By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer
We all know them: reliable, good-food restaurants that remain in business year and year. Some are around for so long that we forget about them — until we need them. Then we happily find their doors are still open.
The pastry institution in Everett known as Karl’s Bakery is one of those places.
Karl Romeneschi took over the bakery in 1944 and though it moved to various locations in downtown Everett, it’s been on Wetmore Avenue directly above the underground train tunnel since the mid-1960s, according to the bakery’s website.
The interior — cozy booths and dark grain tables — doesn’t appear to have been updated much since then. That feature, along with a collection of watercolors by Everett native Bernie Webber, adds to the charm.
On a recent Saturday morning, the family and I went in for breakfast.
I had been to Karl’s several times before — for doughnuts, of course. But I’ve also ordered two specialty cakes that received lots of “oohs” and “ahs” when I delivered them.
One cake was for my son’s sixth birthday and was a made-to-order half vanilla, half chocolate embossed on top with a John Deere tractor.
The second cake was for a baby shower. The cake was light and tasty and the staff at Karl’s took deliberate care to top it with one of the mom-to-be’s favorite critters, an adorable owl.
Karl’s offers a variety of cake options and pricing that starts at $19.
Karl’s also advertises on its website a free decorated birthday cake “to young folks” turning 93 years and older.
Karl’s serves hearty American cafe fare for breakfast and lunch, from eggs and pancakes, to salads and a variety of sandwiches and burgers, from a Reuben ($7.25) to a cheeseburger ($5.99). Karl’s also caters and makes boxed lunches for meetings.
At our breakfast visit, my husband ordered the two eggs, toast, hash browns and bacon ($7.99), I had the French toast ($5.75) and our son had pancakes ($5.25).
At our table we found a novel. It’s one of the whodunits in the Silly Karl’s Bakery Murder Mystery Series.
The action in these books is set at Karl’s and in surrounding Everett. The series is written by Kelly Szabo, the daughter of Karl’s Bakery owner Judy Bacon.
The titles include “A Chocolate Battering,” “The Baker’s Butcher,” “Death by Donut,” “Baked to a Crisp” and the most recent “Iced.”
During breakfast, I read some of “A Chocolate Battering” to the boys and their attention was rapt. I didn’t get too far; our food got to the table fast.
My husband and picky son cleaned their plates, as did I. My French toast was light and not too thick, which is how I like it. We couldn’t leave without a pastry so we guiltily split a gooey cinnamon roll, delivered with pockets of swirly cinnamon.
My only regret about the experience was not ordering an espresso. I like my coffee strong and Karl’s carafe coffee had that Folger’s, made-for-the-masses taste.
As we ate, customers arrived continually wanting doughnuts. I returned a second time to Karl’s to get a mixed selection of six doughnuts ($5.60) to share with my co-workers.
These raised and delicate confections were a huge hit. The comments ranged from “bakery taste,” “very airy” and “they know bread,” to this reaction to the maple glaze: “This makes me want to fall down on my knees and weep with doughnut joy.”
Summing up: One coworker took a bite and as he was leaving the room said while chewing, “Good old Karl’s.”
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; email@example.com.
Karl’s Bakery &Cafe
2814 Wetmore Ave. Everett; 425-252-1774; www.karls-bakery.com
Specialty: Doughnuts, pastries, cakes and classic American breakfast and lunch
Hours: 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday