Cascade Baking Company

Note to self...Bring cash when dining at Cascade Baking Company. They do not accept atm or credit cards.

I get the feeling that I eat Cascade Baking Co. products more often than I realize. It seems like every time I go out to eat, restaurants boast about having bread made by CBC. Owner Stephen Perkins can easily claim the title, "Salem's Baker" because of his dedication to using only local and natural ingredients in his baking. People love their breads and pastries, including me, but I also really like the bakery's atmosphere. The moment you open the door and smell the warm aroma of fresh baked brick oven bread, you know you're in for a treat. There's a feeling that there's not much standing in the way between the brick oven and your plate. It seems as if as soon as the bread has cooled it's ready to serve and you can't get any fresher than that. That's how I discovered the Tomato and Roasted Garlic Foccacia for $4. It was placed on top of the counter as I was licking my lips trying to decide what I was going to order for breakfast. The sight of the roasted garlic switched my appetite into early lunch mode. It was as fantastic as it looked and smelled but that wasn't much of a surprise because everything here is really good. I sat with my family and ate ate a cozy table in the corner of the restaurant and watched as a steady stream of people smile as they entered the front door of the bakery. Perkins is proving that local is better. Across the board on every category, quality, cost, atmosphere and service Cascade Baking Company is better than any bakery chain in town. By the way, it's not in any way a complaint that CBC does not accept credit cards. It's an added touch, proving that our commerce can be kept local along with our food.

Reviewed by Salem Man 11/16/07
In the morning, you may have noticed the marketing madness in Salem. With coffee companies trying to get your cash for their cups of caffeine. There's one coffee stand near the fairgrounds that looks like a Radio Flyer red wagon. Even gas stations like the Shell next to Roth's Vista, entice you with a free cup of joe when you top off your tank. So where can you go that's safe from the battles in Salem's coffee wars? Quietly operating on the last block of State Street near the carousel, is a little place called the Cascade Baking Company. The welcoming aroma of fresh baked bread, leads you inside to a relaxed atmosphere. Cascade Baking Company buys all their ingredients from local farmers and producers in Oregon and the Northwest. Even the coffee is roasted in Eugene. I discovered this place over a year ago when we all watched McMahan's furniture store burn down. It seemed like the perfect place to show off as a great mom and pop business that Salem is lacking. They bake a variety of breads, including sourdough, focaccia and whole wheat, cooked in a hand built brick oven. But for a sweet breakfast I suggest the Gooey Butter Coffee Cake. One bite followed by a sip of coffee and you will thank me for suggesting this place. This morning treat is a unique find in Salem because it's traditionally only made in St. Louis Missouri. According to legend, this pastry was made by accident when a baker used the wrong amount of ingredients while trying to bake a regular cake. It's no mistake that these sell quickly at Cascade Baking Company along with other baked options that compliment your cup of coffee. Even though it's downtown, I've never had trouble finding parking near by. Also be sure to bring cash because they don't take credit or ATM cards.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

yes, i love cascade! i used to always go down there on saturday mornings to drink coffee and listen to the jazz trio. i dont know if they still play or not, but it was free and those guys were GOOD!

i always stop here whenever i'm on my way to my parents' for dinner to grab a couple of the handmade baguettes. everything they make at cascade is amazing! great place.

Stephanie said...

And in the autumn (right now!) they have pinot noir sourdough, which is great. But even better is the pinot noir sourdough with bleu cheese and walnuts. Fabulous! Also, they have yummy sandwiches for lunch. Try the sunflower bread!

Anonymous said...

what an awesome store! i LOVE the honey wheat bread and the dakota bread! the people there are the BEST!! their cookies are to die for also..i need to try their sandwiches now :)
I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think anonymous above me is thinking of Great Harvest. LOL! On the recommendation of several people I tried the Pinot Noir bleu cheese & walnut bread. Oh my! It is delicious! Serve with some of the fabulous cheese Cascade Baking sells from Willamette Cheese Co. and a Pinot Noir from Grand Vines and you have yourself a nice romantic evening!

Anonymous said...

This is really the only place in town to get bread. Their baguette is great on the first day - crusty and hollow and vaguely malty- and decent enough day-old, though it becomes a little more moist than one would hope. On the whole, a bakery that I hope will stay and thrive, along with all the other businesses on that groovy yet overlooked block.

Anonymous said...

Cascade has the freshest bread (moist with a great crust)it doesn't matter which kind you choose. Their eggsalad with a hint of dill is fabulous. We order sandwiches for work several times a month and out-of-town bankers are always pleased with the box lunches we get from Cascade!

Lisa Anne said...

Isn't that focaccia simply evil, sitting there all delicious next to the register? That same thing happened to me last time I went there for coffee, breakfast and a few loaves. I don't think I've had a bread there yet I haven't loved.

Anonymous said...

I have only eaten here 2x's and each time I ordered a cookie...and was disappointed. They were thin and very tasteless....even the cranberry white chocolate cookie was pretty tasteless. I was very disappointed, I had bought 6 of them and placed them in the staff lunchroom and through out the day people commented to me that they did not feel the cookies were "anything special" and were "dry and flavorless"

Anonymous said...

I just ate a dessert from here today. I must say, it tasted old and not good. When I asked how long the items had been sitting out, the worker said oh, "I don't know...a few days. They keep forever though."

Hmmm.... not too encouraging. I want fresh food, and that is not what they serve here.

Anonymous said...

hahaha! Nice try anonymous! Which competitor do you work for?

Anonymous said...

I don't work for a competitor. I attend graduate school at Willamette.

Chuck Bradley said...

It is what it is......

and what it is is not my kind of place. The counter person exuded indifference. When asked if the Turkey meat in their "Smokehouse Grilled Sandwich" was reconstituted or not, she said she really didn't know (with the unspoken, but implied "and don't care"). When I asked for a slice of cheese, she told me that the ingredients in the "Smokehouse" were predetermined and that any deviation from that would be extra. I thought, I drove down here, they have nice sidewalk tables, I guess I'll try it. When my "whole" sandwich arrived, it was on heavily lined Panini bread which was sad cross between flat bread and a cracker and was diminutive enough that any self respecting Deli would have called it a half. I think they've got their crust (pun intentional) charging $8.50 for this hors d'oeuvre! When I finished, as a courtesy, I emptied the basket it came in and walked it back inside and extended it to the (same) counter person. Rather than taking if from me, she pointed across the room to a receptacle. Although the quality of the food was high, they need to work on value offered and their blasé attitude toward customer service. (They do not accept credit cards)