Bakery D'Amour Now Open!

(Bakery D'Amour is now closed, BUT you can find a Cannoli here: http://www.eatsalem.com/2008/01/little-cannoli-bakery.html) )


By Salem Man
Eat Salem contributor, Vegan's Nightmare got a behind the scenes look recently at our new French bakery and so I wasn't so surprised when he rang my phone one morning offering an invitation to go Bakery D'Amour with him. I'll stick to my "no first week/month review" policy and just leave you with the pictures of our breakfasts and a scan in of the menu. The top photo is the French Toast for $7.25 and the bottom is "The Basics," a Signature Three-Egg Omelet for $8.95. We each complemented our meal with a constantly refilling cup of French pressed coffee. I will tell you that the two of us were smiling big when we left there. Part of it was the caffiene rush but more of it was the thought that we are seeing major improvements in Salem.

I've asked the following question before because that location has gone through such a dramatic transformation. Does anyone remember the restaurant that used to sit at the corner on Commercial St. where French Press now stands? It was a dumpy little place called the BBQ Pit. In an early eatsalem.com post, I described the location as making Salem look like a third world country. I'm adventurous but I never had enough nerve to eat in there. It was such a shame that that visible location looked so shabby and it was somewhat symbolic of Salem's dismal dining scene at the time. Fortunately, some developers, with good taste, saw potential in this lot and improved the property by building a modern looking shopping center and office complex. French Press went up first, and now, Bakery D'Amour is open offering more traditional breakfast and lunch options. One of the things I look forward to trying soon is the Turkey Pot Pie. Also worth noting is the bicycle logo on the menu with the basket filled with bread and wine. It won't be long before this place is filled with customers.

30 comments:

Amber said...

We ate at the BBQ Pit once in the last couple years of it's existence. Now, we forever joke, saying "Remember the time we ate at Grandma's house?" There were random photos all over the walls, the food was like you might get at a cafeteria in a run-down retirement home and of the 5 or 6 people eating there, we were the youngest by about 50 years. We never went back, but we still laugh about it.

It's so good to see Salem moving on up.

Anonymous said...

The Barbecue Pit was an example of locally-owned cafes once plentiful in Salem. Court Street Dairy Lunch and White's are about the only old-time cafes still operating in Salem.
The S. Commercial BBQ Pit, built in the 1960's, was a branch of the original BBQ Pit across from the Elsinore Theater on High St. Into the 70's, the downtown location was a small old-fashioned cafeteria offering a few well-prepared items. Customers chose ham or turkey roasted in large ovens and sliced for your sandwich, open-faced served au jus or "closed" sandwich w/BBQ sauce. Cole slaw w/or without tomatoes had a delicious creamy dressing. Dessert was delicious homemade fruit or custard pie. The knotty pine paneled room and old fashioned booths made the place seem like it had been there for decades. I think the downtown restaurant closed in the early 80's.
The S. Commercial BBQ Pit had the above menu for years, and was very popular until quality of food and ambiance declined. Both locations were favorites with senior citizens, families with youngsters, and anyone who wanted a slice of flaky-crusted rhubarb cream or other homemade pie!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Salem Man that the new development housing the Bakery D' Amour is a tremendous improvement on the old empty bank building and the shanty town lean-to that housed the BBQ Pit. The cafe looks very nice and the menu has some good offerings. But I was not completely satisfied with my visit; for a French bakery one would hope there would be French baked goods available there. I have to say I was pretty disappointed with the selection when I went in this morning.

Yes there were baguettes, profiteroles (which they call cream puffs) and fruit tarts... but that was it for what I would typify as French baked goods. Otherwise there were scones and muffins and macaroons (which I know some would debate the history of the macaroon, but these were more like the Italian style soft coconut ones). I know I am going to sound like a snob, but I really wanted to see a croissant, or pain au chocolat, or brioche, or beignet, or madeleines, or palmiers, or some petite fours.

Basically my gripe is that I sought out this new French bakery because I was looking for French baked goods, and didn't find what I was looking for. I hope they get more adventurous with their offerings, I can get scones and muffins just about anywhere.

Salem Oregon Real Estate Homes4U said...

Thanks for the review on this new establishment. I keep driving by it, but haven't had a chance to stop in yet. Now, I will need to make the time to check it out. Breakfast sounds yummy indeed!!

Simple Simon said...

I stopped by and ordered a sandwich to go on Friday around 10:30am. The place was hopping with dine-in customers and the counter person who helped me was so nice and attentive. My only complaint is that the sandwich I ordered was quite a bit different than how it was described on the menu. I will give the place another try soon and chalk up the errors to first week jitters!

Anonymous said...

Sunday morning coffee with friends at the Bakery D'Amour: excellent coffee, Fr. toast, fruit plate and attentive service. The ambiance is very pleasant, with tables far enough apart for private conversation. This small cafe/bakery is a welcome addition to S. Commercial. The French Press, and now Bakery D'Amour--such nice destinations for a neighborhood walk! Please support these local businesses!
By the way, the post above that describes the (defunct) BBQ Pit menu didn't mention roast beef, one of their standard items.

