Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Olsen Bake Shop
Review by: Michael Stern
It’s All To Go
You can get a cup of coffee at Olsen Bakery, but only in a to-go cup. Everything made here destined for take-out. Don’t expect a place to sit. Furthermore, don’t plan on eating in the car if you park out front. Signs warn that you can’t park on the street longer than 10 minutes. The point is to make it easy for customers to stop by and pick up the old world pastries they need, then be on their way.
All those caveats aside, if you are in Omaha and like fine, Old World (and new world) baked goods, put Olsen Bakery at the top of your hit-list. You’ll find it not too far away from downtown but well away from the hurly burly of the Old Market. Ladies who really know their kolaches, strudels, and donuts bake the pastries and staff the counter.
“The Late [Great] Bakery”
“We’re the late bakery,” one of the gals told a very disappointed customer who had come for cherry strudel shortly after 8am. She told him that it had been baked but was still too hot to cut.
“Is it worth coming back for?” I asked the dejected customer.
“Oh, God, yes!” he declared.
So I came back midday. The sad man was so right. This ranks among the greatest strudels. Fruit just sweet enough fills weighty and yet flaky-fragile pastry. On top, a layer of sugary frosting makes it into one just-right package. A poppy seed kolache, made with the tenderest dough, is only barely sweet. The oily nuttiness of its poppy seed center delivers taste that verges on savory.
Donuts, on the other hand, are all-American. Both cake and yeast-raised come in all the usual flavors with all the usual toppings. I don’t know if it’s just that I am so smitten with this place and its more exotic old world pastries, but I do believe that the chocolate frosting on cake donuts is better than frostings found on national-chain donuts. It delivers really good chocolate flavor — not fancy chocolate flavor, mind you; but donut-right chocolate flavor. I’ll say the same about Olsen’s white frosting. It’s a cut above any ordinary donut frosting.
I can’t imagine anything this bakery makes is less than excellent.
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|