Wednesday, September 17, 2008

St. Louis bakery bonanza part one

Thomas, Whit, Mandy and I headed up to St. Louis for the weekend for a) Thomas and Whit's lacrosse tournament and b) major bakery "research".
Whew. Can I just say, I actually ate enough sweets this weekend that I didn't even want to TASTE another sweet for DAYS after coming back from St. Louis... Of course, this lasted all the way until Monday...

Black Bear Bakery
This place is an anarchist bakery. Like, for real. It's an autonomous collective (does anyone else think of Monty Python- Holy Grail when I say that?) that is anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist. There were anarchist pamphlets all over the place and they had sandwiches with names like "The Insurgent" and breakfast plates called "St. Louis General Strike of 1877" and "French Revolution".
Yes. Really.
We braved the somewhat sketch neighborhood to try their neighborhood brunch (self-serve array of ginger cinnamon french toast, buckwheat pancakes, sliced tomatoes, scrambled eggs with veggies, roast potatoes and kale, etc) and it was crazy delicious.
We also tried a walnut brownie, chocolate oat bar, chocolate cupcake, raspberry oat bars (heaven!) and chocolate peanut butter cookies that the super helpful guy at the counter told me are only sweetened with maple syrup. They rocked. I also got some brioche that had been made that morning.
When we came in, there was a guy singing "I am My Own Grandpa" and we were in luck; we got to hear the whole thing. The two workers (partners? collective members? comrades?) there were nice and helpful.
The bakery gets a lot of it's produce from neighborhood gardens within 2 miles of the bakery, which is really great and believe me, those sliced tomatoes were so thick and red and juicy that it wouldn't surprise me one bit if they were picked that morning. If you visit Black Bear, be sure you have cash or check- they do not accept credit cards. I felt extremely foolish for even asking as soon as the words were out of my mouth... I mean, it's an anarchist bakery, of COURSE they don't accept credit cards.
Anyway, if you're in St. Louis, it's definitely worth stopping in for the peanut butter chocolate cookies, the raspberry bars and getting to go to an anarchist bakery.

Hmmm... I think continuing with the tour on this post will just be anti-climactic, so I'll post more about the St. Louis bakeries in a day or two!

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