** THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED **
Just east of the Thornton Gap entrance to the Skyline Drive in Virginia’s Piedmont, Triple Oak Bakery is a charming patisserie that makes cakes and pies and coffee-companion pastries. Indoor seats have been added to the formerly take-out-only operation, but our favorite place is the back lawn, where customers can relax and gaze upon the Thornton River while enjoying an al fresco slice of apple pie or mocha cake, baklava, brownies, or biscuits, scones, quiche, or rugelach.
Regular little meals now area available, but our favorite memory is a visit in the bakery’s early days for Saturday morning continental breakfast. It was as informal as an ad hoc gathering of friends and neighbors. Everybody stood around the kitchen chatting and pouring their own coffee from a large French press carafe or fetching a cup of brewing chocolate from a pretty blue pot on the stove or, best of all, making a half-and-half mix of both. To accompany the beverages, trays were laid out with cinnamon buns, chocolate espresso scones, and fresh, chewy bagels.
Did we mention that Triple Oak is gluten-free? Even if you share our love of all things glutenous, don’t let that dissuade you from the consummate baked goods at this wonderful place.