GUIDE: Teri Gelber
A veteran local food writer—and co-author of a book with trailblazing LA baker Nancy Silverton—pulls out four hot items from Portland ovens.
Sesame Pretzel Croissant
Nuvrei (404 NW 10th Ave;
This buttery, perfectly layered croissant (pictured) has a salty, exotic twist: a pretzel glaze on top, speckled with toasty sesame seeds. You won’t regret this global ride from Portland to Germany ... to Japan.
Chorizo & Roasted Pepper Quiche
Lauretta Jean’s (600 SW Pine St; laurettajean.com)
It’s hard to find a true quiche, but Kate McMillen’s got it right: the eggs have a light, delicate texture, strewn with Spanish chorizo for a spicy snap, and the last of the sweet red summer peppers are the perfect mate.
Little T American Baker (2600 SE Division St; littletbaker.com)
You don’t have to feel too terribly guilty eating this: it’s baked, not fried. The crumb is a chocolate-yeasted cake doughnut, slathered in deep, dark, bittersweet ganache. It’s not too sweet, but a decadent breakfast for sure.
Bakeshop (5351 NE Sandy Blvd; bakeshoppdx.com)
These savory tarts make the perfect breakfast or lunch. Chard, squash, Parmesan, and herbs are dusted with bread crumbs and nestled into Kim Boyce’s flaky multigrain crust. At a dinner party, cut them into quarters and serve as appetizers.
ADVANCED SHOPPING: Worldwide Wheat
Three bakery-centric international adventures
Roman Russian Market
Outside: forbidding East Portland asphalt. Inside: Slavic culinary heaven full of cakes and pastries loaded with cream, honey, and sweet jams. While the language barrier can be steep, stick with it—the staff is excited to evangelize for delicacies like cheburashka, an addictively spongy honey cake sold by the pound.
10918 SE Division St
True to Southeast Asia’s complicated history, this mainstay blends French technique with Asian flavor. Steamed buns filled with sweet coconut cream share crowded shelves with crunchy, sweet palmiers and baguettes for your homemade banh mi. Definitely stock up on the buttery, crumbly cookies stuffed with chocolate. 5345 SE Foster Rd; anxuyenbakery.com
You may not have realized your life was missing pignoli, inimitably pine-nutty little cookies sold by the pound. This cozy Italian-American bakery will set you straight. Among the elaborate dolci, one recent standout: a seductively textured, fig-studded olive oil cake. 1936 N Killings-worth St; diprimadolci.com