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By Sara Melnicoff

Knave of Hearts - Baking as Art!

Who doth ambition shun,
And loves to live in the sun
Seeking the food he eats
And pleased with what he gets
The beautifully remodeled Knave of Hearts Bakery fulfills every expectation you could have for an eatery and then raises your level of expectation for similar venues. Located in a charming and historic sandstone building, the Knave feels like the home it once was. Robin Zank, bakery owner, serves breakfast and lunch, along with absolutely amazing desserts, 6 days a week. She makes everything herself, from scratch, using the freshest ingredients available. Her portions are generous and prices more than reasonable. (Prices start at 45¢ for a bagel, to $5.25 for a full hot lunch.) Just hearing a sampling of what’s on the menu can start your mouth watering. The Potato Pancakes, overstuffed Breakfast Burrito, Tofu Scrambler, Blintzes, or Fruit Crepes are enough to get you through most of the day! Her lunches change daily, and include items like Egg Rolls, Artichoke Squares, Eggplant Parmesan, Ricotta Pesto Ravioli, Soups & Bread, and the extraordinarily delicious Walnut Cheese Balls, featured here. She also makes Mini Quiches, Focaccia Bread Pizzas and Spinach Pies for lunch everyday. She bakes several types of bread every morning, from French to Italian Cracked Wheat to Seven Grain, as well as Danish, six different types of Croissants, Sticky Buns, and various other pastries. Her cakes range from Raspberry Cheesecake to Death by Chocolate to Genoise; she also makes pies, hand-dipped truffles, tarts, cream puffs and éclairs.

Robin will make you breakfast or lunch anytime and is happy to pack your meal to go. She makes gorgeous wedding cakes with floral wreaths and will happily take food or cake orders for any special occasion you may have. An added bonus, and one well known to Moab locals, is her “Day Old” basket. Chock full of an assortment of baked goods from the previous day, these $2 bags of goodies are bought up daily by grateful customers.

A gentleman from Denmark visited the Knave recently. He bought a Danish from Robin. He ate it and than bought another, then another, and finally another. After the fourth one, he informed Robin that he hadn’t tasted Danish that good since he was in Denmark. That quality can be found in all the items Robin makes and is a fine expression of her artistic nature.

Robin can best be described as a Renaissance Woman. Her creativity is boundless and is expressed in everything she does. An accomplished fiber artist, her hand-painted quilts featuring the arches and other landscapes found in the Moab area hang on the bakery walls. (A sampling of her work can also be seen at the Dan O’Laurie Museum, through April.) Her wearable art, beautiful jackets whose descriptive tags are written on paper she has made by hand, hang alongside the quilts. She has painted interesting designs on many of the tabletops in the bakery as well as the beautiful “wallpaper” on the women’s room wall. Beyond these abilities, Robin is an avid baseball fan and keeps herself up to date on all the latest in the sport. In fact, the men’s room at the bakery features interesting and historic baseball paraphernalia, definitely worth a visit!

In its fifth year in Moab, the Knave of Hearts has existed since 1976. The bakery started in Vermont, back in the days when Ben & Jerry were making their ice cream in a garage. (They were Knave customers). After several years in Vermont, the bakery moved to Inverness, California where it flourished for close to two decades. It is Moab’s good fortune to be the home of the bakery.


Walnut Cheese Balls


3 tbs. butter
½ minced onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup minced celery

Sauté vegetables until the onion is transparent, then add
2 tbs. flour

Stir until the flour is golden, then add
1 ½ cups milk.

Stir until thickened, salt & pepper to taste

Nut Balls

2 cups ground walnuts (any nuts but peanuts work well)
1 cup grated cheese
½ cup ground bread crumbs
½ minced onion
2 eggs
1 tsp. basil
½ tsp. oregano
1 tsp. parsley

Mix ingredients and then shape into walnut sized balls. Place in casserole dish and cover with sauce. Bake covered at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 4 – 6

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