Stepping into The Buttered Tin Bakery, a partially Kickstarter-funded Lowertown spot, is somewhat akin to going home: it’s warm, bright, and comfortable, with dark hardwood floors and cozy booths upholstered in, appropriately, butter-yellow fabric. Of course, pastry chef Alicia Hinze, formerly of Cupcake, is piping out pastries behind the counter instead of Grandma.
While salads and sandwiches are offered at the bakery come lunchtime, the all-day breakfast dishes are the real stars here. Chefs breathe new life into brunchtime classics with kicky herbs and local ingredients. A Huevos Rancheros Benedict combines two breakfast classics, with a crumbly cornbread round subbing in for the traditional English muffin and a zesty roasted corn and black bean salsa in lieu of Hollandaise. The Biscuits and Gravy are delicious and herby, made with tasty, locally-sourced sausage, but the dish would benefit greatly from a higher liquid-to-biscuit ratio. Bananas Foster French Toast is sweet, made with a good-quality French baguette that soaks up its batter beautifully and bananas with just enough flame on them to bring out their natural sugars. Serving these rich dishes with light salads and fruit is a smart move on Buttered Tin’s part. And the ginger-spiked housemade lemonade is a stellar way to wash things down.
But it is a bakery, after all, and dessert is mandatory. Cake stands overflow with slices of coffee cake and blondies, while a nearby pastry case is filled with cupcakes and cookies, so decision-making can be a challenge. Just be sure to try at least one of the Tin’s takes on childhood favorites: the Lowertown Twinkie and Ho-Ho elevate the original snacks with a soft, moist crumb and cream filling that isn’t tooth-achingly sweet, while a lightly-spiced oatmeal-raisin whoopie pie is leaps and bounds beyond anything that Little Debbie has ever manufactured.
The Buttered Tin Bakery
237 7th St. E., St. Paul