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Nov 13, 2007 02:08 PM

Anna Olson's Bakery?

Anyone been to Anna Olson's shop in Port Dalhousie? Is it worth an afternoon drive from Hamilton?

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  1. I have been a couple of times. We would often stop on the way to Niagara on the Lake. It is quite nice in the summer as you can take your lunch or sweets to the boardwalk and enjoy them along the waters edge.

    The bakery has panini's and cold sandwiches along with the desserts that are featured on her cooking show. We have tried their apple pie, lemon tarts, but it was the fat elvis that was particularly memorable.

    The bakery has a website that you can check out before you go which will give you a better idea whether it is worth your time. I don't know if it is a destination in and of itself but given that you are already in Hamilton - why not?

    1 Reply
    1. re: professor plum

      YES, definitely worth the drive. But I say that because I was served lunch (i.e. passed my salmon and cream cheese bagel) by Anna Olson herself and I'm a big Sugar fan. I also liked their cookies and pastries, I forgot which I had though, sorry for not being more specific.

    2. The shop is wonderful. The desserts and breads are marvellous, but she also carries an excellent selection of cheeses, gourmet items, salads, and Canada Prime-graded steaks.

      I especially like to take the kids in the summer when the Port Dalhousie carousel is running (five cents a ride), but I try to make it to the shop at least a couple of times a month.

      Another new place to check out in the area is Beyond Catering, at Fourth Ave. and Martindale. They have a great selection of gourmet items too, including Berkshire Pork, Quebec grain-fed chickens, frozen veal stock, etc.

      1. Olson's Bakery is definitely worth the afternoon drive (especially during spring/summer when you can pick up your sandwiches and baked goods and walk down to Lakeside Park for a picnic). My parents often pick me up and we go to Port Dalhousie and indulge.

        They have two small storefronts in the back of a marketplace that are connected by a small corridor lined with gourmet goodies. The s'mores and sticky buns are a particular favourite and I always order some brioche rolls to take home for lunches. The shop itself has a selection of gourmet goods (check out her website) and also sells artisanal cheeses and sandwiches...

        The last time we went, my dad (who has a crush on Ms. Olson) was chuffed to have his sandwich made by her and she even posed for a picture. The food is fresh, good and worth the drive out to Port Dalhousie...

        1. Thanks 'hounds. I plan on driving out in the next couple of weeks and will report back. Will also check out Beyond Catering.

          1. I have been to her shop several times now. Each visit, there have been a couple of things I have really enjoyed. However, I have also been underwhelmed. Last time, my husband ordered a grilled cheese sandwich that claimed to have bacon in it. On receiving the sandwich, he couldn't taste the bacon, so we peeked inside and noted that there were a number of little bits mixed into the shredded cheese. However, there weren't enough bits to taste, and for the price, it was very disappointing. That said, they've also got a lot of pantry items, sauces, etc. that are fun to look at, and some of the baked goods are excellent.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Full tummy

              I'd tend to agree with Full tummy. My dad is a huge Sugar fan and has gone numerous times on the way home from seeing my grandfather is St. Catharines. I really haven't been all that impressed with the quality of her sweets. They look gorgeous but never seem to live up to their appearance. Value for the money is questionable as well, don't be surprised if you leave with a small box of pastries easily besting $30-$40.

              1. re: Dr Butcher

                Thanks for the balanced reviews - I'm going next Wed. or Thurs. (one last hurrah before returning to work) and will post by next Friday. Bringing guests as well so we'll be able to try lots of things.

                1. re: Dr Butcher

                  I've always wanted to try Anna's place myself and actually made the drive last month (met a friend for the very first time there). I drove in from Toronto, and imo, have to say, it was "not" worth the drive. We both had hot paninis; my friend's was supposed to be hot (ordered from the hot menu) and it was cold and not grilled, as the description said. When I asked the chef about this, he said it was "warm" on the inside???

                  Both paninis and two teas were expensive and not worth it. We ordered some pastries to go (cranberry scones and an apple shortbread square). Nothing to reallly write home about and certainly not worth the drive. I was very disappointed. We missed Anna by about 1/2 hour as she left early.

                  Sorry my review was mixed from others, but I was truly not impressed.

                  1. re: red dragon

                    Okay I didn't want to be the first negative response....but I will agree with red dragon we made the drive one sunday and we're disappointed also. Although we did purchase some jam and cheese and stopped for a sandwich there wasn't anything that we couldn't get in Toronto. Anna wasn't anywhere to be seen, which really didn't matter to us one way or another. I was very surprised at the lack of desserts on was mostly a lot of brownie marshmellow topped squares. I wouldn't bother making a special trip but I suppose if you happen to be passing by WTH!!