Becky said...

Went this morning (labor day). Great service, cheap good coffee, I had the Frenchman omelet. YUM. I will have that every time now! We also had the cinnamon roll french toast, which I thought was yummy- but I prefer it a little soggier. Cream Puffs were a great appetizer. We are sooooo full, but really enjoyed it. We will definitely be back every Monday.

Dsperin said...

I've been waiting for this site to talk about this place for a week now.

I stopped in with my boss for a to go order. The restaurant wasn't busy, and there seemed to be more than enough waitresses to go around. They were running all about with no clear tasks.

One registar, just like French Press. Awkward lay out, just like FP. Slow service, just like FP.

My boss ordered the "secret garden" which was supposed to be a steamed veggie medly with hummus and cheese, served with the daily bread.

I attempted to order the turkey pot pie, and the waitress said, "I don't know if we can do those to-go. Let me check." Sure enough, they didn't. So I ordered the "secret garden" as well.

10 min... 20 min... Ah! My boss got his order. 10 more minutes... Finally got mine. I checked out my daily bread, and it was cubed, just like the bread sample they had on top of the cooler display. No butter, so I asked for some.

During our long wait, I noticed a turkey pot pie being served to an eat-in customer. It was in a ceramic ramican. Fair enough why they wouldn't have it to go, but wouldn't it make sense to also have some in disposable tins for others? At the very least a comment on the menu would be nice.

The food... no hummus, to my dismay. Just absent. The vegetables were just ok. The carrots weren't peeled, and the chunks of veggies were HUGE (think a half bell pepper). AND there was a half cob of corn, which I found awkward to eat for lunch at work (no dental floss).

Anyway, it wasn't horrible, but it wasn't anything special. I don't see myself returning for a couple of months.

Anonymous said...

I went in on Labor Day, desperate for supplies for a party we were throwing that evening. Every other local bakery was closed (ok, I only called Cascade, but they make my favorite baguettes). I asked if they made baguettes and they said yes, but that they were sold out. That was kind of good news, actually, and the cases up front looked almost empty as well... nice to know they were so busy on a holiday. Especially for such a new place! They located two baguettes that they said had been sitting out" all day and offered to sell me them both for $1.50. I thought that was about as helpful as they could have been! Looking forward to trying more of their pastries..... totally sad to hear they don't have beignets...... :(

Anonymous said...

My husband and I went here for lunch today. We waited almost an hour for our food, but we had to cancel our order to get back to work. It was a very disappointing experience, especially since it felt like our server was avoiding us when we tried repeatedly to get her attention. We noticed that other diners were frustrated as well. Hopefully they'll get it together in the coming weeks, I'd like to see them succeed.

Anonymous said...

Yes, please add quality items like mentioned above (pain au chocolat, or brioche, or beignet, or madeleines, or palmiers, or some petite fours) and i'd be willing to walk in your door once all the kinks, also mentioned above, are worked out. Those are the french pastries I want to enjoy, not something I can get at Costco.

Anonymous said...

The cupcakes are a huge joke, dry, old and tasted phony, like from a box.
The cookies seemed like another bad joke, French my arse.

Anonymous said...

We want FRENCH pastries PLEASE, not fake canolli, and fake eclairs.

Anonymous said...

I tried Bakery D'Amour for lunch earlier this week and ordered soup and the bistro sandwich. I was told the soup of the day was Corn Chowder which sounded good but I wanted to check if there was any ham in it (which I don't like). I asked our server and she said "No" and I trusted that.

When the soup came however, I was surprised because it looked like clam chowder with a chopped corn garnish. And so I tasted it, and it tasted like clam chowder with corn... and then I bit into a piece of clam and confirmed that yes, it was in fact clam chowder with corn in it.

There are so many things I could say about this experience but I feel that it is appropriate to leave it with just the facts: Sandwich was good, and the corn chowder soup was CLAM CHOWDER WITH CORN IN IT.

Anonymous said...

WE WANT/NEED FRENCH pastries, not fake do-nut shop type product. Some pastries and pies looked home made but what is up with the eclairs and Napoleons? Too huge and oily. The cookies are all different sizes for the same price?
Oh well, hope they go French soon.

Bobo said...

We went a few weeks ago and was expecting a very good experience, as we really like the French Press nextdoor. Were there on a Saturday at noontime and noticed no overhead menu, ordered two sandwiches at the counter and then found a seat. Waited what seemed like forever for the two not cheap sandwiches, and what do you know they got one of them totally wrong.
We accepted it as we did not want to wait any longer...
Food - medicore and pricey.
Service was OK. There were quite a few people running around.... there is something not right about the layout/traffic flow of this place. It needs some profession design help.... after the newness dies down it needs to improve to make it. Did not try any dessert but did look and didn't see anything that looked tempting.

Anonymous said...

soup was good, but the pastries were awful had a lemon cup tasted like it was there like 3 weeks ugh will try again i suppose

Anonymous said...

