While on separate August vacations, through a series of cell phone calls, Corbin Evans and Steve Himelfarb brokered a deal that turned Evans&185; French Quarter cafe Lulu&185;s (307 Exchange Alley, 525-2600) into Himlfarb&185;s New Orleans Cake Cafe & Bakery. Since 1994, Himelfarb, a self-taught baker informally dubbed the Cake Man, has traveled the city door-to-door, clocking hundreds of miles in the French Quarter alone, selling home-baked cakes by the slice. His business had lately expanded into wedding and other special-occasion cakes, and he had his feelers out for a retail baking space to accommodate it. Evans, also proprietor of the fine dining restaurant Lulu&185;s in the Garden (2203 St. Charles Ave., 586-9956), had long sold Himelfarb&185;s red velvet cake at Lulu&185;s. Himelfarb aims at an early-October opening for the Cake Cafe, for which inspections and licenses are pending. He has charged Caroline Goliwas, once a cook at Lulu&185;s, to manage a simple lunch service of inexpensive, made-to-order and gourmet-to-go sandwiches and salads. Evenings, from 7 p.m. to between 10 p.m. and midnight, the Cake Cafe&185;s menu will narrow to housemade cakes, cupcakes, pies, specialty desserts, coffee and tea.
Bennachin, Part II
Fanta Tambajang expects to open a second Bennachin location before the end of the year at 1817 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. The new space is about twice the size of her French Quarter restaurant (1212 Royal St., 522-1230). The Cameroon native will cook a familiar inventory of African dishes in Central City, including the Jazz Fest regular jama-jama ni mokondo, wilted spinach with coconut rice and fried plantains.
Bluebird Cafe (3625 Prytania St., 895-7166), Uptown&185;s bull&185;s eye for weekend diner brunches, is now open for dinner until 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. In addition to the regular daily menu, which incorporates breakfast-type dishes as well as burgers and salads, kitchen manager Josh Shonts produces a couple of blue plate specials. These might include Caribbean jerk-spice chicken with mango salsa, a recent creation, and there&185;s always a variation on pasta.
Until renovations are complete late next month, you can find the Rib Room relocated to an alternate site within the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel (621 St. Louis St., 529-7046). Breakfast, lunch and dinner services continue in the Promenade Room.