Memorable | One of the Best
Cle Elum Bakery
Review by: Michael Stern
Bring Appetite To “The Heart Of The Cascades”
If you are driving through the Cascades or coming to camp, hike, ride horses, or just admire gorgeous scenery, put the town of Cle Elum on your itinerary. And do plan to come with an appetite. The Cle Elum Bakery (established in 1906) is a superb Roadfood destination, especially for fantastic maple bars.
But first, about the bakery’s donuts. They are cake donuts with substantial, creamy insides and crisp skin, hugely satisfying in a way that lightweight raised donuts cannot be. They are not spectacular to see and they are modest-sized, but even a pair provides ample eating to accompany a cup of coffee and a refill. (And Cle Elum Bakery’s coffee is excellent.) They come plain, cinnamon-sugared, glazed, and chocolate-frosted.
Maple Bars In The Morning
Like its donuts, Cle Elum Bakery’s fantastic maple bars are simple characters — simple and well-nigh perfect. While the chocolate-topped bar and nut-festooned crunchy maple twist are each welcome variations on the theme, it’s the plain and basic maple bar that wins my heart. That might have something to do with the fact that my first visit to the bakery was at dawn, and the bar was painfully fresh — soft, warm, fluffy, its maple topping still soft and creamy. But the one that I packed away and ate later that afternoon was almost as wonderful.
Suggested strategy for enjoying Cle Elum Bakery to the max: Arrive early in the morning. The donuts and maple bars will likely still be warm. Breads will be coming out of the oven. And the restaurant will be kinda quiet. You can sit here, enjoy the coffee and pastries; and just maybe one of the Osmonovich family, who run the place, will take you around back and show you the oven that never goes cold.
The bakery is a happy little place with a few tables indoors and on the sidewalk for coffee an’ from 7am to late afternoon.
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