At 6 a.m., along the corridors of downtown Bristol, the final moments of a peaceful night are about to draw to a close. Soon, morning commuters will impatiently be taking an unwelcome pause as they are caught at each red light. Local merchants will be opening shop for yet another day, and competition for limited parallel parking spaces along the streets will become even more competitive.
But at this quiet morning hour, the time clock at Blackbird Bakery, located on Piedmont Avenue near State Street, has been ticking for quite a while. I’ve only been to Blackbird a few times and my ability to compare is limited, but this particular early Friday morning when I first visited seemed to offer the employees little or absolutely no down time between customers. Some of the patrons knew quickly what they wanted and were there for a specific purpose — doughnuts for the folks at the office, a quick breakfast, or just a simple cup of coffee.
Other kids-in-a-toy-store like me had to ponder our decision.
I’m not sure how the selections vary from day to day, but if you can snag an apple-filled doughnut rolled in cinnamon sugar, I highly encourage you to do so, even if it means breaking line. All Blackbird doughnuts are fresh, but the apple-filled one immediately became my favorite. Cinnamon and apple always make for a great combination, and this particular doughnut seemed to melt away in just four bites.
Another treat was the lemonfilled doughnut rolled in powdered sugar. The filling has a firm lemon taste that isn’t too bitter. Actually, the more conservative palates will say this one is too rich, and though I would not necessarily agree, I do think one lemon-filled is enough of a sugar rush for me. Unfortunately, the baklava was too rich for me to finish.
Though the doughnuts appear to be big business for Blackbird, the bakery also sells pies, cakes, cupcakes, cookies and other specialty items. I’m not the world’s greatest fan of cake doughnuts, but the sour cream ones — in a surprise move — stole the show. The employee said something to the effect that the sour cream ones aren’t on the everyday menu, which I predict is a reason they are such a hit with the regulars. Somewhere I heard that they also serve buttermilk cake doughnuts.
Seeing this business off to a busy start during the early morning hours when the majority of restaurant patrons are probably still in bed is encouraging, and for more than one reason. Yes, I want to see the deserving local establishments do well. It seems almost weekly that we hear about another casualty of the downturned economy, and often that innocent victim is a restaurant.
But think about the plight of sweet shops, such as those whose “bread and butter” are ice cream, doughnuts and pastries. Does a day ever go by when we aren’t reminded about our country’s obesity epidemic, or that we don’t see advertisements lauding a product that promises to be lower in fat, carbs or calories? Or sugar? Or trans fat? Or all of the above?
Makes you really crave a doughnut, doesn’t it? Just do like I do: Turn a deaf ear and a big belly to those wrist slappers and enjoy that Danish!
|Space Capone at Capone's|
|Space Capone made a landing and performed at Capone's in Johnson City, TN.|