I have lived in the Pearl District/Downtown Portland area for about 4 years now and had never been to Ken’s Artisan Bakery on NW 21st. I’m really not sure why – I love bakeries (obviously), I love fresh baked bread, and Ken’s is known for having fantastic quality food, but for some reason I just had never ventured inside their cute cafe. I decided last weekend that I would finally check it out!
I was slightly overwhelmed by so many awesome choices staring at me from the bakery display case. Realizing that I probably wouldn’t go wrong with anything I picked, my approach was based on the time. Seeing that it was 10am and they didn’t have breakfast sandwiches, I thought to myself “I really should have a breakfasty pastry to be healthier” so I decided on a Rhubarb Galette – I mean, that has fruit so it totally counts, right? The galette was a good balance of tart rhubarb and buttery pastry with a sprinkling of raw turbinado sugar on top, which gave it a nice sweet crunch.
I also really wanted one of their famous chocolate chip cookies (it is often on the “Best Cookies in Portland” list) but I wanted to wait until after noon to eat it (kind of like how drinking before noon is slightly un-PC, I often figure the same thing with cookies. Why? I’m not really sure, seeing that having chocolate chip pancakes are ok around 8am to me and that’s basically the same thing…). Nonetheless I got one cookie to go, went home and placed my little Ken’s goody bag on the counter and went to run some errands. When I came back – no cookie. My husband Brice looked at me with guilty eyes, “what? I wasn’t supposed to eat that?”
So not only is there now no picture or description from me on this incredible cookie, but I missed my chance at trying it! Guess I will just have to go back soon!
What to Get: Almost guaranteed, you will love anything you get. But these are the three things, you might not want to pass up:
- Vahlhona Chocolate Chunk Cookie: featuring super high-quality French chocolate broken into large chunks, this large cookie is baked to perfection. According to Brice, “it was a good balance of not too chocolately and not too buttery. It was really tasty, but now I feel a little guilty since I wasn’t supposed to eat it…”
- Ciabatta: Crispy crust that delightfully snaps when you break the loaf in half, yet has perfect fluffy interior of dough. Delicious any way you choose to enjoy it – by itself, with jam and butter for a nice simple breakfast, or with quality olive oil and vinegar.
- Croissant: any place that makes a top-notch traditional, fluffy and buttery croissant is great in my book and Ken’s certainly fits the bill
Hours: Tues-Sat: 7am – 6pm; Sun: 8am – 5pm; Mon: 7am – 9:30pm + Monday Night Pizza: 5:30pm – 9:30pm where the bakery turns into a pizzeria
Ken’s Artisan Pizza: located at 304 SE 28th Ave & Pine, featuring their famous European-style pizza every day