- Griffin Swartzel
I.C.Bing Cafe, 1710 Briargate Blvd., #739, 299-2350, icbingcafe.com
In 2019, Forbes contributor Greg Petro wrote an interesting article claiming that shopping malls aren’t dying, but changing, anchored less on pure brand-name shopping and more on experiences, pivoting to recreation, food and drink, backed up by pop-up stores.
Despite many empty spots, the Chapel Hills Mall seems to be no exception. Case in point, I.C.Bing Cafe — its name an acronym for “I can’t believe it’s not gluten” — opened in the mall opposite the Burlington Coat Factory on the bottom floor. They plan to re-launch deliveries from their website soon, so we stopped in at their mall space.
We enjoy their pizza bites, little pocket pies with somewhat dense but thin and crisp-jacketed pastry that gets textural help from Parmesan cheese. Cheese or pepperoni fillings both do fine. Sweet baked goods vary — a moist cinnamon roll rates better than a bone-dry cinnamon chocolate chip scone.
The café uses Veteran Coffee Roasters’ espresso blend in a cappuccino that sips burnt and bitter, as well as a mocha that succeeds on the strength of Torani dark chocolate sauce covering espresso sins.