Those who read my food blogging know that I’m an aficionado of great bakeries. Here in Seattle, we have a good number: Dahlia, 60th Street, Macrina and Sweet & Savory. The latter is a little hole in the wall in Mt. Baker. It’s a homey storefront on 31st Avenue presided over by Cynthia Brock and a wonderful crew of young assistants. The bakery feels like a warm, informal coffee house and has a counter and a few tables.
Cynthia bakes in the French tradition and her pastries are some of the main reasons you’d want to come here. A few days ago I went in and found, to my joy, rugelach. Not those new fangled flavors like raspberry or raisin like you’ll find at Whole Foods. Not even chocolate which I quite like. Just plain rugelach with plenty of butter and cinnamon. The crust was dense and flaky as it should be. The young girl working behind the counter also revealed to me a “secret” ingredient: sour cream. Yes, they were rich and delicious. Those of you who either grew up in New York or eating Jewish cuisine will be quite familiar with this delicacy. You’ll also be quite frustrated with the offerings out here. There’s hardly any good Jewish food available here outside private homes. So finding such a good rugelach, or kneidel (matzo ball), or stuffed cabbage, or pastrami sandwich is like finding a diamond in the rough.
Cynthia used to sell at the Columbia City and University District Farmer’s Markets, where I first came across her to-die-for cupcakes. One of the creamiest, most divine chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever eaten. Unfortunately, she doesn’t do Farmer’s Markets anymore. And she doesn’t bake cupcakes regularly either. But if you come on the right Friday, you might just find one of her miraculous cupcakes for sale. If the one pictured here doesn’t make your mouth water, then you’re just not as into desserts as I am.
Cynthia also makes wonderful quiche and sandwiches. She offers a killer French hot chocolate perfect for our current cold, dark, rainy winter days. Seattle Bon Vivant has a great Flickr gallery of photos of the establishment. Get yourself over to 1418 31st Avenue South for a tasting. The Bakery phone is 206 325-2900.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.