecake, different mousse cakes, cookies and brownies and some asian treats as well. It reminds me of the filipino Goldilocks Bakeries which I think are just okay – nothing spectacular. I don’t ever crave their desserts and treats like I do other places, but it will satistify your sweet tooth when it all comes down to it.
Bakery & Cafe – Big Joy Family
4176 Convoy St .
San Diego, CA 92111
(between Armour St & Othello Ave)