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?


Anonymous said...

Donuts from Cub? My standards are pretty low.

On another topic, have you been to the Bulldog? We were there for burgers the other day and noticed they have an interesting looking brunch menu. The burgers are awesome. Maybe you could find out if the breakfast is too.

Nathan said...

I have the same Monday problem. I purposely avoid Java Jacks for my Monday company biking breakfasts since Rustica is closed (you're right, those baked goods never look as good as Rustica's. They used to get their baked goods from Scandia, but they wouldn't get anything remotely Scandanavian, so what's the point).

I used to occasionally go to Scandia on Mondays, but sadly those days are now over. I believe Patrick's is open on Mondays, so that will probably become my Monday morning stop.

Anonymous said...

Isles Bun and Coffee has some pretty bomb homemade cinnamon rolls that I can personally vouch for. I'm not a big morning pastry person so I can't say that I've personally tried any of the others that they have, but everything looks pretty tasty!

Anonymous said...

What? No love for Franklin Street or Wuollet's? If your in a pinch - I think Byerly's (and Lunds to a lesser degree) have passable baked goods.

Alex said...

I haven't gone as far as donuts from Cub, but I have been know to eat maple long johns from SA. Thanks for the Bulldog suggestion. I'll try to get it past the patented Breakfast Club veto system.

Patrick's is open on Monday. Good to know.

I'm going to have to taste those cinnamon rolls someday. It's a rare morning when I want that intensity of sweetness, but it happens sometimes on weekends.

All I can think of when I think of Wuollet's is white cake with white frosting. Maybe I should get past it and see if they have other stuff. And Franklin Street is the wrong direction from where I have to go on a Monday morning, but that doesn't make it bad. I just haven't tried it, yet.

Anonymous said...

I don't care what day of the week it is, when I need a pastry and a coffee to get me through to lunch, Butter is the only choice. The Eclairs ARE, hands down, the best in town but I go for the Buttermilk Biscuits. Unquestionably the most satisfying piece of pastry I have ever had. Of course, Butter is only 2 blocks from my house, I may be biased......

Anonymous said...

I believe Sarah Jane Bakery on 29th & Johnson in Nordeast is open on Mondays. They better be because they are definitely closed on Sundays!