Lucky for us, Back to Eden Bakery had just opened a week prior to our visit. Ardent Vegan Treats fans, we hadn't had much luck on the baked goods front since arriving in Portland, but we entered the Back To Eden shoppe and were immediately blown away; it is decorated with such exquisite charm and care: the personality comes through in every adornment. It has a decidedly Lula’s Sweet Apothecary flair and John, the owner, even told us that they were his inspiration. He was warm, welcoming, and the embodiment of the personality that his shoppe conveys. It’s hard to decide where to look first at Back to Eden. Besides the decoration, there are a bunch of great things to buy: from pre-packaged vegan foods to handmade items from local artists, to beautiful artwork: everything is displayed in such a way so as to fit with the theme of the shoppe.
And then there is the food. The cases are full to the brim with an eclectic and inviting assortment of freshly baked goodies: both sweet and savory. Every single item looks just-baked and delectable; it’s impossible to choose just one thing. Take a moment to read the framed article on the wall overhead: it details how everything is baked out of their home’s garage, which has been newly renovated into a commercial kitchen. Also learn how many of the ingredients have been grown in their own garden. You just can’t fake this kind of dedication.
On our first visit we showed some restraint and went with the following:
pumpkin whoopie pie: DIVINE. What’s not to love about something that tastes like a perfectly spiced, pumpkin devil dog?
butterscotch white chocolate chip pecan cookie: Fantastic. Just soft and chewy enough, while retaining a crisp-- possibly my new favorite vegan cookie (and I'm very picky about my cookies).
lemon blueberry scone: Perfect texture, flavor, etc.; now THIS was a scone.
And the piece de resistance: A sundae made with ½ Dark Chocolate Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss ice cream, ½ Chicago Soy Dairy Temptation soft serve twist, smothered in Holy Kakow chocolate sauce, homemade caramel sauce, and a chopped up Go Max Go Jokerz candy bar. Let me be the first to HIGHLY recommend this concoction. May I even be so bold as to name it “The East Coast”? Besides being a veritable Snickers sundae, the cold of the ice cream had an incredible and unexpected freezing effect on the already incredible Jokerz pieces and I enjoyed every single chomp of this hefty sundae.
We, of course, returned to Back to Eden on the last day of our trip in order to bring home an assortment of their ever-revolving, equally scrumptious goodies. This time we went for:
More pumpkin whoopie pies: You’ll understand after you’ve eaten one...or 12.
macaroons: regular, chocolate walnut, and strawberry
hazelnut shortbread: delicate and delicious
marionberry muffin: soft, airy and fresh
marionberry pie: delectable
apricot scone: fantastically filled with dried apricot pieces and a center of apricot preserves
cherry pecan tart: tasty, gooey tart of caramelly goodness...oh yeah, cherries and pecans too
chocolate strawberry cupcake: You know the run-of-the-mill vegan cupcakes with overly sugary icing and bland cake? This was the antithesis of that.
I can’t say enough about the incredible offerings at Back to Eden. They have attended to every single detail and it shows. Now THIS is the kind of bakery I expected of Portland. And now I hear that they have chocolate croissants? Let’s work out a coast-to-coast shipping estimate, shall we? Thanks to John, the bakers, and the friendly staff for all of the incredible goodies. You are officially our go-to West Coast bakery. Continued success!