I’ve mentioned before how my Aunt Cathy and I share a love for all things butter. She lives in Sonoma, and I go up to visit her fairly often and we will go to Basque Boulangerie Café or Scandia Bakery (they have hands down the best bear claw I’ve ever had. No offense Black Bear Diner). But she wanted to take me to Crisp, a bakery I had never tried. I was a little hesitant. It is on a really busy highway, and kind of difficult to get to if you’re not driving in that particular direction (not that I’m ever the one driving). They also have nice outdoor seating, but it is usually crowded with youths. My Mom had been there before and brought back some cookies but she didn’t get the best feeling from the place, so I never felt a need to go.
But your opinion will never alter Aunt Cathy’s, so off to Crisp we went!
And I was pleasantly surprised. It’s small but makes good use of the space with a cozy couch and coffee table seating area, a couple small tables, and then a long wooden table with connected stool seats. They reminded me of the chairs connected to school desks merged with swivel chairs. They were difficult to maneuver at first. You’d sit on it and start to swivel over and away toward the person next to you. But once we got situated, we were able to enjoy our treats!
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to notice the similarities between my Dad and my Aunt Cathy. Mostly I guess as they’ve gotten older they are more similar in just the the way they do things or the things they come up with. Not shocking, they are siblings after all! For example, when we went to order, my Aunt whispered to me (her version of a whisper is anyone else’s normal voice) are you going to get one of those cappuccinos? Vanilla Lattes. I get vanilla lattes. And I have ordered countless ones with her and she always tells the waiter, one for me too! But my Dad will always do the same thing! On a slow day around the house, my Dad will ask if I want a frappé from Starbucks. They are called Frappucinos and I’ve probably had about five in my life. I’m not sure if he knows the actual name of them and calls them frappés to bug me or just genuinely doesn’t know/care/remember.
So anyway, a vanilla latte and chocolate croissant for me, vanilla latte and morning bun for Cathy, and a coffee with a fig walnut scone for my Mom.
The vanilla latte was alright. I really only drink them for the sweet vanilla milk so if I can taste the espresso which I always find to be a little bitter, Mary is not pleased. I’m also all about milk foam. I want it to be so airy and light that I could float away on it. This foam seemed to melt away and disappear into the latte before I could even taste the fluffiness of it. But the chocolate croissant was delicious! A real winner. I am always amazed when the chocolate is all melty inside yet the croissant was not warmed! Also, my caveat with chocolate croissants: the chocolate is only ever on one side! Is it so impossible to get it to stay put in the middle, so I can get a bit of chocolate in every bite? This chocolate croissant could only have been improved by a second row of chocolate.
Aunt Cathy thoroughly enjoyed her vanilla latte and morning bun. I asked for a bit just in time before it disappeared! I will definitely be trying the morning bun on my next visit. It had great texture and layers with the perfect balance of cinnamon sugar, although Cathy did manage to sprinkle it all over table in front of her. Dipping it in her vanilla latte could only have improved the flavor as well!
My Mom enjoyed her fig and walnut scone. The walnuts were ground in smaller pieces so no big chunks! But she did say it was a bit dry.
It was a lovely visit with good company and good conversation, although I was a little distracted by the art work on the wall in front of me. It was a long horizontal digital print of some kind of minimalist pink monkey creature but deconstructed in each frame. Like his eyes and ears were detached farther and farther away from its head. It did not really fit the aesthetic of the place. Especially, since the opposite wall was covered in vintage knives and bakeware! It seemed like the owner had a struggling artist in the family, and he owed him a favor.
Until next time, Crisp!