Oregon is a mecca for baked goods.
It must be the weather. When it’s cold and rainy for most of the year, who wouldn’t want to spend a lot of their time in a warm, steamy kitchen, whisking and stirring and pouring and molding and turning out beautiful nuggets of comfort for friends and family? And, of course, for hungry passersby willing to throw a few bucks your way for a cup of coffee and something sweet…
We didn’t go looking for Lauretta Jean’s. We were just walking around downtown on the first day of our visit to Portland, not really hungry but interested in a snack and a warm drink. We walked around a corner near our hotel and there it was, the cutest little shop to ever grace the side of a parking garage. Of course we went in.
Which we did, but not before experiencing more bakery delights. Saint Cupcake served us the best little cupcakes I’ve ever had, lushly chocolaty and amazingly moist, especially considering their tiny size. I don’t know how they kept them from drying out – maybe it’s the climate. The toasted coconut cupcake with cream-cheese frosting was amazing too. Blue Star Donuts (yes, technically doughnuts are fried, but they still count as baked goods) gave us the best yeasted doughnuts we’d ever tasted, too. And the steamed bread at Holdfast Dining… but I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll tell you about Blue Star and Holdfast soon enough.
We failed to find any great seafood on the Oregon coast – the fact that I was sick and we didn’t dine out as much as we intended may have had an effect – but the incredible baked goods kept coming there too. We bought a molasses cookie, a Marionberry crumble bar, and a blue-cheese and bacon scone at Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters in Cannon Beach, and they were all good enough to haunt my dreams. (Arne keeps mentioning the crumble bar in a wistful tone.) They were so good we may have to go back to Cannon Beach even though otherwise we prefer the central to the northern part of the Oregon coast.
Still, the single most beautiful and memorable bakery item we had in Oregon this time may have been Lauretta Jean’s warm, golden brown, flaky hand pie. (The biscuits and gravy, which we had for breakfast the day we headed for the coast, were nothing to sneeze at either.) It turns out that the tiny outpost we stopped at was a satellite store for Lauretta Jean’s original sit-down restaurant, and maybe someday we’ll try that place… but it’s hard to believe it could match the charm of this tiny shop at the corner of a parking garage.
NaBloPoMo 2014 Post #6