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This inconspicuous, lowbrow, dead cheap little neighborhood bakery is actually run by a former pastry chef from the Plaza Hotel in New York--and the pastries are dazzling. The lemon bars are golden squares of French lemon tart, so full of butter they project a certain glowing luminescence and melt on the tongue, the crisp crust providing a sweet crunch of backbone for the rich filling. When you order this delirious bit of sunshine, the high school girl behind the counter picks it up with waxed paper and unceremoniously chucks it into a paper bag. Part of you wants to scream, "Quit! Would you chuck the Mona Lisa?" Part of you knows, yeah, they would. This place is just like that.
The doughnut is experiencing something of a renaissance -- suddenly young people have gotten very interested in dressing up this humble pastry and taking her out clubbing. Experimental recipes can be found flying out of the fryers at places like the Doughnut Collective and from the guerrilla doughnut operatives at Dirty Donuts. While experimentation is always a good thing, A Baker's Wife takes the prize from a traditionalist standpoint. Its shining accomplishment: the perfect plain... More »
From the outside, A Baker's Wife appears harmless enough. Tucked away in a quiet, unassuming corner of south Minneapolis, you wouldn't think the tiny shop was cause for concern. But A Baker's Wife must be stopped. Their doughnuts are too good. You might start by one day just picking up an American tea cake before work. Then all other food will begin to taste bland. You will dream about the delicious cherry Danish, so fresh that it's still warm from the oven. Before you know it, you'll be on... More »
Few things in this world are incontrovertible. But here's one: A good neighborhood bakery can save lives. How? It's difficult to say, but it feels right to say it. If you stood outside the place peering in through the window, you wouldn't believe me. The view is mostly obstructed by a grandmother's collection of old signage, things like a woodcut of a sheep with the words "Thank Ewe!" painted across the wool. And passing by in your car, it would be easy to mistake the place for something... More »
The name comes from the 1930s French flick A Baker's Wife, which tells the tale of a baker who loses the ability to work after his beautiful wife flies their sugary coop. But there is nothing tragic about this inconspicuous south Minneapolis bakery, which bears colorful knickknacks, kitschy phrases on wooden plaques, and doughnuts that leave you foaming glaze at the mouth. Crisp on the outside, these old-fashioned, almost-mini-doughnuts drown out every rational thought at first bite,... More »
Some people can generate a palpable physical rage over the Enron debacle. We can generate one over the infuriating fact that A Baker's Wife's is not located in our local neighborhood commercial node. It's simply impossible to overpraise the baked goods that come out of this place: lemon bars like butter made into sunshine; pecan tartlets as crumbly and fine as those in any French restaurant. Nor can you oversell how small-town nowhere the place feels: an awning that looks straight out of... More »
Few things in this world are incontrovertible. But here's one: A good neighborhood bakery can save lives. How? It's difficult to say, but it feels right to say it. If you stood outside the place peering in through the window, you wouldn't believe me. The view is mostly obstructed by a grandmother's collection of old signage, things like a woodcut of a sheep with the words "Thank Ewe!" painted across the wool. And passing by in your car, it would be easy to mistake the place for something more akin to one of those Wonder Bread thrift stores. You would certainly never guess that this jewel of a Minneapolis bakery is run by the former pastry chef of Manhattan's Plaza Hotel, if only because of the prices. The buttery-crisp blueberry turnover, the caramel cake, the doughnut holes packed into a clear to-go cup and surrounded by the beaded moisture of the just-baked—any of these things can be yours for just outside of a dollar. And the perfect peasant loaves? Just outside of two dollars. As if they needed to indulge in any further kindness: The iced tea comes with ice cubes made of the same. And this is truly a neighborhood bakery. On any given Sunday morning you'll find kids still in their pajamas and neighbors exchanging another week's worth of hyper-local gossip. Is it saving lives? Okay, we'll cool it with the bluster. But it is.
A coworker recommended this bakery to me. He said it was the best, and you know what....he was RIGHT! Delicious fresh baked goods. I had the tea cake (i think) which was huge. Can't wait to go back and try something else.
[Editor's note: A correction ran concerning this story; see end of article.] Lone Doughnut Café 300 Second Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.4195 Blackey's Bakery 639 22nd Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612.789.5326 A Baker's Wife's Pastry Shop 4200... More »
A Baker's Wife's Pastry Shop 4200 28th Ave. S., Minneapolis; (612) 729-6898 Hours: 6:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 6:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Sunday All right, here's the deal: I'll tell you about a little, sort of dumpy-looking bakery that has... More »
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