PASTRIES WERE WOEFUL NOT SURE OF THE THEME HERE I AGREE WITH LAST ANON THE LEMON WAS VERY BAD

Anonymous said...

Well, what can I say? They need a decent cupcake for crying out loud. Is it too much to ask?
I so hope the bakery makes it by really being 'from scratch' and more French, like making REAL French macarons, yum and Brioche.
LOVED the lemon tart. The eclair was awful, soggy, and FAKE.

Anonymous said...

There were no croissants, or pain au chocolat, or brioche, or beignet, or madeleines, or palmiers, or some petite fours.

Anonymous said...

Mushroom Omelet was delicious. Light and fluffy. Tea drinkers are discriminated against. You get a small cup of hot water and a tea bag, period. No tea pot of really hot water. Why not go over to your French Press and grab up a few to take back to the Bakery? Agree, not much in French baked goodies. Bagels taste like nice bread. Not chewy like a bagel should be. Hope they get the kinks ironed out ... soon.

Anonymous said...

This site really shouldn't accept anonymous posts.

The person who posted 10/9 at 3:55 am and again two minutes later also posted to the Little Cannoli review.

This site loses a lot of it's value by allowing anonymous posts. That and the fact it is so slow.

Anonymous said...

The Bakery has really good Soup and Sandwiches! And I've also had the cinnamon rolls they taste just like grandma makes! But I was not happy with the fact that a few things weren't even traditional in the Bakery end of the restaurant. The so called eclairs look like a gloppy foot long from subway! They are HUGE!!!! and the napoleons? uhh is that even a napoleon? Napoleons are three layers with puff pastry and pastry cream and a white and chocolate icing on top? those had whipped crap in them... not professional and I was NOT impressed! My family ended up buying a little 4" cake a few weeks ago which was super yummy! Reminded me of Lovin oven in Stayton..... maybe even better!

I wasn't happy when I tried a mini cupcake I was expecting them to taste like the cake we order a week before but it was no good. Tasted stale and the frosting wasn't good.

Kudos on the Cakes, Apple pies! Cake Balls, Brownie Balls, Macaroons! Soup and sandwiches! Will be coming back again, I do hope they change a few of the pastry items to be more traditional... and the cupcakes need work too!

Anonymous said...

I went to Bakery D'Amour because a dear friend of mine works there. She invited me to come and just try the place. I was skeptical at first because they owned the French Press and I was not much of a fan. On one of my days off I decided to visit my friend and give the bakery a try. For the type of atmosphere it brings in their prices were very decent and the food was great. I took out my family for dinner last night and I gotta tell you I was able to feed my family within my budget!! The food was great however..one suggestion...if you are going to be serving steaks please...PLEASE...have steak sauce or some alternative...other then that I am a FAN!!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree about the cupcakes. A couple months ago, after much begging and pleading, I bought each of my kids one of their beautiful, expensive cupcakes. My kids (ages 5 and 7) each took one or two bites and declared them "yucky." What?!? These kids have NEVER turned down a cupcake in their lives. I took a bite - dry, chemically-tasting and the frosting had a really weird texture. How hard is it to make a cupcake that little kids actually reject? Other menu item were good, but service was horrible... They have potential, but need to improve.

Anonymous said...

Don't go for breakfast on weekend. The wait is ridiculously long.

Anonymous said...

I was very unhappy with the chocolate eclairs. They didn't use frosting, it was like a hard cheap candy bar lying on top. Not good.
I went back and had a sandwich with potato salad that was pretty good but I will never order a pastry again.

Anonymous said...

Ate brunch there on a Saturday. Service was quick, polite, food was excellent! Was served samples of 2 different danishes, both good. Bought some brownie balls to go, and those were very rich. Have heard the Chocolate Cake is superb.... can't wait to try it sometime. Turkey panini was very good and the quiche was excellent!

Chuck Bradley said...

The place is nice, but a little snooty. I was wearing my usual warm weather cargo shorts and sandals which raised the eyebrows of several of the blue haired ladies who had obviously gotten all gussied up to see and be seen here. The mature crowd comprised the lion's share of the clientele. I ordered their "Market Roast" beef sandwich with coleslaw. I'd been waiting about 15 minutes when my server approached to say the cook had made the wrong sandwich and it would be awhile longer. After another 10 minutes my meal was served. It was made on a diminutive, excessively chewy (maybe a little past it's prime?) baguette with a sliver of cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato. It was swimming in liquid from the coleslaw (OH YUM!)which should have been in a side dish. It took much of my considerable strength to chew this bread. For most senior citizens (and yes, I qualify), the portion sizes are probably just fine, but I would have liked a little more to eat. It sounds like the glitches attributed to "newness" are persisting a year later. I'll probably try this place again, but I need a new outfit first. I'm thinking some Goodwill raggedy bib-alls over a red union suit. Or, better still, an orange prison jump suit!

Anonymous said...

They are now closed for good.