From the moment I opened the door and stepped into Katie Made Bakery in Portland, I knew I was in trouble.
My goal was simple: Get a sandwich to go for myself and three different baked goods to give to co-workers with the stipulation that they email me a few sentences about what they ate. The thing is, and I blame Katie and her crew for this, it smelled so good in there that it was almost physically painful, at least to my shaky willpower. More on that in a moment.
Along with its tempting, served-all-day breakfast sandwiches made with Blue Bell farm-fresh eggs ($3.75), Katie Made offers three daily lunch sandwich specials. On the day I strode in, the choices were chicken salad with grapes, tarragon and romaine; eggplant with roasted tomatoes, pesto and provolone; and a traditional Cuban made with roasted pork, ham, pickles, Swiss cheese and dijon mustard. ($6.50).
While all three pulled at my heart — and stomach — strings, I went with the Cuban. Two words: Muy delicioso! Seriously. From the perfectly heated roll to the fresh pork and tangy mustard, I was in sandwich heaven. I forced myself not to devour it in a frantic feeding frenzy and enjoyed every morsel, pausing to recognize the individual merits of the pickles and the ham.
Then I stared down the white bakery box on my desk containing a peanut butter with chocolate chunks cookie, an elegant flower-shaped blue and yellow sugar cookie, and a vanilla frosted cupcake. I immediately dispatched of the sugar cookie and then the peanut butter cookie to two colleagues, but only after ripping off a sizeable bit of the latter. With a righteous chunk of Hershey’s chocolate atop it, this cookie was in the big leagues. Here’s what my friend said about it:
“This cookie is generous, both in its size (it’s no dainty treat) and its flavor (it’s a peanut butter cookie that isn’t ashamed of being a peanut butter cookie). This cookie says, ‘So you want peanut butter? I’ll give you peanut butter.’ “
As for the flower sugar cookie, a willing gal from finance split it with one of her pals ( I know, she’s crazy to share it), and here’s their collective take: “It was visually enticing with a sunny, sparkly spring look to it. It had a nice crunch, but was soft in the middle, and was buttery and very light.”
This left me with the cupcake, and a huge one at that. I cut it in half and placed each half on cocktail napkins. Then I thought about who in the newsroom would most appreciate the sugary gift I was going to bestow upon them. Mere seconds later, I promptly ate both halves. My healthy lifestyle will surely return tomorrow. If you’re going to indulge, then do it right. This cupcake was supremely moist and topped with a glorious inch of sweet and fluffy frosting. Oh, how I loved it.
Speaking of love, let’s not forget that Katie Made is indeed a bakery, and its mouth-watering offerings of cheesecakes, layer cakes, pies, brownies, cupcakes, cookies and more will surely take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. If I’m going to be really honest with myself, I have to admit that just like the Terminator, I’ll be back, with my sweet tooth blazing.
The staff of GO anonymously samples meals for about $7.