Review: The Angry Baker
The Angry Baker opened just a little over a year ago at 891 Oak Street in Olde Towne East, a corner that they share with Yellow Brick Pizza and will soon be joined by The Tavern. You might already know about the Angry Baker from their breads, cakes, pies, cookies and other baked goods, but their tiny cafe also serves breakfast (all day), weekend brunch, lunch and dinner. You’ll want to arrive early as seating is limited and this place is pretty popular on the weekends. Or, place an order to go to avoid fighting for a table.
The Side Salad (included with any sandwich) is a fairly impressive portion for being a sandwich accompaniment. This included a nice mix of greens, cucumbers, tomatoes and sunflower seeds. I thought that the tomatoes could have been chopped up a little finer, but overall the flavor of the salad was well balanced. More salad offerings are on the menu for those interested in turning it into a full entree for lunch.
The soup of the day during my visit was a Carrot Soup (cup included with any sandwich, or $3.25/cup or $4.00/bowl). The soup was very thick, to the point of resembling a squash soup. The carrot flavor was plentiful without coming across as sharp. Black pepper was the strongest of the seasonings present though some sort of chili gave the soup a mild bit of heat. Overall a fairly simple comforting cup of soup, and a nice addition to a sandwich.
The sandwich menu at The Angry Baker is very vegan and vegetarian friendly. One example is the Black Bean Burger ($8.75), which is made from local Shagbark black beans, and topped with a tomatillo jam, avocado, vegan aioli, and greens sourced from Four Season City Farms. The buns used are made fresh at The Angry Baker and are certainly the shining star of any sandwich on the menu. The greens are fresh, and the tomatillo jam was a very nice upgrade from your basic burger condiments. As is common with some styles of black bean burger, there’s not a whole lot holding it together as you start to bite down, which can make things messy as you eat. But if you don’t mind the mess, this meatless burger is worth your while.
For the carnivores, there’s the Pulled Pork Sandwich ($8.75) which includes tender pork, an onion-lime relish, pickled jalapeños, and a garlic aioli. The pork was well cooked and flavorful, but lacked any real additional seasoning. Thankfully, the addition of some wonderful toppings elevated the sandwich giving it some acidity from the relish and heat from the jalapeños. The aioli was applied plentifully to this sandwich, which I thought was a tad detrimental as it tended to overpower some of the other flavors. Overall, a nice version of this classic.
Angry Baker’s Turkey Sandwich ($8.25) includes cold cut roast turkey, a tomato slice, cucumbers, sprouts, swiss cheese and dijon mustard. Once again, the whole grain bread made fresh at the bakery is the true star here. This sandwich doesn’t contain some of the house-made condiments of the others that I tried, leaving it a tad on the unoriginal side, but still turns out to be a solid sandwich. The dijon mustard had a very powerful horseradish flavor that added some heat to the aftertaste, so be warned if you’re interested in something with a little bit of spice to it.
For dessert I ordered a few of the Macarons ($1.25 each) which come in a variety of flavors. Today’s special was pistachio, but other regular flavors include Pecan Pie, S’mores and Honey Lavender. The macaron itself was a bit brittle on the outside and gummy on the inside. The pistachio flavor was mildly nutty and creamy, and the buttercream filling was nice, but could have used some sort of additional flavoring. On their own, these desserts were good, but anyone who’s tried Pistacia Vera will most likely hold their macarons as the golden local standard. If PV’s macarons are a ten, then AB’s are a solid seven.
Overall, I was very pleased with what I tried at The Angry Baker despite a few minor nitpicks. There is a strong commitment to healthy food here, as well as a commitment to locally sourced food that stands above many other restaurant efforts. But more important than that, they don’t sacrifice flavor in the process. The Angry Baker is first and foremost a bakery that specializes in breads, desserts and other baked goods, but their cafe menu provides residents and visitors with a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner options that won’t disappoint.
The Angry Baker is located at 891 Oak Street in Olde Towne East. Their hours are Sunday & Monday, 8am to 5pm and Tuesday through Saturday, 8am to 7pm. More information can be found online at www.theangrybakerote.com.