Breakfast Week part 5: The sweet of things. | Rock Candy

Friday, June 4, 2010

Breakfast Week part 5: The sweet of things.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 4, 2010 at 6:05 PM

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Most of the breakfasts covered this week have been hot breakfasts, usually served up by waitresses who will come by and offer you a warm-up on your coffee. But not all breakfasts are best served hot. Some are best served sweet. Which is why I decided that the pastries at Community Bakery were worth a closer look.

There are the the beignets ($1.35 each, glazed or powdered), my secret pleasure. That up above the opening paragraph story — not a beignet. I'll get to that in a moment. The beignets are not like New Orleans style beignets, little crispy square pockets of dough. These are big clod-shaped softball sized airy bits of dough, the flavor of a traditional beignet with the texture of a fresh rustic French loaf. Many has been the time when I’ve gone by at the end of the day and picked up “day olds” to take home. Invariably I arrive at the house and step out onto the carport and dust off the powdered sugar that’s covered me during the drive. Two will be gone… I think my husband believes I only order them four at a time, despite the evidence.

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And the sour cream doughnuts… well, they’re something else. Community Bakery covers doughnuts pretty succinctly, with glazed rounds and fills and cake doughnuts. But there’s something about the texture of the old fashioned sour cream doughnut (70 cents each) — sweet but also a little tangy and salty at the same time, either glazed clear or with chocolate like this one. They’re ugly little things, the sort of thing you’d cringe at if you saw it on the table at a cotillion. But damn, they are the best thing in the world for soaking up coffee.

Coffee… that’s another thing. So many good places to eat have gone to these gourmet upscale coffee drinks… yes, Community Bakery has done that, too. But you get what you pay for. You can have your double shot café au lat decaf fatcalf whatever… or you can choose from six different daily coffees. Or, if you’re like me and you just want a cup of joe, you can just get the house coffee. It’s cheaper and it’s still great, and you can still have your sweetener or half-and-half.

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But I keep going back to the muffins. When you order in advance, you can get mini-muffins that you can bring somewhere and look pretty smart, all those little flavors to try out. Still, they’re just 95 cents for the regular size ones, and they’re just the right size for a regular eight ounces or so of coffee. My favorite is the almond poppy-seed, but there’s an almost as good lemon poppy-seed as well, brighter in flavor than the almond poppy-seed but not overpowering. The orange cranberry ones are a little pungent. The cappuccino chocolate chip ones are decadent.

The bear claw ($1.45) is another strangely massive thing that, unlike its equivalent at the average doughnut shop, dances on the line between savory and sweet and sticks its tongue out to both. Made from a bread dough instead of a doughnut dough, it’s a baked item stuffed with almond paste and then smothered with slivered almonds on top. The filling can be a little too sweet for me sometimes, but once again there’s that coffee factor, it’s great to balance when you take yours black. Or even with some cream. There’s even a little saltiness to it.

You will find Community Bakery downtown on Main Street, just south of I-630. Parking is mostly on the street, though there are a few spots out back in a little lot. There’s a drive-up window if you’re really in a hurry. It’s open from six in the morning until eight at night most days, six to ten at night on Fridays and Saturdays and seven to six on Sunday. (501) 375-6418. Oh, there’s a West Little Rock location, too. Daily specials are posted on their website. And if you want to read me wax a little more poetic about the place, check out Tie Dye Travels.

Breakfast Week isn't over yet. Wait til the weekend.

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