My ultimate favourite bakery is Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. I had heard great things about Ken’s Artisan Bakery and was hoping Ken’s would Portland’s answer to Tartine. Ken’s Artisan Bakery is the sister eatery to Ken’s Artisan Pizza, which is one of the top thin crust pizza joints in Portland. I’d been to the pizzeria a couple of times before and was pretty impressed with the food. Hence, I made it a point to stop by for a visit to his bakery on this recent trip to Portland back in November.
When I arrived at the bakery, it was certainly a popular place and was practically lined-up out the door, especially since it was the day before Thanksgiving. We were lucky they still had quite the selection of baked goods available.
My friend C wanted to try the Mango Passionfruit Tart ($4.95) while I chose the Coffee Eclair ($3.50). The Mango Passionfruit Tart was visually appealing and I liked their use of edible flowers as a garnish. Even though I didn’t think that the tart had a wow factor compared to the items I tried from Tartine, it was indeed tasty and I would get the tart again. The Coffee Eclair had a strong coffee flavour but again, I didn’t think it was as amazing or memorable as the eclair that I had from Tartine. I had a high hopes for the Coffee Eclair since I managed to get the last one.
For a snack, my friend C wanted to try a savoury croissant. Besides, the plain croissant, the only savoury croissant available was the Ham, Thyme, and Gruyere Croissant ($3.95). I decided to try the Morning Bun ($3.00) because I wanted to compare with the version from Tartine Bakery. The Ham, Thyme, and Gruyere Croissant was tasty and I enjoyed it immensely. The croissant was buttery and flaky. I would definitely get it again on my next visit to Ken’s. On the other hand, I wasn’t crazy about the Morning Bun. I found the orange flavour to be too strong and the outer layers of the bun to be a bit too crispy to the point of being hard. Personally, I preferred the version of Morning Bun that I had from Tartine.
Overall I thought the baked goods from Ken’s Artisan Bakery were solidly executed but personally, I didn’t think they were as impressive as the items I had from Tartine. To me, Tartine Bakery is still in a league of its own.
Ken’s Artisan Bakery
338 NW 21st Avenue (corner of 21st & Flanders)