I was in NW Portland, which is directly on the opposite end of town from us, on Tuesday for an appointment and I accidently arrived 45 minutes early. I had planned on picking up bread at Ken’s Artisan Bakery after my appointment, but I decided to take the extra time before my appointment for a bread run. I got to Ken’s and found a parking spot right out front, which was my first bit of serendipity.
I went in and walked up to the counter repeating the mantra to myself: I am here for bread, not treats. I asked about a recommendation for a good bread for sandwiches. The woman at the counter suggested the Pain Rustique and I had been leaning toward that one too. As the bread slid into the bag I spied the Hazelnut Pound Cake in the display window. My German taste buds spoke up and I also added one slice of the pound cake to my order.
I readied myself to pay and the woman behind the counter asked if I would be interested in trying out their Walnut Bread as a sandwich bread—for free. Free, fresh bread—who would turn down that offer? I had the choice of the Walnut Bread as a baguette or loaf. I picked the loaf and thanked her profusely. Henrik had his traditional almond butter and honey sandwich on it. He called it “burnt bread” because it had a dark crust and was pretty crunchy.
I was immediately called to dress it up with butter and honey. It was delicious. It turns out that the Ken’s website suggests that preparation also. I also think that it would be a great compliment to our favorite winter root vegetable soups. The Walnut Bread may be a little rough on our pallets as a sandwich bread, but as a single slice, it is great. I appreciate the opportunity to try it out. I wouldn’t have been inspired to buy the Walnut Bread on my own, but now that I have tried it, I will buy it again.
Also, I would like to express my appreciation for the customer service I received at Ken’s. The woman behind the counter was courteous and knowledgeable. I have come to expect rude and inept employees in restaurants and retail stores in Portland and my experience at Ken’s was a welcome and refreshing change. Thank you, Ken’s.
I had said that I wanted the Pain Rustique for sandwiches, but I was really planning on making salmon burgers. I make the burgers with canned salmon from Vital Choice (they use BPA free cans). I mix in an egg, 1 clove of crushed fresh garlic, about a tablespoon of Worcestershire and dried ginger root and yellow mustard seed (powder) to taste. We all love them. I made them a little oval to fit the loaf shape and they tasted great with the Pain Rustique. I will definitely repeat that combo. Oh, and the Hazelnut Pound Cake tasted great too!
If you are looking for a great compliment a wide variety of foods, try Ken’s artisan breads and sweets. I wish you a parking spot out front and the serendipity to try something new.