This post is so overdue. So much time spent out of doors lately means I’ve been neglecting my indoor, blog-post-related duties. Enough is enough though, and it’s time to give a shout-out to two bakeries discovered on a recent road trip through Norfolk County, ON.
On the way to our campaing destination in Port Rowan, we decided to make a pit-stop in Port Dover. I did a quick bakery google search as we were coming into town and came across three local bakeries. Given our time restraints, I chose to visit two:
Trish’s Bakery Cafe prides itself on being the only gluten-free bakery in all of Norfolk and Haldimand counties. Of all the places I’ve been on the tour to date, Trish’s has the largest selection of gluten-free items I’ve seen, and she gets high marks on creativity. This place has come up with a wide range of common-bakery-item alternatives to satisfy the gluten-free crowd, many of whom I’m sure just can’t handle another carrot muffin or slab of banana bread.
We tried the key lime coconut macaroon, chocolate peanut butter bar and chocolate chip pecan butter tart.
All were pretty good. Simple flavours, sweet, but good. Prices were reasonable at approximately $2.00 per item. If I lived near Port Dover, I’d be going back for the Oh My Gosh brownies sometime soon:
The second stop was a real find: The Urban Parisian. Described on the website as Port Dover’s first authentic French bakery, I couldn’t pass it up. Specializing in french pastires and bread, this place packs a much smaller selection at a higher price point than Trish’s. Perhaps this is part of the reason why two bakeries can survive on the main street of such a small town – they are so very, very different.
Brad Lewis, co-owner of The Urban Parisian, is a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef with a diploma in patisserie, and a certifcate in boulangerie. In short, he knows what he’s doing. Wish I could borrow a book or two from his collection….
Each day is a different type of bread: Tuesdays are sourdough, Wednesdays are whole grain, etc. I love that Thursdays are reserved for “chef’s choice”, just to keep things interesting. We stopped in on a Sunday, which turned out to be the right day to score some blue cheese walnut bread – cha-ching! It. Was. Incredible.
When humming and hawwing over the sweet stuff, I was told one of the best sellers is the cheesecake, which varies in flavour. Sometimes strawberry chocolate chip, sometimes mint chocolate, chocolate peanut butter…but we were traveling far on a hot day, and I wasn’t sure it would survive the trip, so I grudgingly passed.
We did decide to try a mammatus at the suggestion of the guy behind the counter. The mammatus is essentially a sponge cake covered in a thick layer of chocolate, and I’ve seen on The Urban Parisian Facebook page, often comes in different flavours: raspberry, hazelnut and white chocolate to name but two. Although it did look a little worse for wear by the time we got home, the flavour was not damaged. Rich, not too sweet…fantastic!
I honestly do wish I lived closer to this one, because the quiche, mini key lime pies and cream puffs would be next on my list. If only they delivered….
Other things I really like about this place:
- They use local ingredients: Lavender for flavouring, ale for the bread, etc.
- The coffee.
- The atmosphere. This place is tastefully designed, with beautiful counters and wall decor. Amazing patio.
- The Facebook page! I follow a few different bakeries on Facebook, and this one is by far the best for photos and consistency. I’m constantly reminded that I want to go back to this place sometime soon…so two thumbs up on the social media front.
So there you go. Two new wonderful places discovered on a random camping trip….you just never know.