Best little bakery around
Blue Blinds Bakery
7 North St., Plymouth
Sunday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Monday through Thursday,
6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.; closed Saturdays
Major credit cards accepted
If I lived in Plymouth, I’d be at Blue Blinds Bakery café every day.
It’s got it all: outside seating on a gorgeous porch; two fireplaces inside for cozying up to in winter; delicious espresso drinks and teas; breakfast all day; great baked goods; sandwiches and soups for lunch and later, and fabulous prices.
Blue Blinds is probably the prettiest, all-around most pleasing café south of Boston and, arguably, a much wider area. The interior is filled with mismatched antique tables and seating, comfy leather chairs, a couch, and game boards. It’s a warm, welcoming place with a mellow staff and an easy vibe.
Which isn’t to say the food is an afterthought; it’s anything but. Although the menu is small and simple, the food is outstanding.
Blue Blinds doesn’t advertise (or even have signs about) the fact that its eggs and all the flour it bakes with are organic; its turkey and roast beef antibiotic- and hormone-free; its coffees fair-trade; and its extensive baked goods and iced drinks sweetened with honey.
“We’re terrible at marketing, and we also didn’t want people to think we were some kind of health food place where the food would be all crunchy granola-y,’’ said Brian Fenster, baker and manager of the three-year-old café.
Blue Blinds is owned by an intentional community called Twelve Tribes, which has groups around the world. About 50 members of the collective have lived in Plymouth since 1998. Customers wouldn’t know that, though; I didn’t the first time I went there.
Service is smart, friendly, warm, and totally cool. Twelve Tribes has also owned Commonsense Wholesome Food Market around the corner for more than a decade, and is an integral part of the downtown business community.
I love being able to get some protein at a café (not just pastries, however good they are), and the egg and cheddar sandwich ($4) takes the time-honored café-serving-eggs tradition to a new level. The eggs are fried slowly in butter and served over two slices of the homemade toast of your choice and topped with melted cheddar. They are seasoned and cooked so that the whites are solid but the yokes are runny: perfect. On this dish, and all others, a little side of fruit is pristine, ripe, and unblemished.
The pancakes ($5.50) - a bit more substantial than a simple white-flour version - are satisfying and sided with real maple syrup.
The café serves three signature sandwiches daily, and all three are delicious.
The caprese ($6.50) is as beautiful as it is tasty. It has roasted peppers and tomato next to the bread, and then layers of arugula and fresh mozzarella, one after another, caringly crafted.
The turkey sandwich ($7) is assembled with boursin cheese spread on your choice of bread, roasted peppers, and baby lettuce. And the roast beef sandwich ($7) has plenty of vivid horseradish sauce, along with pecorino cheese, arugula, and tomatoes.
The café serves a different soup ($4.50) each day, and two in the winter. I’ve yet to try one, but I will next time I’m there. According to Fenster, the all-time best seller is the butternut bevy, made with home-grown squash and local feta cheese. All soups come with a choice of bread.
The bakery sells at least half a dozen types of terrific bread daily at $5 a loaf. I’ve had the seed-covered sunflower flax, the crusty sourdough French, and the savory sun-dried tomato (which has a faint flavor reminiscent of pizza).
Most of the all-organic flour the bakery uses is either whole-grain or spelt - a grain that is tolerated quite well by many people with gluten intolerance. But never mind, it’s the taste we’re after, and this stuff tastes great.
I’ve loved the bakery’s muffins ($2.50) - which I’ve sought out for years any time I’m near one of Twelve Tribes’ Commonsense markets (there are others in Dorchester and Hyannis). I don’t have a favorite among them because they’re equally delicious and full of fruit, whichever muffin they are - blueberry, cherry almond, lemon poppy. Because the flour mixture is so good, and they’re made with honey and fresh fruits, somehow they feel more nourishing than a muffin made with commercial ingredients (white flour, poor quality oil, sugar) - and they are.
As for desserts, where can I start? They’re all somewhat rustic, i.e., homemade looking. Everything I’ve tried is delicious: the mixed berry pie and the key lime, the carrot cake (all pies and cakes are $4 a slice).
And of course a café wouldn’t be a cafe without hot cups of something and Blue Blinds does that great, too. Their espresso drinks (cappuccino is $2.50 small, $3.50 large) are very good and so are their many teas and coffee ($1.25 small, and $2.25 large). They also offer two iced house drinks: an iced lemon yerba mate tea drink and a hibiscus fruit cooler. Both are at the ready in cold drink dispensers, and both are sweetened with honey. (If you find yours too sweet, the house is only too happy to adjust that for you.)
So, give yourself a simple treat and go relax at Blue Blinds Bakery cafe.
Sit outside while the weather’s still beautiful and eat or drink something.
Do the café thing and shoot the breeze with a stranger or just sit and watch the world go by.
And don’t forget that even when the weather turns cold, there will always be a fire burning inside this café.