Friday, 29 August 2014

Bakers & Co, Bristol

'Bakers & Co', the most recent and most certainly welcome addition to the Gloucester Road foodie fiesta, is instantly a firm favourite of mine and all those I know to have given it a try. During popular brunching hours, a seat at a rarely vacant table is highly sought after. Upon entry you are instantly greeted with an array of baked delights- as you would expect, the quality of which however, you would only hope for. 'Bakers & Co' provide treats worth savouring, devouring and maybe over-indulging for by a slice or two; go on. Trust me, from the classic brownie with a hint of cherry tang (that simply works) to the more unusual (but not unheard of) options of courgette cake or pistachio meringues, they're worth it. 'But why should I trust you?' I hear you cry, because I'm brownie obsessed, have a mild/severe addiction to indie coffee houses and rarely diverge from my super-healthy diet. That's why.

Bakers Breakfast

Huevos Rancheros

Like their sister jaunt 'Bravas' (terrific tapas), 'Bakers & Co' seek their inspiration from abroad. It's the San Francisco brunch scene that they aim to emulate with their reasonably interesting breakfast/brunch menu. This offers both smaller dishes (such as their home-made salted chocolate spread on their sour-dough toast) and more challenging portion sizes with the likes of the 'Bakers Breakfast' which is essentially a meat feast. The custard toast with bacon, maple syrup and yoghurt is potentially (definitely) the best of the sweeter brunches I have ever tried. I'm not overly enthused by the likes of soggy French toast drizzled with mediocre artificial sweetness, but 'Baker & Co's' custard bread, prepared with egg yolks,  is akin to a Portuguese custard tart and is genuinely lush. I wouldn't usually go to the extent of typing 'lush', but hey, 'when in Rome'. Anyway, if you're invariably dismissive when provided with sweeter breakfast options for want of a good poached egg and sausage (like me), repress your inner waffle prejudice and order this. It's not overly sweet and far from bland, go with it and thank me later. Maple syrup, streaky bacon, natural yoghurt and mint - match made in brunch heaven. 

Custard toast AMAZING

Hold the sugar-frosted phone! I'm yet to say a single word about their coffee. Don't be thinking that's because it ain't good, the Extract single origin Brazilian espresso they served me went down a treat. I had a Cappuccino on one occasion, a Flat White another - both wonderfully smooth with rich chocolate flavour notes - just how I like it. I usually start with coffee but the heavenly custard toast distracted me. They offer iced coffees too that I can imagine being more of a temptation during hotter weather whilst enjoying the sun (please be sunny!?) at one of their outside tables. The coffee isn't cheap, but the best never is. If I complain about the Flat White price here, I would have to do the same for all my favourite coffee houses in Bristol and Manchester. I think the brunches are a tad over-priced, its not cheap due to it's exquisite (local) quality and  it is wonderfully prepared.  However, I think it could be a little less pricey. 

I couldn't quite finish the Bakers breakfast.  This literally never happens. I always finish my meals. On this day, food certainly won. An honourable defeat. The fennel sausages and morcilla (Spanish black pudding) were excellent quality and combined with the pintos negros provided an enjoyable twist to the traditional full English. I think the smaller breakfasts are over-priced. I don't really want to ever spend more than £3 on granola - anything more than that is a big ask given granola is essentially oats (cheap). The chocolate spread on toast that I had was seriously gorgeous, just maybe a quid less would be more appropriate.

What 'Bakers & Co' do is nothing extraordinarily different. What, instead, they give us is a great environment in which to enjoy quality coffee, breads and meats that are freshly and well prepared. The staff are friendly as you'd hope from such a place and the menu varies and changes appropriately. It's my favourite local breakfast spot when I'm back in my home town and wanting a treat.

Quick Rating:
Service: 4
Vibe: 4
Value for money: 3
Treat worthy? Definitely
GF/DF/Vegan? GF and DF bakes available, but not much on offer for vegans - you'll just have to have some coffee! They have bread options that will be vegan topped with avocados etc.

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