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Pike Place Bakery

February 11, 2014

Completely loaded on caffeine from our visit to the first ever Starbucks, my husband and I began our exploration of Pike Place Market in Seattle.  Visited by over 10 million tourists a year, Pike Place Market is one of Seattle’s main tourist attractions.  Sitting at the end of a steep hill overlooking Elliot Bay, Pike Place Market is home to small family run restaurants and cafes, artisans, craftsmen, collectible shops, antique dealers, fresh produce markets and fishmongers.  It’s the fishmongers that the market has really become known for as the Pike Place Fish Market is famous throughout the world for their theatrics in fish throwing.  Opened on August 17, 1907, Pike Place Market is one of the oldest, continually operating farmer’s markets in the United States.


As we strolled through the market during the morning hours before many of the tourists had arrived and while the daily craftspeople were still setting up their stalls, it almost felt like we had the market to ourselves.  Seeing the fresh produce and colorful fruits laid out waiting for someone to come by and scoop it up, seeing the fishmongers hard at work scaling and gutting fresh fish just brought in that morning, seeing the work of local craftspeople who have come here to sell their wares, this is all part of the experience of Pike Place Market.  For us, the morning hours also meant catching a whiff of fresh-baked bread, donuts and cakes.  Our noses ended up leading us right to Pike Place Bakery.  The bakery has been family run and operated since 1983 when it opened up at Pike Place Market.  In order to assure that everything laid out in their display cases daily is fresh-baked, Pike Place Bakery’s head bakers arrive to work each morning at 1 am in order to start baking that day’s pastries, donuts, breads and cakes.


It is the display cases at Pike Place Bakery that do all of the advertising necessary for the bakery.  It’s pretty much impossible to walk by display cases filled with amazing pastries and donuts and smell fresh-baked bread without wanting to stop and sample a few items.  Take this display case containing cheddar cheese rolls, jalapeno cheddar cheese, blueberry coffee cakes, fresh baked croissants and Kaiser rolls and much more.  This kind of bakery is right up my alley.  At this point, it wasn’t a matter of whether or not we were going to stop and get something to eat here for breakfast, it was what are we going to get and how many can we buy?  Look at those cinnamon pull apart and almond cinnamon pull apart rings at the bottom.  They look amazing.


It was the donuts that caught my husband’s eye.   There were so many different kinds to choose from.  How to decide between an apple cinnamon stick, or a maple bar?  What about coconut cream cheese, my husband does like coconut after all.  There was the cinnamon pershing, and no one loves cinnamon as much as my husband does.  Oh and there’s maple cinnamon pershing, even sweeter and better, right?


But that wasn’t even it,  there were your standard glazed donuts and powered sugar donuts.  What about the maple filled custard bismark and the chocolate filled custard bismark?  I think that chocolate filled custard bismark might be right up my alley.  Oh no, turns out my husband decided that’s what he wanted to get.  Like me, he couldn’t resist the custard filling in the donut.


One chocolate custard filled bismark coming right up.  Fresh baked donut, with a yummy chocolate coating and filled to the brim with sweet, delicious custard.  Oh yeah, I can see why my husband wanted to get this.  I had to take my thumb and scoop up a bit of that custard though.  I love custard filled donuts, those have to be my favorite.  I think my husband inhaled his bismark in about 3 bites because all of a sudden I looked up and it was gone.  Just like that.


I originally thought that I was going to order the chocolate custard filed bismark, but after my husband chose the donut, I decided to go in a different direction.  The cinnamon sugar crispy in the middle of this display case caught my eye.  But those cinnamon rolls looked terrific as well.  And those apple cups were huge!  And a lemon cake muffin, I’m surprised my husband didn’t decide to order that instead.


But the pastry display case is what really caught my eye.  Look at the chocolate dream cake at the bottom.  Or the custard rum chocolate cake next to it.  I’m a sucker for cake as well.  And those fudge brownies on the second shelf look amazing.  Oh how I love chocolate.  And the cream cheese brownies next to them with the fudge drizzle on top.  Those look to-die-for.  I was nearly going to order a cannoli because they looked so delicious.  There were so many choices: mocha, chocolate chip cream cheese, German chocolate and cream cheese.  How could I choose which one I wanted?  Then my husband pointed out the cream puffs and eclairs, including the fresh strawberry éclair, and I knew then what I wanted.


I had a choice between a custard éclair and a Bavarian éclair and I chose the Bavarian.  I’m a huge fan of the creamy and smooth Bavarian cream and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this Bavarian éclair.  Oh my!  I almost forgot to take a picture of the éclair before I ate it because my mouth was watering.  This éclair was delicious.  You could taste the freshness and quality of the éclair.  The choux pastry was perfectly baked and light and airy.  And the Bavarian cream and fresh whipped cream was such a perfect, and luxurious combination.  I think I could have eaten 4 of these.

I rather regret not having gone back to the bakery to buy a box full of goodies and pastries.  The bismark and éclair that we purchased at Pike Place Bakery were a perfect sweet breakfast to give us energy and tide us through our morning stroll around Pike Place Market.  All of their goodies in their display cases looked delectable, and you could certainly taste the freshness in their products and the goodness and quality in the ingredients they used.  I would never hesitate to stop by Pike Place Bakery to grab a sweet treat during my next trip to Seattle

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