Raise your hand if you believe a flaky pain au chocolat is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
Welcome, my fellow patisserie lovers, my people. Let us worship a bag of bread and pastry flour as we venture to Squamish’s Tall Tree Bakery.
Tall Tree Bakery is not quite located in my neck of the woods. I made a mental note of it one day on a run that took me off of my usual route and into the more industrial part of town. A few weeks later, when Cedric needed a ride to tend to some car maintenance affairs at the Toyota dealership, I agreed to help — on the condition that we could make a pit stop at this intriguing little bakery.
Tall Tree Bakery is pretty. Yes, it’s in an industrial park — but it’s in a modern looking new building and the garage door wall can open on a sunny day and that’s cool. Inside is cool, too. The decor is so on trend, yet it doesn’t feel like it’s trying too hard. The walls are light, the counters are light, the treats are elegantly displayed like the little pieces of art that they are. The edibles aren’t made to look rustic and homemade — they’re made to be admired and delicately nibbled. They’re too pretty to scarf down. Behind the counter, rows of bread sit on simple wood shelves, with hand-drawn chalkboards hanging against the wall behind. (Check out their Instagram for some photos.)
Drinks are simple: coffee, tea, and a collection of craft sodas and flavoured San Pellegrinos that satisfies my snobby tastes in carbonated beverages. I regret having skipped over the loaves of bread (pecan rye! rosemary feta!), but I have no regrets when it comes to the baked goods.
The cinnamon bun was excellent: not too doughy or yeasty; sticky, not gooey; caramelized bits, but not dry or hard. I’m still undecided on the icing, which was more of a buttercream (or whipped cream?) consistency than I’m used to on a cinnamon bun, and served as a piped dollop, not melting into the bun like it usually is.
Cedric went the savory route with a goat cheese, tomato, and spinach pastry. He said it was good — it would have been better heated — and that the pastry itself was notably nice.
I also picked up a macaroon to go (not the same as a macaron, but if you’re reading this, you probably already know that). It was light and delicious, but it didn’t quite have that sticky, wet, dense feeling when you bite into it that the macaroons from Purebread have. I know, I know, this isn’t Purebread — but it’s so hard not to compare with the bakery that has my heart.
Conclusion? Tall Tree Bakery is a bona fide diamond in the rough (as rough as a contemporary industrial development can be). You know the scene in Bridesmaids where Kristen Wiig goes to all the trouble to bake herself a single perfect cupcake? Tall Tree Bakery is the place to go when you want to eat something lovely like that. I have a hunch their bread is pretty fantastic, too — I’ll be back to check it out.