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A new French sweet shop blossoms in a Midtown gym's building: How about a cake after Pilates?

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Dolce Delights, desserts, pastries
Dolce Delights believes in smaller sized desserts. Photo by Sarah Rufca
Dolce Delights, pastries, desserts
Dolce Delights is in the Mix — right by a gym. Photo by Whitney Radley
Dolce Delights, pastries, desserts
There are a lot of dessert shops in Houston. But few are like Dolce Delights. Photo by Whitney Radley
Dolce Delights, pastries, desserts
Photo by Whitney Radley
Dolce Delights, desserts, pastries
Dolce Delights, pastries, desserts
Dolce Delights, pastries, desserts
Dolce Delights, pastries, desserts
Dolce Delights, desserts
Dolce Delights, storefront
Dolce Delights, storefront

It's very tempting, from a self-preservation standpoint, for me to ignore Dolce Delights altogether. When a gourmet dessert and coffee shop opens in the same building as your gym, nothing good can come of that. But with eye-catching treats and a pocket-sized shop inside the Mix in Midtown, French-style patisserie Dolce Delights is so adorable that it simply demands attention.

Despite daily temptation, I haven't yet tried the croissants — there are flavors like almond, chocolate and chocolate in addition to the traditional version — nor the beverages, which include fruit smoothies and hot and cold lattes and cappuccinos and more made from either espresso or matcha, a Japanese green tea.

 There's certainly no shortage of sweets shops in Houston, but for now Dolce Delights is refreshingly one-of-a-kind. 

But the display case full of personal-sized cakes with rainbow colors and pretty, precise details is far too appealing to resist. I picked a lemon parfait, a round cylinder of creamy yet slightly tart lemon mousse on the outside with a soft cake inside, topped with a thin strawberry gelee and bits of dark chocolate. The delicate, pretty flavors beg to be savored slowly, but it's difficult. The cakes are about six to eight bites, which is the perfect amount of indulgence for something so sweet.

My friend went for the raspberry pistachio dome, a hot pink ball that looked a little like an oversized clown nose (slightly fuzzy texture) with a small ornament and an artsy drizzle of chocolate on top and tiny bits of crunchy white chocolate inside. I only got one small bite before it was inhaled, but I distinctly remember feeling out-Whataburgered.

The only letdown was a coffee and cream macaron. While my macaron standards might now be impossibly high, ordering it in the mid-afternoon I found it tasted stale.

There must be other bakeries and sweet shops in Houston that focus on such ladylike treats rather than cupcakes or big cakes by the slice, but I can't think of any — at least not any with a storefront besides Thierry André Tellier and a couple places in Chinatown. It makes sense that Dolce Delights is around the corner from similarly French Artisans restaurant — both give Midtown a certain new je ne se quoi.

There's certainly no shortage of sweets shops in Houston, but for now Dolce Delights is refreshingly one-of-a-kind.

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