By Cassandra VanKeuren Special to the Herald
A balanced diet is a cookie in both hands.
That is what the sign says at the entrance of the Snohomish Bakery on First Street in downtown Snohomish.
The Snohomish Bakery has been our family’s favorite place to go since we moved to the area about four years ago.
It is also where we take our out-of-town guests, because the food is fantastic and there is a lot to see and do in the historic downtown core.
The bakery offers freshly baked bread and an array of delectable pastries, rustic sandwiches, a full espresso bar, and ice cream in summer.
The way the bakery is set up, you walk past all the lovely pastry cases and order your food off a menu board. The cashier gives you a cookie cutter to designate your order, then you grab a table and your meal is brought out to you.
On one of our most recent visits, we had lunch. All the sandwiches cost less than $10 and come with a pickle and a small salad. My husband ordered a salami sandwich half, my son chose a grilled cheese and I selected a grilled tarragon chicken sandwich.
My husband’s sandwich was made with country bread with all the fixings; served alongside was the pickle and potato salad. I didn’t try his sandwich but I did the potato salad, which was made with oil and vinegar and Italian seasonings. The salad was not my favorite, but then again, I don’t like food with a lot of vinegar.
My husband enjoyed everything on his plate and promptly walked to the order counter to get a cookie: a classic chocolate chip.
The cookie was as large as my hand and had a cakey texture. It was very tasty and big enough to share.
My son enjoyed his grilled cheese, which was made with cheddar and a hearty country white bread, served with the pickle.
My sandwich was a bit of a surprise. First, the bread was raisin bread — not what I expected on a chicken salad sandwich.
The chicken salad was made with chunks of white chicken, tarragon and dried cranberries. I could not tell what the base was but it didn’t matter. The whole thing was very good and the raisin bread worked; it was sweet yet savory.
I chose a pasta salad to go with it; my salad was made with the same oil and vinegar base as the potato salad. From what I could tell, it was very popular with the other patrons, but again I didn’t care for it.
For my dessert, I chose my favorite, a lemon bar. What I love about it is the lemon curd doesn’t have any of that harsh bitter taste that most lemon bars have. This one is sweet and creamy. The shortbread crust is superb also.
It’s big enough to share, but I don’t; I just take half home for later.
All the pastries cost less than $3.
Some of my other favorite pastries are the peanut butter oat bar, the cheesecake brownie and the lemon ginger scone.
The bakery makes so many pastries that I have a hard time choosing. Oh, well; I will just have to go visit again and again until I have tried every last one.
One thing to keep in mind is that because the bakery cooks make everything from scratch, they may be out of some of your favorite things later in the day. But don’t let that deter you; they always have something delectable in their case for you to try.
Also note that the bakery will move down the street to a bigger shop at 101 Union Ave. in the first half of April.
I am excited because the chef told me that he may bring back pizza on the weekends and will be able to expand the menu. I suspect that the parking may be better, too.
Snohomish Bakery is one place not to miss when you are heading into Snohomish for a day of antiquing or strolling by the river.
920 First St., Snohomish; 360-568-1682; www.snobake.com and www.facebook.com/pages/Snohomish-Bakery-Cafe/111618845542085.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.