319 SW Pine Street & 3rd Ave • bluecollarbaking.com • 503.227.3249
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am – 5:30pm; Sat 7:30am – 3pm
Remember those glorious days from childhood when you would get three months off in the summer or even just “Spring Break,” that wonderful week of nothing to do but sleep in and hang out with friends? Ahh, the luxuries of adolescence that are never fully appreciated… Now I eagerly await those random days off here and there where I can relive those moments.
This past Monday, I had a company-paid day off to “celebrate” President’s Day and decided to have it be like those golden days – sleeping in, lunch with a friend and lots of time spent relaxing. Seemed almost too fitting that I would go to a place called Blue Collar Baking, which sells items with working-man names like the “Lunch Whistle.”
The new bakery/café inside the Embassy Suites building in downtown was only open a week when I stopped in and there were numerous other people who came by to check out the space – a good sign that those working in the area are eager for a new place to get a tasty treat, a good cup of coffee or a quick lunch.
I loved their set up – bright and spacious, filled with fun decorations of lunch pails and thermoses. Plus their space has large windows which are always great for one of my favorite pastimes – people watching 🙂 Blue Collar Baking also has large comfy couches and free Wi-Fi, making it a great afternoon hangout spot.
Their bakery case greets you when you walk in, featuring their daily cookie specials, like the Lunch Whistle with cranberries, white chocolate and orange zest. You can definitely tell that they were not kidding around when they made up their tagline “We’re not afraid of butter!” It has a great buttery, sugary cookie base. And you can’t go wrong with the cranberry and white chocolate combo in my opinion.
Their mini bundt cake was also delicious. In an interview with Warren Becker, owner and head baker of Blue Collar Baking, he is especially proud of his bundt cakes. And I can see why after tasting one. The cinnamon sugar “bundtette” was fluffy, moist and flavorful (the bundtette is acorn-shaped and about two to three bites big). It is the perfect complement to a cup of hot tea or locally-roasted Water Avenue Coffee.
The only thing really lacking is their lunch menu. Several customers, myself included, were a little confused by the menu board. In small print at the bottom of their chalkboard menu, it said “Ask for today’s panini selections.” The staff, while extremely friendly, had to consult their notepad for the day’s three choices. Their sandwiches were nothing special and served with bagged tortilla chips, not exactly what I was expecting for a bakery like they have set up.
While they have some work to do on the lunch-front, I would certainly recommend Blue Collar Baking for a pick-me-up on your way back to work or once that 5pm bell sounds (they are open till 5:30pm after all!).
I think there is a lot of potential for Blue Collar Baking, so I am excited to see how it will grow and transform in the near future.