Catycorner from its parent eatery, Cafe Latte, Bread & Chocolate is an informal bakery and espresso shop open early every day for breakfast. In fact, I had planned to eat pancakes at Al’s over in Dinkytown, but arrived there only to discover that Al’s doesn’t open until 9am on Sundays; so I went back to Grand Avenue in St. Paul and had a whole different kind of feast.
Morning pastries steal the show. Big, beautiful croissants are available plain or filled; they are as flaky as possible. It is astonishing how many blueberries are packed into a blueberry muffin, which is made from a creamy batter that is an ideal medium for the fruit. Best of everything is the caramel roll: crisp, sticky, enrobed in amber glaze and studded with pecan halves.
Gorgeous breakfast paninis. “Ham, egg and cheese,” we say to the counter man, who then gives us a happy third degree: “whole wheat, sourdough or 10-grain bread? … “Provolone, cheddar, or Swiss?” … “Salsa with that?” It is a dandy breakfast sandwich, and even if its ham is ho-hum, the bread is memorable.