Friday, January 22, 2010

Chacko's: Galumphing Strong

If you are living in Kansas City, you need to go over to the Kansas side and visit Chacko’s Bakery. Yes, I know, you thought there would never be a good enough reason, but you were wrong. Chacko’s is an excellent reason. Plus, it’s awesome and cheap. Lucky you.

Chacko’s is only open from Tuesday to Saturday, so if you’re having a pastry emergency on Monday or Sunday, you’ll be entirely out of luck, which serves you right for not planning ahead. Also, it’s only open from 7 to 3 (am to pm, respectively), so if you have one of those “real jobs”, you might be out of luck during the week. However, if you are in or near the neighborhood of downtown Mission at the right time, you should really stop in. Once you get that far, the rest is easy.

Inside, the counter and pastry case are very accessible. On my last visit, the owner greeted me from behind the register, which speaks to the level of service they offer at Chacko’s. I’ve also been helped by the regular staff, and every one of them is just as smiley, personable, and helpful as the owner. As far as customer service goes, you can’t really lose here. Regardless, the most important thing about Chacko’s, as with any bakery, is the food.

At any given time, there are no less than twenty different fresh-baked items to choose from the case. These include cinnamon rolls, pecan sticky buns, individual sour cherry pies, key lime white chocolate bars, apple slab pie, dark chocolate hazelnut bars, a variety of festively decorated cookies, and a bunch of tasty-looking cakes. On top of all that, you can also buy loaves of their bread, ranging from honey whole wheat to pepper scallion. Also, there’s lunch. Chacko’s offers homemade soups, sandwiches, and salads, too.

Many Kansas City bakery-goers know Chacko’s as the home of the city’s best cinnamon rolls. The rolls have a lot to live up to, and they certainly don’t disappoint. For a mere $1.95, you can have a five-inch square cinnamon roll, served cold. Need a microwave to warm it up? Too bad. There is no microwave at Chacko’s. Why? Because the staff would rather warm it up for you in their oven, which is something this pastry eater has never been offered anywhere else.

Fortunately, the cinnamon roll is wonderful, even cold, if that’s your style. Topped with a perfectly-portioned serving of not-too-sweet icing, Chacko’s super cinnamon roll has layer after layer of flaky-but-firm pastry wrapped around a delightful cinnamon center. It’s an amazing feat of cinnamatics, and it just might be the best cinnamon roll in Kansas City.

I give it 4.5 out of five capybaras.

Chacko's Bakery

6001 Johnson Drive
Mission, KS 66202-337
(913) 671-8199
Mon.-Sat. 7 AM - 3 PM

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Chacko's Bakery on Urbanspoon

André's! André's! It has an accent AND an apostrophe!

ver been to André's Confiseries Suisse? If the answer is no, you owe yourself an apology, because you've been missing out on one of Kansas City's oldest and finest bakeries.

André's Confiserie Suisse has been serving up tasty Swiss-style treats since 1955, and now, 54 years later, it is still home to the fanciest and most delicate of cakes, tortes, tarts, and chocolates. Pictured here is the decadent Dobosh slice, a Swiss take on a classic Hungarian cake. A traditional Dobosh cake is composed of five layers of yellow cake, but André's Confiserie Suisse ups the ante by adding two extra layers of cake and seven layers of ganache. Also, they cover the whole thing in chocolate, which has obvious advantages.

The cake at André's is utterly fantastic, but those intrepid enough to eat even more can feast upon an enormous selection of traditional tortes, a vast sea of artisan chocolates (as well as chocolate covered pretzels, nuts, cookies, and more), or even breakfast or lunch. Yes, you could technically spend almost all day eating here. They open at eight-thirty on weekdays (André's is closed Mondays), and they don't close until five, so there's plenty of time to come and go.

Lunch at André's varies from day to day, and also week to week, as their chefs create a new menu for every week of the year. Sometimes you might walk in to find them serving lasagna, but another day they might have something slightly less predictable, such as cod casserole. Fortunately, André's offers two entrees every day, and if you don't like what they have downtown, you can always hop over to the Leawood location for a completely different lunch menu.

Of course, there's more to André's Confiserie Suisse than any Examiner could possibly hope to fit in a single article. André's is a little pricey, but its fantasic quality makes it an exceptional bargain. Additionally, the customer service is excellent, so André's Confiserie Suisse is a Kansas City staple that you certainly would not want to miss.

André's Confiseries Suisse locations:

  • 5018 Main St., Kansas City, 816.561.6484
  • 4929 W. 119th St., Overland Park, 913.498.3440

More of the exact same article here, of course.

Fervere! It's bread time!

If you happen to be in the mood for fresh-baked, hand-crafted, organic artisan breads, then you’ll be in luck three times a week at Fervere. This tiny Kansas City bakery is only open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and they close as soon as they run out of bread… which is generally very fast.

Fred Spompinato, founder and proprietor of Fervere, started up his business in 2000 with one goal in mind: to bake only the greatest and freshest bread. He built his giant brick oven by hand, trawled local mills and farms for high quality ingredients, and, before long, he was producing some of the finest breads in the city.

As Fervere aims only to be a bakery, you won’t find anything else inside. It’s a small space, and there aren’t any chairs, any drinks, or any menus. The entire place contains only a counter, some shelves, a baker’s table, a mixer, and an enormous oven. That’s it. Their website contains plenty of photos of their small, yet fascinating space.

Fervere does not offer a lot in terms of selection. In fact, their entire line of artisan breads consists of only ten different styles. First and foremost is pain au levain, a classic French sourdough. It’s a round, dense bread with only three ingredients: flour, salt, and levain (a leavening agent). This is by far the most “ordinary” bread they serve, though. Other notables are the pain complet, a hearty loaf made containing nothing but seeds and grains, the orchard loaf, which is a sweet bread full of fruits and walnuts, and the cheese slipper, a crusty, porous ciabatta overflowing with smoked cheddar and garlic cheese curds.

Loaves range between five and seven dollars each, and selection is limited to whatever they happen to have left, so if you want some bread, you had better arrive as soon as possible. On Thursdays and Fridays, the bakery opens at 11 AM, and it opens at 9:30 on Saturdays, so you won’t have to get up too early. Fervere is located at 1702 Summit, so get downtown, snag some free samples, and load up on some of Kansas City’s best bread.

Definitely an A+ for fresh, delicious bread. Also, A+ for free samples.

Click here for more of the exact same info!

Fervere on Urbanspoon

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