Sunday, April 5, 2015

Ken's Artisan Bakery and Portland

If there's anything you surely must know about me, it's that I am a dessert person.  Above all else (except, maybe, sleep), I love sweets.
So when I started looking up places to eat in Portland and I heard about Ken's Artisan Bakery and the croissants, macarons, and other pastries that come out of their ovens, I knew that I had to go.
In fact, on my first day in Portland, this was the first place I went to start my morning.  It was a great decision.  Friendly service, yummy pastries, good food, and reasonable prices.  I had no complaints!

I walked in at around 10ish on a Friday morning, and many of the tables were taken. I took that as a good sign. I lingered near the cash register for a while, debating what to drink and what goodies to try. I apologized for not being able to make up my mind, but the man behind the counter was really patient with me.  I ended up ordering an Oregon croissant, a blood orange macaron, and a cafe latte (as per the suggestion of the man behind the counter).

I settled down at one of the empty tables I managed to snag to enjoy my breakfast. The coffee wasn't that strong and wasn't that hot, so I didn't really enjoy it much, but that might also be because lattes aren't normally my thing and this place obviously isn't a coffeeshop. On to the sweet stuff!
The Oregon croissant has marionberries baked into the flakey pastry, and its flecked with sugar crystals, which add a nice combination of soft tartness and sweet crunch. I polished this off quickly, and I liked it so much, I ended up coming back to the bakery before I left the city to buy two more to keep me company on my travels home. The croissant is the perfect breakfast since it isn't too sweet.

The blood orange macaron I ordered was also delicious. The candied kumquat on top added a perfect little bit of acidity to offset the sweetness, and the texture of both the macaron itself and the filling were perfect.

I also decided to eat lunch here with my friend G, who lives in the city.  We both went with their lunch deal, which is either a half soup or half salad with a half sandwich combo.  G. went with salad and sandwich while I went with soup and sandwich.  For a mere $8, I had an egg salad sandwich and white bean soup. Both were delicious. The soup was warm, hearty, and perfectly seasoned. It was great for a drizzly day. The egg salad sandwich was well balanced - egg wasn't chopped too small, there wasn't an overwhelming amount of mayo, and there was just a slight bite from the mustard. The bread they used was sturdy but not heavy, and I liked their plating with the edible violet.
If I lived in the area, I think this would be my go-to spot for sweets and lazy day lunches.

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