Saturday, August 29, 2015

The new, but not so “humble” Union Street Bakery

Foodies that we are, with a particular attraction to baked goods, we noticed the appearance of a new establishment in town in the last few months.  It’s on Union Street, between Pleasant and Cumberland, in the stand-alone shop we frequently patronized when it was Tetreault’s Market.  We liked the fresh butcher aspect of that shop.

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Ever the realist, when we saw the place preparing for opening, the Diogenes in us said “here we go again; another starry-eyed dreamer who thinks they can make a living with a 6 foot case of muffins and a coffee pot.”  We figured they’d be lucky to make it to the end of the year.

But we began to notice a steady number of cars in front of the place when we drove by it, which we do frequently.  So a few days ago, after meeting a friend for donuts and coffee at Frostys, we decided to stop in and check the place out.

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We were quite surprised, to say the least, by what we found: much more than a bakery, with 4 busy people working, and a look and feel as if it had been there for years.  A whole fresh roasted turkey was on the work-table, ready to provide the real thing for sandwiches. We expressed surprise, and the lovely Sandy, who owns the place (shown above) asked if we had patronized the Humble Gourmet when it was in business more than 10 years ago.  We said we had, and she replied that she was the owner of that establishment, which among other things, had fabulous sandwiches and baked goods.  We remembered her immediately as well.

That shop was a few doors west of the Brunswick Diner on Pleasant Street, and was a catering business besides being a walk-in lunch and bakery.  We loved their scones and other baked goods; the former, in particular, were a completely different breed – more like what we think of as a coffee cake.  They were astonishing…so much so that we went in search of recipes for something similar, but never came up with one.

Sure enough, she’s making the same scones, and maybe the ooey-gooey cinnamon buns will reappear one day.  Well anyway, we told Sandy that she needed to change the sign out front to show  they do lunch instead of just bakery, because folks like us need to know that’s an option.  She agreed that would make sense, and the next time we went by, the sign had been amended.

We told Mrs. Side about our discovery, and the next day, she and her friend stopped in for lunch, and reported they had a stupendous sandwich, and as they are wont to do, superb baked items for dessert.

We decided we’d do a post on the place, and stopped by today on our way home from breakfast, only to find a ‘closed’ sign on the screen door, but with the outer door open.  So we grabbed our camera and headed in anyway.  There was Sandy, working on a catering item….lemon curd tarts with fresh blueberries.  Turns out their regular business hours are Monday thru Friday, closing at 3.  So the usual lights were not on inside, and the array of baked goods we had seen on Tuesday were absent, but we had a nice chat and took some photos.

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Based on what we know so far, and our strong memories of the excellence at the “Humble,” as we used to call it, we’re giving it Side’s enthusiastic recommendation, and suggest you give it a try.  Be sure to say you heard about them on The Other Side.  Like the prior shop, tables are limited, but they do have other seating typical of contemporary coffee shops.

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We expect to be noshing on a scone or two early this week, though with our luck, and this glowing review, they’ll probably be out when we get there!

Lucky for them, unlucky for us, we suppose.

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