October 3, 2005

FOOD: Do You Know the Bakerman?

Do You Know the Bakerman?

Downtown Austin has a new alternative to chain-restaurant bagels and hotel coffee. In January 2005, Bakerman’s Bakery (120 E. 7th Street) made a quiet but tasty entrance into downtown Austin. Custom-made cakes (from birthday to weddings), cookies (need a “Vote For Pedro” sugar cookie?), and handmade doughnuts are just the beginning of what you will find when you ring the cowbell to enter the domain of the Bakerman.

Breakfast is king at Bakerman’s Bakery. The selection of doughnuts is amazing too many to mention. My personal favorite is the blueberry. If you just think That’s all right, I just like glazed…” well do you mean regular, maple, orange, or strawberry?

According to owner and chief baker man Chris McGuill, the most popular and their “signature” offering is the “Yellow Rose of Texas” doughnut. This Texas-shaped glazed monster is lemon-filled. Since Bakerman’s fills all of their doughnuts from the top-middle, the lemon filling makes a “yellow rose” deep in the heart of Texas. In my opinion, filling a doughnut in the middle is an awesome thing, this way the stuff that goes into the treat is evenly dispersed and you don’t get a quarter-filled disappointment.

If you want to stray from the sugar a bit in the morning, maybe you should try one of their breakfast sandwiches. I have one of their “Pigs in a Blankets” at least once a week… They use Elgin sausage (big…none of this “link sausage” business). Their breakfast croissants are great (and great big) as well. Take the bacon, egg, and cheese one for instance. The croissant is flakey and fresh, the eggs (that’s right, two of them) are cooked with solid yolks, and the bacon and cheese is yummy. That’s right – yummy.

A couple of their newer treats include the moist pumpkin muffin (with cream cheese frosting), and a HUGE cranberry-nut muffin with cream cheese baked into the top. I thought I didn’t like cranberries, until I tried it.

Of course, for those who aren’t early risers, Bakerman’s Bakery also offers some delictible deli-quality croissant sandwiches for lunch. I recently had the pleasure of sinking my teeth into the ham and swiss croissant (topped with crisp lettuce and tomato slices). The flakey-buttery croissant was the perfect compliment to the none-too-salty ham and thick slice of swiss.

For those who get a hankering for a hunk of sweet in the afternoon, stop by Bakerman’s Bakery for their “doughnut happy-hour” which is where you can get half-off any yeast doughnut product after noon until closing most days.

For people looking for a baker for a birthday or a wedding cake, I can tell you from experience, they make a wonderful and unique cake. In April I ordered one of their cakes for my daughter’s first birthday. I was thrilled with the time and effort put into my cake…and the taste was amazing. On occasion when I wander in to get my morning pig-in-a-blanket I get to see some of the cool custom cakes they make…I’ve seen a royal crown, a spilled coffee-cup, and the state of Texas to name a few.
A local bakery through and through, they buy much of their ingredients in Austin. They buy their coffee from Texas Coffee Traders, and (season permitting) buy their fruits and veggies from local farmers.

So, next time you’re downtown and decide to get something to eat, why don’t you wander down to the corner of Brazos and Seventh and get yourself a Bakerman’s Bakery treat. The prices are more than reasonable, and the staff is friendly as well. They also have a Web site - http://www.bakermansbakery.com.

(This review will be in the October issue of Austin's INsite Magazine.)

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