1820 29th Street, Sacramento, CA 95816.
Mr.S. and I have a ritual, on weekends we like to duck out of his house before all the crazy chaos begins and grab a cuppa joe at Temple. The large patio is great for people watching and gives us some time to wipe the sleep from our eyes and gather our bearings. Awhile back we noticed that a small bakery had opened in the plaza that houses Temple Coffee and Revolution Wines, called Pushkin's Bakery. The husband and wife run bakery was said to be dedicated to being wheat/gluten-free and dairy free. Music to my lactarded ears! Anyhow, we kept trying to pop in there to grab a little somethin' delish to nosh on but for some reason it was closed whenever we'd stop by. Bad timing, I suppose. Last weekend we finally scored. We were able to purchase several baked treats and enjoy them on the patio as we savored our hot cups of coffee.
When we entered the store, we were immediately greeted with the delicious aroma of fresh pastries baking. It was intoxicating and caused my stomach to growl in anticipation. The woman in front of us in line was busy bombarding the (very) patient gentleman working the counter with a million and one questions, so we had plenty of time to peruse the various baked goods in the display case. There was a nice variety of gluten and dairy free choices- cookies, cupcakes and breads. We settled on vegan zucchini bread, vegan banana walnut bread, a peanut butter cookie and one strawberry scone. The zucchini bread was wonderful; it was toothsome, ever so slightly sweet and extremely moist and spongy (I know a lot of you absolutely abhor the word "moist," but it's the best way to describe this bread). The zucchini was grated quite finely, making this a perfect treat if you're trying to sneak some veggies past your kidlet's eagle eye and picky palate. The homemade banana bread had nice big juicy bits of banana that you could see; however, the bread part itself tasted very sugary and had a gritty texture. I may have just gotten a bad one but not sure if I'd order that particular bread again. I did, however, like that the breads came in individual mini-loaf serving sizes- just the perfect amount for snacking.
Now Mr. S. fancies himself a connoisseur of peanut butter cookies. He gave Pushkin's crunchy PB cookie a thumbs-up and declared it "solid." I was able to wrestle away a crumb from him and agreed that the cookie exhibited a lot of peanutty flavor. The price was a bit steep for one cookie ($2.75) but we did appreciate that Pushkin's uses all natural ingredients solely from gluten-free manufacturers. My strawberry scone was the only clunker of the morning. It was extremely dry and I felt like I was munching on a thick dough brick with hard icing. Also, there was only one minute bit of strawberry in the whole scone.
Service there is terrific. Both owners were very friendly, helpful and willing to offer product recommendations. I noticed that they didn't rush customers even though it was busy and were happy to answer questions (no matter how many or how absurd).
Most gluten-free, dairy-free and/or vegan baked goods I've come across have tasted like cardboard or have been so dense that you could seriously maim someone if you lobbed it at their head. Not Pushkin's...but don't take my word for it, give this small business a try yourself. On my next visit, I think I'd like to try one of their delicious looking vegan chocolate-banana-peanut butter cupcakes (try saying that one really fast!)...and perhaps a salted pecan one too or maybe one of their "dudes" (mini pb cookies with chocolate chips and chocolate ganache). Ahhh, decisions, decisions.... ☺
* Note: the hours are a bit funky. They're only open Tues-Sat and don't open until 9am. So no Sunday/Monday or early morning pastry pickups here.
* Pushkin's also does catering and makes full-size wedding cakes.
* Get there early for the best selection, they do tend to run out of things quickly.