This week, Monica and I visited Bread & Butter at 3955 Dayton Blvd. in Red Bank. The tiny artisan bakery has become our favorite Sunday morning breakfast/coffee spot to grab a few pastries to go or sit and read the complimentary New York Times like the progressive townies we are.
Every community needs a local bakery, and Bread & Butter provides Red Bank with exceptional baked goods, a friendly atmosphere and damn good coffee. Most ingredients are sourced from local farmers, and owners employ “low and slow” baking techniques that use less yeast. While you eat, you can enjoy views of Typhoon of Tokyo, bustling Dayton Boulevard and Red Bank’s “old-time gun store,” Anthony’s Armory.
The menu changes daily, with certain types of bread only available on certain days. Like cookies? Bread & Butter offers a cookie happy hour every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. Cookies are only $1, and the rotating variety includes double chocolate cherry, espresso shortbread, oatmeal golden raisin, salted chocolate rye, pecan sandie and more.
For this week’s article, I’m focusing on the breakfast experience. But Bread & Butter also has made-to-order pies, plus local items from Sequatchie Cove Creamery, Olive Chattanooga, Alchemy Spice and Hoff Sauce. They even have a mini-produce stand if you want to skip the market for a day. Mama Crunk’s Pies are also available for order. There’s a lot of stuff going on, in other words.
The idea of a bakery is pretty simple: The baked goods are baked in the back and, when ready, are displayed behind a glass partition for you to point at and tell the person behind the counter what you’d like to purchase. I’m certain you’ve experienced a customer-cashier interaction before, and this is no different. At Bread & Butter, all the choices you have are delicious. Do you want something savory? Something sticky-sweet? Do you like potatoes? These are all questions you’ll have to ponder at the counter.
Most items are between $2 and $6, depending on the filling. Monica has recently enjoyed something called the “Breakfast Pocket,” with Benton’s bacon, Tickiwoo Farm eggs, cheddar cheese and potatoes. It’s basically a breakfast empanada, and we’ve each had several in the past few months. I also enjoy the “Cowboy Pocket,” with pork sausage, potatoes, black beans and cream cheese. They didn’t have it on this visit, but I’ve enjoyed the ham, egg and cheese bagel sandwich as well. That’s part of the fun, though-the reveal of what’s baked fresh and ready on that day.
I like my baked goods sweet, so I usually look to the left section for something interesting. In the past, I’ve had the best strawberry doughnut of my life and a cinnamon roll that I’m still dreaming about. But of all the items, the scones are my favorite. I especially enjoy the fruit-flavored ones-strawberry, in particular-but today’s varieties were mustard and Gruyere (savory) and peach and blueberry (sweet). They offer a breakfast special that includes one scone and a cup of piping-hot Velo coffee for $5.50. Not bad at all.
Before we settled down to eat, we checked through the day-old bin near the register for reduced-price bread. I found another scone for $1, and Monica snagged a focaccia bake with bacon and cheese. We didn’t add dog treats this time, but they’re available if you have a good pup at home.
Seating is limited to a few inside seats at a window and a few tables outside. We sat outside and took the arts section of The New York Times with us. They graciously heated up our scones and pocket; the Velo coffee was, as expected, delicious. Monica and I just finished all the episodes of “The Great British Baking Show,” and I’ve been obsessed with anything involving baking since. Not obsessed enough to actually bake, but certainly enough to crave every baked good ever. I know it’s annoying.
Monica’s Breakfast Pocket was crispy and densely packed with breakfast morsels. You’ll never put a Hot Pocket in your mouth again after you try one of these. The combination of peach and blueberry tasted like summer, and the sugary icing helped. I’ll most likely never make a scone as good as this one, and I’m fine with that. The strawberry one is even better.
The next morning, Monica and I split the focaccia for breakfast. Although it was a savory pastry, I’ve realized that I don’t mind that in the mornings. Yesterday, I ate a pork rib at 9 a.m., and I’ve long been a fan of cold pizza. Whatever works, right?
Would we go back?
Red Bank has an excellent bakery in Bread & Butter. I encourage everyone in Chattanooga to try it out. A lot of communities have bakeries, but there’s something special about this place that you’ll notice as soon as you walk inside. The focus on local borders on obsession. The owners are obviously committed to the community. You’re lucky, Red Bank. Don’t take it for granted. Bread & Butter is open during the week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weekend hours are Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Follow them on Facebook here.
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