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Why do I bother with the Back Door Bakery??

  • m

I guess it's mainly because it's right here in Silverlake, but I think after today I won't be going back - ever. The bagel I got a) took 20 minutes to toast; b) did not come with the butter I requested which I found out after I took it home; c) tastes like regular bread in the shape of a bagel.

I've tried their crossaints which are big and crispy on the outside, but doughy and so greasy on the inside. The brownies are dry and the service is sooooooooo slow. I don't get why it's crowded every morning.

Sorry for my rant. I just really wanted a decent bagel and am pissed off about not getting one.

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  1. You're brave to have lasted this long. I gave up in about 1997 after I got 1) rotten, musty blueberries in a turnover 2) rock-hard raw apples in another pastry and 3) refusal to make an ice tea despite the presence of tea and ice.
    Oh, and when I tried to take a picture of the front one time for an article, they practically called the cops on me.
    They're well-meaning, but another of the many examples of local places that just can't get it right.

    Link: http://eatingla.blogspot.com

    1. You're totally justified. Good rant.

      I've also given up on this place

      1. They don't have bagels, but I've been getting baked goods from what it looks like they're now calling Bodybuilder's Cafe, next door to the gym on Hyperion. The scones and cookies there are amazing. I got a mexican hot chocolate one there this morning that's awesome. Yesterday: oatmeal rasberry and a strawberry scone.

        1. I am with you 100%!! I live right up the street and it's such a shame that they can't seem to get their act together. I would love to see a great bakery cafe open up in their space. Seems like a waste that they are there.

          I tried a bagel there recently and was highly disappointed. You are right - it is basically their regular bread shaped into the form of a bagel!

          1. r
            rabo encendido

            I actually like the croissants here, although they do not at all resemble their French namesake. And you're right---greasy.

            As Chowpatty says, they're well-meaning, and---in my experience---nice folks. Problem is, croissant-like thingy aside, the food is not good and the service---such as it is---is slow and inept.

            Right idea and philosophy, bad execution.

            1. I find all the hatin' on this place very amusing as every morning I sit in that slow traffic going around the lake and curse the relaxed looking people eating at this establishment who evidently don't have jobs. At least I can now take some consolation in the fact that the food there sucks! :D

              1 Reply
              1. I like the Back Door. A lot, actually.

                Not everything's great and on the weekends it can be a zoo, but here are four things that are great there:

                1. English muffins
                2. BLTs (best I've ever had, most days)
                3. Breakfast quesadillas
                4. Coffee (good and strong)

                The location and vibe (especially on weekdays) are the main draw for most people, I think, but the food, in my experience, isn't bad.

                Although to be honest I literally order nothing but the above 4 things. And I have had stuff there that was pretty bad.

                But I still love it.

                1. As a fellow Silverlaker, I can feel your pain. Silverlake appears to be the part of the city where any amatuer thinks they can open a restaurant--hence Flor Morena, Town & Country, Backdoor and other half- baked concepts.

                  For good bagels, once or twice a week I head up to Goldsteins in Montrose (right off the Verdugo offramp of the 2 freeway). There you can get good bagels, spreads, and they even have a drive thru. You can be there and back quicker than the time it takes to find parking at the Silverlake Trader Joes!

                  1. I used to live a block away, and we would go there -- there's not another option. And their pear ginger muffin is OK. Their swiss cheese & mushroom croissant is a big grease bomb but satisfying, in its way.

                    For bagels, much closer than Goldstein's is Brooklyn Bages ...


                    1. s

                      Although close to home the only time I went the items were rock hard. I never was tempted to go back.

                      1. I agree with all the criticism, but I would add: I have had good cookies. And I'm still curious about their homemade version of a Twinkie... or was it a Hostess cupcake?

                        1. s
                          Silverlake Bodhisattva

                          I'll ditto the critics, and I've lived in the 'hood
                          16+ years now. SOMETIMES they get stuff right, and they've got a killer location, but, darn, they sure don't run it well.

                          I was in the Glendale library last week and saw that there's actually a BOOK available on how to train and manage restaurant staff. I'm guessing the fact that the book was there ON THE SHELF meant that nobody running a restaurant in Silverlake/Echo Park/Atwater had checked it out, let alone kept it out overdue....


                          1. I totally don't agree. The croissants are stellar, especially the orange almond. They are light and flaky, nothing doughy about it. And the bagel are like heaven - i always get the onion with the lox spread. The best!

                            And the food is unlike anything I've had. Especially those amazing hash browns. The service can get slow when it's real busy but in the afternoons it's a great place to hang and the people who work there are nice to talk to.

                            I"m real surprised to hear such rants. I don't think I've ever heard anyone complain when I've been there. But oh well.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: stardis

                              I totally don't agree also. IMO this is the finest breakfast place in Los Angeles--or on par with Doughboys. I think the croissants are probably the best in LA and there is an amazing selection. Only Nazo's downtown are as good to me. The bagels are surprisingly delicious, despite being unique. The hash browns are maybe the best I've ever had. Love the turkey sausage and roasted potatoes. They have homemade ketchup and salsa that are just great! English muffins are great. Coffee is decent.

                              Love this place. It shocks me to see this badmouthing because very few places are comparable quality in LA and this place is chock full of tastes you won't find anywhere else.

                              1. re: aventinus

                                I wonder if you have confused the wretched Back Door Bakery with another breakfast spot. I can only hope that I won't find anything like the Back Door Bakery anywhere else in LA!!

                                The only redeeming value of the Back Door Bakery is it's dog-friendly patio. Two of the worse things I've ever had from a bakery have been from the Back Door--a truly disgusting chicken sandwich, and chemical-laden chocolate cupcake that tasted like it had been scooped off of the ground at a Superfund site. Just thinking about eating there again makes me shudder.

                            2. I stopped bothering a lonnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg time ago.

                              1. Bizarro world. On Chowhound Boston my views were generally mainstream. Around here I wonder WTF is going on. This place makes it's own ketchup, jelly, jam, bagels, English muffins, turkey sausage, everything. It gets bashed and people are like mmmmm Starbucks pastries.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: aventinus

                                  You've got a big hole in your logic there: I could go into my kitchen with some cobs of corn, sugar, a quart of vodka, and a big stockpot in the hope of making my own homemade gasoline, but that doesn't mean my car is going to run off of it. Just because it's made in-house automatically doesn't make it good.

                                  1. re: aventinus

                                    Just because you call something a bagel doesn't make it a bagel. Bagels have certain characteristics. If you're going to make bread in a round shape with a hole in the middle call it that.

                                  2. best breakfast quesadilla in LA...the 'apple ugly' is nice, as well...
                                    did you complain to the owners (the nice husband and wife)?..they seem most gracious.
                                    I do think they have a big turnover of staff...