Restaurant Review: The Bread Basket

Posted by Tegan O'Neill

As I walked along the winding path to The Bread Basket's door, the smell of cinnamon tickled my nose, summoning me to step into a land of sugar and butter. The Bread Basket caters to the sweet tooth everybody has and nobody can resist indulging. Scrumptious baked goods aplenty sit like ducks in a row ready to be plucked out for a breakfast akin to dessert. I stood in front of the glass display looking googly-eyed at the goods, my eyes bouncing from one fluffy, sugary bread to the next.

Is it a bagel? Is it a flying saucer? No, it's a homemade English muffin that's 100 percent satisfying and delicious. All other English muffins pale in comparison to the one I ate at The Bread Basket - which, for added brownie points, was served warmed and buttered in its own little bread basket. For an English muffin, this one had serious oomph. Hearty as a Midwestern plane, it was thick and chewy and sunk easily beneath the teeth. I would love to try it with some jam and an egg sometime soon, but even with just butter it was impressive. A twinkle of crispy cornmeal added the slightest amount of crunch - perfection.

Speaking of perfection, imagine the flavor sensation of buttery goodness colliding with sweet serendipity and there you have The Bread Basket's utterly divine sticky bun. Its fluffy dough is crafted into a beautiful beehive up-do and glazed in a wickedly good syrupy coating. With the tiniest tug, the pudgy bun easily unwinds into a ribbon of sweet, butter soaked bread. The gooey walnuts scaling its glossy sides guild the lily but who's to complain? The combined effect is swoon-inducing. Ever since polishing off the last bite, my mind has not wandered far from the prospect of going back for more.

I would have been delighted by the pumpkin spice cupcake if the frosting had been left out of the equation. Wonderfully moist, deliciously spiced cupcake plus superficially sweet, inappropriately light frosting equals an incompatible combination. The frosting was too gaudy for the cupcake; it was like a tacky Sunday hat accessorizing a classy outfit. It would have been better bare.

Scones are hard - for some reason bakeries always seem to get tripped up on them. I don't really understand. Nevertheless, I am always (probably naively) willing to give scones a chance. At The Bread Basket, I simply couldn't resist. The mixed-berry scone, splashed with splotches of bright blue and magenta, looked as tempting as the dance floor in a disco club. It tasted, though, like a mushy rock. Its flavor was so pathetic that even dunking it into coffee did nothing in the name of improvement. The berry taste was there but it was fake to the tongue, like Kellog's Special K Red Berries Cereal. Synthetic smack aside, the consistency also wasn't quite right. Nevertheless, I won't hold my disappointment with the scone against The Bread Basket. Next time I go, I'll just opt for something else.

Although I really do not want to harp too much about the shortcomings of The Bread Basket, I do think it is important to mention that it isn't the type of place where you feel like lingering over a cup of coffee, wishing there were more crumbs left on your plate. Instead, it is the type of place where you zip in and then right back out, paper bag and coffee in hand. The bakery is not very cozy; the space is a bit too wide and open, the chairs a tad too hard and the customers a little too much in a hurry.

Granted, the atmosphere could benefit from a little TLC, but with that said, The Bread Basket clearly cares about the quality of the goodies that they have up for grabs. What comes out of the oven tastes as goods as it smells, which is to say, very good - indeed, quite heavenly. All in all, I was thoroughly pleased by what I found upon visiting and as the saying goes, sometimes you have to take the bitter with the sweet.

Read more of Tegan O'Neill's outings at her blog


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