Can you say yum?
—Marilyn McFarlane, RFT Contributor
For the lucky folks who live in Bend, Oregon, The Sparrow Bakery is an everyday treat; the rest of us have to add it to the list of must-dos when we’re visiting. This little café/deli/bakery is a true find.
Whitney Blackman, the skilled and enthusiastic owner, opened her bakery four years ago and it’s been drawing crowds ever since. She and her staff prepare French-influenced pastries that are simply the best in town. The Ocean Roll gets the most raves — a big, spiraled roll flavored with cardamom. The flaky almond croissant, sprinkled with sliced almonds, has a rich filling that’s sweet but not cloying. It’s big enough for two, unless you absolutely have to eat the whole thing, and anyone who’s tasted these would understand. The lemon tarts are light, with fresh lemon flavor and a puff of toasted meringue.
Savories, served all day, include the Bacon Breakfast Sandwich, a hand-rolled croissant with poached egg, smoked bacon, avocado, and arugula aioli, and the Monte Cristo, a palate-pleasing combination of turkey, gruyere, onion marmalade and raspberry preserves. A very popular item on the menu is Chicken Waldorf, a mixture of fruit, nuts, herbs, and “weeds” on a croissant. Blackman also serves soups, salads, and quiches.
Indoor seating space at The Sparrow is extremely limited, but there are umbrella tables in an outdoor courtyard, a great place to enjoy a sweet or savory treat and good coffee on a sunny morning. Or you can get your purchase to go.
The outdoor patio at The Sparrow Bakery makes a pleasant place to enjoy coffee or tea, a baked good or sandwich, and do a bit of people watching.