Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bakery Monday

A friend asked me recently where to get good pastry on a Monday. I must admit that my first reaction was to scoff. I do that sometimes. I scoff. I said something like, "A bakery that's open on Monday? That's like saying, 'Gee, I really want to look at some incomprehensible modern art, but the Walker is closed on Mondays. Where should I go to do that on a Monday?'"

Still, who hasn't been there? It's a cold winter morning after a weekend, and you can barely open your eyes which causes you to push the snooze button on your alarm so many times that there is no way you're going to have time to make yourself breakfast, so you rush off to A Baker's Wife with your reusable mug in hand, prepared to grab an emergency croissant and a cup of coffee, and you try to shove open the door, only to find that once again it's locked. It's still closed on Mondays, just like it was last week.

Or maybe you experience this same weekly trauma at Rustica, the other best bakery in town. At Rustica the pain is a little more bittersweet, I imagine, because it's attached to Java Jack's, which for some unknown reason has nasty-looking decidedly non-Rustica pastries behind its counter. (Full disclosure. I have never had Java Jack's pastries. Maybe they are delicious. They don't look delicious.)

Now, first of all, I want to make it perfectly clear that I fully support the bakers' right to take Mondays off. Bakers get up well before the ass-crack of dawn in order to make all of those deliciously addictive concoctions that you want to buy so early in the morning. Most bakers work through the weekend, because the weekend is when you want to buy their chocolate croissants and creme brulee danishes and cherry with dark chocolate scones. So if the bakers need Monday to recharge, then I say, give it to them. Heck, I'd even give them Tuesday if they asked me for it.

But, still, we have the dilemma. We're standing in the street with our reusable mug and our empty stomachs. We're tired and we have to get to work, but we need something to eat. So where should we go? Where can we get even remotely acceptable pastries, when all of the best bakers we know take Monday off?

All I could offer to my friend, after I got done scoffing, was this: Butter Bakery Cafe, which is a coffee shop with Big Breakfast Dreams, and which has the best chocolate eclair around, and which has some pretty darn good scones, too, is open on Mondays. Go to Butter, I said. You won't be sorry.

But where else can you go? Where, gentle reader, do you go when you find yourself without access to your usual bakery addictions on a Monday? How do you fill your stomachs when counters at Rustica are empty and the doors at the Baker's Wife are closed?