A couple months ago, I ditched work and went to explore Dogtown. Sugaree Baking Company was at the top of my list. I hadn’t been to the bakery since before I moved away from St. Louis five years ago. I remembered their pies and cookies and I wanted to see if they were still as good.
I walked to the bakery on a Tuesday afternoon and when I got there, I realized that they were closed. I checked my phone and saw that they’re only open to the public on Friday and Saturday afternoon. I stared at the wedding cake displays through the window for a few minutes, willing the store to open just for me. When that didn’t happen, I walked away resignedly, vowing to come back in the near future.
For some reason it took me two months to come back to Sugaree. I guess life in its various forms has kept me busy. Today I grabbed lunch at a local sandwich joint and then I went to Sugaree for dessert.
Walking into Sugaree is like entering pastry heaven. The air is sweet with the smell of baking cookies, cakes, and pies. There’s honestly nothing like it; I *feel* better breathing the air.
There’s a table lined with a floral tablecloth to one side of the shop, intricate wedding cake displays in the windows, and old fashioned wallpaper behind the counter. There’s also a giant counter with glass panels and cake trays filled with every kind of pastry that you can imagine. “How am I going to decide?” I asked the saleswoman. “Get everything,” she suggested.
I will get everything at Sugaree eventually. Today I started with a peach blueberry cobbler because it looked amazing and during the summer, I start craving fruit desserts.
I took it outside with a plastic spoon (Sugaree doesn’t have indoor seating) and sat on a bench in the shade. I tried to get a first bite that included a peach, blueberry, pastry, and the sugary crust along the outside. In other words, the perfect bite.
I succeeded. When I put the cobbler into my mouth, I went still for a second. It was surreal. The pastry was buttery, light, and lemony, the peaches were sweet and juicy, and the blueberries added some tartness. The sugar crumble melted in my mouth and the caramelized crust melted in my mouth. Fine, I’ll admit it: I cried.
Once I pulled myself together, I finished the rest of the pastry. Then I walked back inside. “I’m back,” I said to the saleswoman, who looked confused and slightly worried about why I’d returned not five minutes after leaving the store. I ordered two almond croissants to go. Lesson learned: Never reject the advice of a pastry salesperson. This is something I should already know, given my past experience.
ANYWAY. If you’re in St. Louis or planning on stopping by soon, I would highly recommend paying a visit to Sugaree. The cobbler is the best I’ve had in St. Louis and definitely one of the best pastries I’ve tried in the U.S. It will take you through the full range of human emotions in the best possible way. I’m not exaggerating.