May 24, 2012

Eat and Run: Katie Made Bakery, Portland

Delectable sandwiches and treats will leave your willpower a helpless, quivering mass of goo.

From the moment I opened the door and stepped into Katie Made Bakery in Portland, I knew I was in trouble.

click image to enlarge

Jennifer Capron, sister and partner with Katie Capron at Katie Made Bakery in Portland, constructs a special Thanksgiving sandwich made with fresh roasted turkey, butternut squash, homemade cranberry sauce and a slice of cheddar cheese. It’s then heated in the oven and served warm.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer


WHERE: 147 Cumberland Ave., Portland. 771-0994;

HOURS: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

CHEAPEST GRUB: $1.50 for cookies

WAIT: 5 minutes

PARKING: On street


RATING: **** 1/2

Based on a five-star scale

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.


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