Bartram House Bakery: Homemade Heaven
German chocolate, red velvet, lemon coconut and grilled cheese. Yes, warm, toasty grilled cheese.
It's pure folly to categorize this hip joint, laced with sweet and savory aromas as a bakery. The industrial ceilings, exposed brick and chalkboard walls exude cool, but everything else in Bartram House Bakery is warm. Fresh from the oven are pretty pastries, oversized muffins and steaming bread. But the good doesn’t stop there. Rich sandwiches and protein-enriched salads make for one of the best lunches around.
Do not try to choose among the cakes because it’s like choosing Brad Pitt or James Franco for a date. Grab a German chocolate and a red velvet cake and thank your good fortune.
An outrageous selection of dessert bars probably make the cookies jealous. Bar selections vary, but the standouts, when I visited, were lemon coconut, bourbon pecan and s'more. If you are a fanatical cream pie person like me, I promise the coconut cream and banana cream will deliver you to nirvana.
After you have your fill of sweets (‘cause it's hard not to start there), move onto sandwiches. Go for the grilled cheese. And note to self, this IS your mama’s homemade toasty, gooey grilled cheese. Philly cheese steak is an authentic serving of brotherly love and mini-margherita slider bites highlight the freshly baked baguette. The pulled pork demonstrates a languid day of cooking, shredded not a minute too soon to melt on your tongue.
You can wash this all down with coffee or lemonade, but try to do it with a milk shake in your favorite of 12 flavors.
Bartram's seats about 40 and offers Wi-Fi. On any given day, people of all ages sit in little conversational knots over any of the 100 homemade options. If you don’t have time to sit and stay awhile, take out the goodness or even better, ask Bartram’s to bring the food to you through their extensive catering menu.
Places like this are rare these days, with the preponderance of chain bakery behemoths. Bartram’s food is fresher, healthier (no preservatives) and supporting a family-owned business just feels better. To plan the visit you’ll be happy you made, check out their website.