Chelsea Spears / Lantern photographer
The heavy aroma of freshly baked bread wafting from The Angry Baker is an all-too-welcome sensation in the midst of Olde Towne East. The little cafe and bakery, located at 891 Oak St., serves as a safe haven amid the rather rough neighborhood. Few signs advertise the bakery. It’s a petite hole-in-the-wall that you must actively search for, but once inside, The Angry Baker emanates a homey feel.
Immediately after I stepped out of my Volkswagen bug upon my arrival to The Angry Baker, I had to dodge the forward advances of a rather sketchy local, making me a little unnerved from the start of my visit.
But once I walked into the bakery to meet my friend for brunch, I was greeted with an overwhelming sense of peace. Steamy windows occupy the storefront and exposed brick lines the rest of the rather dainty shop. Jazzy music, so light it’s barely audible, contributes to the muffled quietness of the store. The posh cafÃ© has a slight 1950s vibe with its hipster workers, retro appliances and overall cleanliness. Only a few tables lie scattered around the bakery, and we chose a plush booth in the corner.
The only easy decision was my purchase of coffee. It’s a routine classic with any of my meals. For $1.60, I was able to refill my semi-sweet coffee as much as my addiction craved. The coffee is self-served and thus easy to tailor a simple cup of java to meet your preferences.
After the coffee, however, I was overwhelmed with so many equally appealing options that I ordered more food than my stomach could prove to finish. Should I go with the butternut soup? The white cheddar grilled cheese? The veggie club with squash and beets? The Thanksgiving sandwich with turkey and apple cranberry chutney?
My first decision rested in a $4 teacake. As one of multiple vegan options within the bakery, the teacake was a thick, powdery pastry that satisfied my sweet tooth and tasted heavily of flour. Raspberries and a fruit filling drizzled the top layer and mixed well with the doughy taste of the pastry.
For my main course, I settled on the baked eggs, priced at $7.50. It took 20 minutes to receive my food, a slightly lengthy wait at a cafÃ©, but the meal was hot, fresh and filling. It was a slight twist on the traditional eggs. A layer of bread lined the bottom of the dish and was topped with three eggs and a white cheese. Spinach intermingled with the eggs and eliminated any hint of dryness.
The eggs came with a small side salad, topped with Parmesan cheese, croutons and a warm balsamic dressing. The unexpected saltiness and warmth of the salad oddly complemented the breakfast even at an early hour.
While I was already quite full from my own breakfast, I couldn’t resist sampling my friend’s vegan pumpkin french toast. It was perfectly soft, light, airy and creamy all at once with a burst of pumpkin and a crunchy topping of pecans.
It inspired me to buy the pumpkin oatmeal cream sandwich at $1.50 as a sweet treat for a special someone. Let me just say that it was a true test of self-discipline to resist biting into that pastry before I delivered it.
After my endeavor at The Angry Baker, I left the store with a substantially lighter wallet. My meal cost more than $15, but its menu is filled with food that delivers an exclusive taste. I can justify spending the money on such distinct cuisine.
My simple advice for any future customers: don’t go alone, lock up your car, but enjoy this more urban version of Northstar CafÃ©. Treat yourself to this cafÃ© and bakery at least once – it’s worth the indulgence.