Those seeking a front-row view of an artisan loaf’s journey from yeast to feast need only perch at the wide stone bar facing this cozy Mt. Tabor bakery’s giant bread oven. (Mind the peel if you’re fond of your nose as is.) The first retail bakery in Portland to mill its own flour and bake all its bread in a wood-fired oven, this homey neighborhood bakery is raising the bread bar, with supercute young head baker Cory Mast producing rich, dense, and intensely flavorful Red Fife boules, polenta batards, Kamut flour baguettes, Rye Pullmans made with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and seasonal creations like the caraway cranberry and fennel golden raisin–all made with locally-sourced Camas Country Mill grains ground fresh daily into whole grain flour.
Oh yes, and then there are the tango nights. Because this is Portland, land of hot young baking things, whole grain currant orange caraway scones, and spelt-dusted dirty dancing.
Since man and woman cannot allegedly live on bread alone (even house-milled, wood-fired whole grain bread), the pastry case is stacked with baked treats ranging from pastry chef Jocelyn Barda’s dark, dense little gingerbread cakes and sticky buns to streusel-topped cranberry oat muffins and currant orange caraway scones, and the sandwich menu is a thing of beauty; try the herbed egg salad with pickled celery, kale with Kalamata olives, fresh basil and goat fromage blanc, and on weekends, take advantage of the salmon toast special–lox, dill cream cheese, red onion and pickled vegetables on seeded dark rye toast.
Oh yes, and then there are the tango nights. Well-rounded owner Tissa Stein, a longtime tango enthusiast, occasionally rolls the bar out of the way, pushes the tables back, and holds a traditional tango gathering known as a milonga, turning the entire place into a scene from True Lies.
But of course she does. Because this is Portland, land of hot young baking things, whole grain currant orange caraway scones, and spelt-dusted dirty dancing.
Executive Chef: Cory Mast (Head Baker)
Owner: Tissa Stein
Pastry Chef: Jocelyn Barda
Atmosphere: Quintessential neighborhood bakery, tucked up into one of the the city's prettiest Southeast areas; bright and warm inside, filled with good smells, laid back staff and patrons, very relaxing spot to nurse a cup of tea and some whole grain toast and a good book
Outdoor seating: Sidewalk tables
Best Seat: At the window bar
Noise Level: Quiet to Normal
Dress Code: Casual
Bring the Kids: Yes
Bathrooms: Down the hall between the ovens and the flour grinder
Parking: Street parking is free and easy to find
Beer: Half dozen bottled beers and hard ciders
Teetotalers: Iced tea, Mexican Coca Cola
Coffee: Spella Caffe
Tea: Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchant
Ideal Meal: One of each pastry, salmon toast, ham and cheese sandwich
Vegetarian Friendly: Yes
Good for the following occasions: Leisurely Lunch, Brunch, Tea & Toast, Solo Dining