Restaurant Review: Dough Mama Cafe & Bakery
Home sweet home: after earning fame and glory as an outsourced bakery for local operations, Dough Mama has come home to Clintonville and opened up its very own storefront on High Street. Just south of North Broadway, it offers much more than the pies for which Dough Mama is acclaimed. The new location is a bona fide eatery with dine-in options.
The streamlined menu makes it easy to make decisions. In the entree department, there are just a handful of options. The favorite savory pick so far is the turkey meatloaf sandwich, Grammie’s Sammie ($9). For those who associate meatloaf with mammoth piles of excess, Dough Mama’s version may come as a surprise. It’s almost dainty; a tidy stack of compact slices layered between toasted bread with red pickled onions, cheddar and a sweet sauce that’s reminiscent of ketchup… but more interesting. The resident meatloaf expert at the table gasped in delight. And that’s saying something for meatloaf, especially one made with turkey.
The Chicken Pot Pie also scores ($8). It’s got a thick, substantial crust that is good on it’s own, better when dipped in the pot-pie goo of peas, teeny chopped carrots, mushrooms and a few shreds of chicken in a homespun white sauce. It’s good enough to wish for more.
Chips or salad come as sides with many options. The chips are fine, thick-cut, briny companions, but the salad is special. In fact, it provides excellent solace for when the pot pie has been devoured. It’s arugula, softened with just a touch of some sublime vinaigrette.
For the breakfast crew, there are biscuit sandwich options. Again: disturbingly tidy. The Avocado Biscuit ($7) gets its name from some nice mashed avocado that holds spouts to one side of the flaky interior of a cheddary biscuit. There’s also a perfect round egg in there, with a little sprinkle of pepper and a tomato slice. Alternately, the Ham version ($7) scratches the same itch, but with a little more brine than richness.
And there are desserts. It’s possible to visit Dough Mama’s just for the savory items, but that seems like a terrible shame, especially given all the acclaim for its sweets. And double especially when there are low-risk items like cookies in the case. The The Loaded Oatmeal Cookies ($3) are a good choice: they are, in fact, loaded with dried fruit and nuts, and soft rather than stiff like the cardboard variety so often found at bakeshops.
The Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies ($1.75) were smaller, but equally soft. The salt on top made the perfect foil, but the goodie yielded only one bite with any chocolate. Alas, it was a barren cookie.
For a more serious dessert, there is pie. Sold by the slice, the Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie ($5) is a fine way to experience the bakery’s wares. It is luxe, with a substantial crust that cradles pecans with a sweet, sugary maple foundation. Other options run from a slice of traditional Honey Apple, to a more adventurous Lemon Lavender Chess.
You can find the bakery at 3335 N. High Street. It’s open Wednesdays through Sundays.
For more information, visit www.dough-mama.com.
Want to sample some Dough Mama in person? Join us on February 9th for Best Bites: Sweet Treats — a unique opportunity to sample 30 of the city’s best desserts all in one night! CLICK HERE for tickets and details!
All photos by Lillian Dent. Photos are taken at a different time than review, so discrepancies between photos and review may occur.