I checked out two brunch spots and five bakeries today. Well actually, one brunch spot didn’t work out and one bakery involved wooden cookies and playing store with my niece, so considering that, it was really one and four.
What kicked off this bakery marathon? I’m working on an Austin city guide for Pflugerville and Round Rock food (coming soon!), and it motivated me to finally check out the bakeries in this part of the city. And since I was in the area, why not check out more than one?
Jack Allen’s Kitchen
I’ve heard great things about this place. I thought brunch would be a good opportunity to check it out, but I underestimated its popularity as a brunch spot. With an hour-long wait for tables by the time we arrived, we decided another time might be better to check them out. Maybe also with reservations. So we drove down the street to Greenhouse Craft Food where we found delicious food with zero wait for a table.
Greenhouse Craft Food & Brothers Bakery
Greenhouse’s patio seating looks like it would be lovely on a day (or evening) with nicer weather. I love the red chairs and the strings of lights.
When you enter, you’re greeted by a set of pretty chalkboards, one with instructions for ordering. At first I laughed at the “stay focused” note. Then I lost my own focus while following the arrows on the ground and stopped at the bar to order even though the arrows clearly point onward to an ordering counter to the right of it. Oops. Now I get it.
Greenhouse also sells and cooks with bread from Brothers Bakery in Marble Falls (thus, the first bakery I checked out today). Delicious! It’s also cute that they have a line of dog treats sold under a slight variation on their name: Brothers Bakery.
I picked up a loaf of the molasses bread. It’s nice and soft with a faintly sweet flavor. I’m already strategizing to use it in a gouda and cranberry sandwich idea.
The interior of the restaurant is just as cute as the patio and entrance.
And although their brunch menu is short, everything we tried was delicious. The omelette of the day was a southwestern one, and the sweet bread pudding was made with the Brothers Bakery molasses bread and cinnamon raisin bread and topped with a maple sugar glaze.
They also have a couple of kids menu breakfast options (as well as non-breakfast ones), so between this and being able to grab a table sooner, this makes a kid-friendly brunch option.
Juarez Mexican Restaurant and Bakery
After brunch I decided to check out some more bakeries, starting with Juarez. I’m always on the lookout for good pumpkin empanadas (no one has topped Mi Tierra in San Antonio, but many come close), so I was excited to find this place. I’m pretty sure they’re my favorite bakery in Round Rock right now.
I picked up a few things to take to go: pumpkin empanadas, a pineapple empanada, a pig-shaped ginger cookie, a croissant-shaped sweet bread filled with sweet cheese, and pan dulce (the one with the white topping based on a recommendation + it also looked like it sells well).
All were delicious, and I was especially surprised to find that the pan dulce was one of my favorites of the day (as was the case with my family when we split everything up to taste for dessert this evening). Why was this favorite a surprise? I actually gave up on pan dulce a long time ago, thinking that maybe it just wasn’t my thing. I love foods that are subtly sweet, but so far every pan dulce I’ve had elsewhere has been dry, hard, and flavorless. Not the case here. I decided to give pan dulce another shot at Juarez since it kept popping up in their Yelp reviews and in one review was even described as the best pan dulce in Round Rock. Now I can see why. Juarez showed me pan dulce can be soft and flavorful while keeping its characteristic subtle sweetness. Yum!
Round Rock Donuts
While I’m not particularly a donut person, I’ve enjoyed Round Rock Donuts brought to work by my co-workers: they’re substantial like the donuts I had growing up, with a deliciously imperfect glaze, and nothing at all like the light-as-air, perfectly glazed Krispy Kremes that have been popular in the last decade. So, I decided to stop in to see what else they sell.
In addition to their signature donuts with an orange-colored glaze, they also sell most of the things you’d typically find in a donut shop.
One thing you wouldn’t typically find? Gigantic donuts. Imagine a donut the size of a birthday cake. In fact, if you like donuts enough, it would probably make a good birthday cake substitute. Just put some candles in it.
Not particularly needing a donut birthday cake right now, I picked up a white cream-filled bismarck and a sausage and cheese kolache to go. The bismarck was the familiar cream-filled donut at the level of quality you’d expect from a donut institution. The kolache tasted good with a unique sweet and salty flavor (I think they might have lightly glazed it with their donut glaze), although I’m accustomed to the style of kolaches found on the drives between Austin and Houston and Dallas, so I’ll probably stick to donuts here.
By the way, you can also get a great view of the Round Rock water tower from here.
620 Cafe and Bakery
Finally, I stopped at 620 Cafe and Bakery. I’ve passed this place several times in the last couple of years and meant to check it out, so I finally did today.
The majority of their desserts are cupcakes and cakes, so I was mostly interested in their muffins since I tend to prefer desserts that are a little less sweet. That said, I’ve heard their cakes and cupcakes are excellent, so I’ll keep them in mind if I’m ever looking for that. I would also like top return to try their pies, which I’ve heard are good.
I tried their muffin flavor of the day, snickerdoodle (the version sans icing). It was deliciously cinnamony, moist, the right level of density, and not oversweet. It was also another favorite in our family dessert tasting.
I’ve also heard the blueberry muffins and cranberry muffins are excellent, so between those and the pies it looks like I’ll need to come back sometime. :)