Buttery Bakery, Santa Cruz
Spent a night in Santa Cruz and hit the Buttery Bakery before leaving. (BTW, I also went to the Mystery Spot and it was fascinating).
The service was spotty here but the pastries were divine. I had a hard time choosing but we tried the croissant, almond croissant, granola parfait, a cupcake with some berry I never heard of (must be a west coast berry) and a couple of cookies.
The croissant was excellent. Flaky and crusty with the right amount of moistness. I didn't like the almond one though. Not enough almond flavor. The cupcake was tasty, even though the purple frosting had melted off of it. I really liked the cookies. I think it was chocolate chip with nuts and berries. Not quite chewy, not quite crispy but as baby bear would say, just right.
But the best was the coffee. I had a soy latte and it was perfect. Absolutely delicious. Just as well I live no where near this place because I could do a lot of damage between the pastries and cupcakes.
After the epic fail at Gayle's Bakery, I made a point to check out The Buttery the next day combined with a trip to Shoppers Corner. While the results were a bit mixed, I did find some things to recommend.
Pecan buttercrunch, $1.15, is a bar type cookie topped with toasty pecans, coconut and I can't say what else because my mother devoured it without sharing. I guess we can say she liked it. Carrot cupcake, $3, was my top pick, mostly for the unique frosting combining the taste of cream cheese frosting with buttercream texture. The cake was very moist and enriched with shredded coconut, which some might not like but it worked for me. Ollalieberry puff, $2.75, had a nice pastry cream topped with fresh berries, but the puff pastry was not as layered or rich as better examples. The bear claw, $2.75, was decent but not memorable.
Two items I wouldn't get again were the mini lemon tart, $2.75, suffering from not enough filling in relation to the crust. And the cannela, $2.75, a cinnamon sugar dusted twist of croissant dough that again was not as layered or rich as better examples.
702 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA
Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria
504 Bay Ave, Capitola, CA 95010
re: Melanie Wong
Early Saturday morning I was back at the Buttery after buying groceries at Shoppers Corner. I picked up a ham and cheese croissant which showed much better than the earlier cannela. Also tried a slice of pumpkin pie which had a firm crust and lots of spice.
622 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA
Thanks for reporting back. The Buttery is my favorite overall bakery in town, and yet I'm able to restrain myself somehow. I've been meaning to go since their Corner Cafe opened and hope to go soon.
I enjoy their croissants too...especially like the ham and cheese. I like the almond one too. I've always found the filling to carry a perfect amount of almond aroma and essence for me.
Thanks for the coffee tip. Don't believe I've ever ordered from the coffee bar, but now I must give it a whirl!
Were they ollalieberry? Sort of an improved blackberry, the berries are almost the size of your first thumb joint. Very richly flavored when fully ripe (dull blue-black, no longer shiny). Make superlative jams and jellies.
There is a large commercial growing area just south of SC in Watsonville, and Gizdich Farm is a great place to visit, where you can buy fresh or frozen berries (and apples, strawberries and raspberries) and wonderful pies.Take Riverside Dr east from Highway 1 area then follow signs through downtown for Highway 152; proceed east past the county fairgrounds to Carlton Rd, turn right to Peckham Rd. and follow the signs to the farm.
Now is the high season for pik-yur-own, but they are available frozen all year. This time of year a mid-week visit is less hectic.