I do believe that in my afterlife, the heavenly angels that will be flying around will not have any harps among them. Instead, they will be wearing large white baking hats and carrying Macrina’s flakey croissants to and fro. Certainly, clouds of fluffy dough made just right would rise and fall in wonderment as I bask in the warmth of freshly baked bread for eternity.
Ahh, yes, but until then I'll have Macrina Bakery.
Macrina Bakery and Cafe is one of Seattle’s premier bakeries and baking hot spots in the Pacific Northwest and offers customers a little bit of heaven (it’s true).
Come in during any time of day, during any time of year and your eyes will nearly always be bigger than your stomach. You simply can’t help wanting it all – it is truly heavenly.
On a rainy day last week, I stopped by to finally pay homage to Macrina’s bakery & café on First Avenue in SODO. Now, I have known and sampled Macrina’s for some time as I manage to sample their offerings from other places around town.
Walk in and instantly absorb the wonderful smell of baguettes, tarts, croissants, and dozens of other breads and treats being made. There is even a giant glass partition where you can press your nose up against and see the bakers hard at work.
The cafe's giant high ceiling and art is well-suited for such a beautiful bakery, while it’s large bright windows manages to let lots of natural light flush in, even on a rainy morning.
Since it was breakfast time during my stop, I wanted to sample their quiche and one of their pastries – of which I decided on their plum roll (I also took home a walnut tart). I had their ham quiche which was perfect – the egg was light and airy – while the crust was flakey-beautiful.
The plum role was mouth-watering by it's butter glow and it didn’t disappoint. It’s almost like a cinnamon roll, but better and well, with plum. It's slight crispiness breaks to reveal a warm and soft middle with pieces of plum.
Ah, but I’m also here for the coffee right? Yes, well, Macrina’s Bakery serves Caffe Umbria’s beans, which I believe adds a perfect complementary elegance to the whole Marcina experience (I mean talk about the dream team).
With plenty of tables and bar seating, I can still see (and smell) how the place fills up quickly with happy patrons. The staff are all friendly, helpful, and never weary of the wide-eyed blogger who snaps photos of their bread – just for that they get an A in my book.
Opened in 1993 by Leslie Mackie, Macrina certainly embodies that Seattle vibe while bringing in that “old world” baking and culinary spirit. This is what Leslie mentions about Macrina on her website: “Caring as much as I do about the connection between bread and the communion of sharing that happens at meals, there is a natural bond with the philosophy of Macrina’s community…Much has been written about the mystique of bread and how a simple and elementary food has such magnetism— the soul and passion of the baker transcends into the loaf that is shared with the community.”
Wow! I had to read that twice! Leslie is basically spelling out her method of her tremendous success! What she brings to the table – literally and figuratively – is a true labor of love that her customers appreciate and value. I most certainly do. The concept is what I've certainly been blogging about for some time with regards to coffee. Businesses – either roasters, cafes, or bakeries – who understand this concept have not only got a leg up on their competition but have a recipe for excellence.
If you get an opportunity stop by and stay awhile – and do what I did – take home a tart! I can go on and on – but I'll let the photos speak for themselves. If you are unable to visit, check out their baked good from these fine places.