Although it rubs shoulders with trendy East Memphis businesses like Timna, Napa Café and Bikram Yoga, Muddy's Bake Shop is purposely old-fashioned.
Its ambience is more grandma than grand; its desserts more yesterday than today; sandwiches more familiar than fantastic; cookies not always cookie-cutter perfect.
The décor is more funky Midtown than 38117 with its hand-me-down furniture and mismatched china. No walls separate the mixing and baking area from the sales area and tables, and that just adds to the homey appeal.
And that's the way owner Kat Gordon wants it. On her Web site, muddysbakeshop.com, she says she uses eggs that are laid by cage-free hens and organic milk.
You won't find plastic foam containers and the money in the "tip" jar goes to a different nonprofit each month.
Sweets are the stars at Muddy's. The array of tempting cakes and cupcakes is like the dessert table at a church social where all of the best bakers are trying to outdo each other.
You'll find creatively named cakes such as Mocha Madness, a chocolate cake with mocha buttercream frosting; The King, banana cake with peanut butter icing; Grasshopper, a chocolate cake with pale green peppermint icing.
I guess we were in citrus mood with the cakes we sampled.
Flopsy is a hit with a moist carrot interior enhanced with citrus flavors in the batter and the cream cheese icing.
Pucker Up is a sweet layer cake with lemon icing so tart you definitely know there is lots of lemon in it and Dreamboat, is an orange-flavored bundt cake with an orange glaze.
You can buy them whole or by the slice or choose from the many cupcakes baked daily.
If you don't want indulge in a piece of cake you can slake your sweet tooth with one of a dozen or so cookie choices. We tried and enjoyed an oatmeal and chocolate chip, ultimate peanut butter and a blueberry bar with a streusel topping.
My favorite was Jan's Famous Toffee Bar, which has a thin crisp cookie base topped with hardened caramel and nuts.
Muddy's also serves and sells pies such as Sweet Patootie, featuring sweet potatoes and spices; coconut cheese, fresh peach in season, old-fashioned buttermilk, double-crust blueberry and more. With my sugar quotient more than filled, I had to pass on the pies but plan to indulge another day.
Lunches are simple and, for the most part, satisfying. Certainly they are easy on the budget, with most priced at $6 including a package of chips, pretzels or the day's fruit -- a bunch of grapes when we visited.
You'll pay just $4 for peanut butter, banana slices and honey slathered between two slices of bread.
We tried all three offered one day.
Muddy's signature sandwich is pimiento cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato served on whole wheat bread. The cheese mixture, which is available to purchase, is a tangy blend that is nicely complemented by the bacon.
I'm a fan of egg and olive and like it no matter how it's made. Muddy's version with coarsely chopped eggs made me nostalgic for the egg salad I grew up with. But my Mom didn't add any olives, let alone the hefty slices in this messy but good sandwich.
The turkey and Swiss on a Kaiser roll was only so-so, mainly because the roll was lackluster. Toasting it might have helped.
On nice days, it's pleasant to sit at patio tables on the covered walkway outside the restaurant.
Muddy's doesn't go in for fancy (i.e. expensive) coffee but you can enjoy a cup of joe for a buck (free refills) and a cookie for 60 cents for an affordable break.
Muddy's Bake Shop
Address: 5101 Sanderlin, No. 114
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Handicapped access: Yes
Alcoholic beverages: No
Don't miss: Jan's Famous Toffee Bar, Flopsy (carrot cake), egg and olive sandwich.