It wasn’t too long ago when mom and pop bakeries used to dot the landscape of our great nation. Unfortunately these local bakeries are disappearing from our main streets and urban centers, being replaced by generic mass-produced supermarket bakery departments. Fortunately, in the high plains of South Central Nebraska stands a relic from the days of yore.
Sehnert’s Bakery has been serving the townspeople of McCook since 1957. When Matt and Shelley Sehnert took over the family business, very few changes were made. They did, however, decide to renovate a vacant space next door as a sit-down cafe for their customers, which they named the Bieroc Cafe.
Upon entering the bakery, I observed a gigantic glazed cinnamon roll proudly displaying itself in the glass case underneath the counter. Resisting temptation, I ordered the peanut butter roll instead, a big yeasty sweet roll dolloped with thick peanut butter frosting.
I asked about the bierocks, or “bierocs” as they are called here at Sehnert’s. The young blonde girl behind the counter stated that they were being baked as we spoke and wouldn’t be ready for at least another 45 minutes. She recommended that I wait while she whipped me up an iced coffee. A superb, well-roasted iced java it was! She asked if I wanted a cabbage or kraut bieroc; I chose kraut, and only because she suggested that this is the more traditional option. The bieroc also comes with or without cheese. Yielding to tradition I chose to go without.
After enjoying my iced coffee and peanut butter roll, I briefly left the cafe to to gas up my rental. When I returned, I was greeted with my kraut bieroc: spiced ground beef and kraut encased in fresh, flaky, warm bread dough, similar to a bun, but more dense.
Besides serving sandwiches at lunch time, Sehnert’s Bakery is also famous for its Jiffy Burger. Although I didn’t try one, I was told that it’s similar to an Iowa loosemeats sandwich, served on a made-from-scratch bun with a dollop of homemade relish.
On frequent occasions there is live music in the cafe as well. Sehnert’s Bakery/Bierock Cafe is open six days a week. They are closed on Sundays.