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New Brick Oven Bakery matches crust to crumb

Brick Oven Bakery, located just across the Cannon River by the Water Street Apartments, has opened its doors for hungry college youths.

A potentially hip alternative to the aggressively cash-only Blue Mondays, Brick Oven Bakery serves up a variety of pastries, breads, and breakfast beverages. Our reviewers lazily drove over last Sunday morning to check it out.

Jack ordered a croissant and a cup of Joe. The croissant, while not as disastrously (and deliciously) flaky as those from Sayles, held a rigid glutenous crumb, fighting its disassemblage with violent fervor.

Like a majestic war ship docking in a harbor to face its slow and inevitable decay, the croissant bore the ravages of time (and Jack’s mouth) with stoic, but ultimately futile, dignity.

As for the brew, Brick Oven was serving up Jam Jar coffee, lauded for its notes of baker’s chocolate and, yes, fresh raspberry jam. The team was skeptical, but all agreed that fruity undertones were apparent, a sugarless yet audible whisper akin to Fat Tire beer’s fruity edge. While the reviewers still declare that the concept is “like, pretty weird,” they still drank it and would again.

In terms of vegan and gluten free options, this place will be hard to swing. The reviewers spotted a homemade granola mix that could be vegan (if you eat honey) and gluten free, but we presume it’s processed on materials that have handled gluten and butter, so use your discretion. There are some house salads for five dollars that were a nice size, but going to a bakery and buying a pre-made salad is super grim, so don’t do it.

The Cartwheel Roll (a crass name that attempts to dress up a caramel roll) was, without exaggeration, the best thing the reviewers had ever eaten in their entire lives. A cinnamon drenched in caramel, pecans, and actual ambrosia, the baked treat transported the consumers to a higher plane of consciousness. For the price of five dollars, you too can ascend beyond the plane of human existence and experience the majesty of direct communion with the pastry Lord who directs us all.

Some items failed to excite, however. The baguette, though appealingly packaged, retained a stiff chewiness characteristic of stateside long loafs. The understanding but disappointed reviewer later filled it with chocolate peanut butter and chowed down, a culinary decision admittedly less gourmand and more gourmandise. The sourdough bread was adequate.

While the reviewers sampled their various items, young families and senior citizens milled about, finding relative privacy in the bakery’s spacious, even sparse, seating area. Sun splashed in from the display windows, a bonus for the seasonally disaffected. The availability of free wifi gave the bakery a huge advantage as a sunny spot, and there was one other student in a booth using her laptop, presuming, we can only assume, how Jam Jar Coffee is made, and for what reason.

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