Thursday, November 19, 2009

Back to Eden Bakery


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!

2 comments:

Kiley said...

I am in total agreement with this post :)
Back to Eden is a fantastic treat and well worth stopping by. My husbands words were "Vegan cupcakes shouldn't be this good"
I enjoyed an Oogave & Coconut Bliss float as my food allergies prevented me from having the sundae.
Thanks for a great review & best of luck John!
-Kiley from the Coconut Bliss office

Back to Eden Bakery said...

Thanks so much Abby for your very flattering post about our shoppe. It was such a pleasure to meet both you and your mom on your recent vegan tour of Portland. You really left me feeling inspired and encouraged by all that remains possible for creating community around the sharing of vegan deliciousness. I have referenced your trip to a number of people already as the highlight of our first month so thank you so much for your generous support. I only wish you had the chance to meet my partner Garrett, the true genius behind all those scrumptious treats and co-owner of Back to Eden. This has truly been his inspiration from the very beginning and I am the fortunate one who has been granted the opportunity to build a temple to feature his art and passion. We have been so blessed to be able to see this vision through to fruition and it is made all the more sacred by your words of praise. Good tidings for your holiday season and please come visit us again soon!
John (& Garrett)