Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nabolom Bakery

Who: VN Publisher Joseph Connelly
What: Sunday Sweets
Where: Nabolom Bakery, Berkeley, Calif.
When: June 27, 2010
Why: To Gluten or Not to Gluten

The Scoop: The New York Times Mark Bittman might be vegan before 6pm (as if that's difficult), but I strive to be sugar free until Sunday. I long ago mastered the vegan thing, but I've never been able to fully rein in my notorious sweet tooth. So I do the best I can during the week —not that easy with all the special catered lunches and product samples I'm privy to, as regular readers of Café VegNews and This Just In surely know—and allow myself a treat on Sunday, the day I almost always run a race. I figure I earn it.

Yesterday, though battling a chest cold, I slogged through a 10k in Oakland, put on by the Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders, one of the fine running clubs I belong to. I then headed over to The Breakroom Café in downtown Oakland, only to find it is now closed on Sunday. Thankfully I'd printed off a list of restaurants from our good friends over at Happy Cow, and with JPS in head (that's Joseph Positioning System, if you must know) I landed at the Nabolom Bakery in Berkeley.

Nabolom is a worker-owned collective and green business to boot. It offers a wide selection of baked goods, which my informal survey estimated to be about 60 percent conventional and 40 percent vegan. Nabolom, strategically located in the shadow of the University of California, sports a spacious indoor seating area, several café tables in front, and a very Berkeley vibe. It's the type of place where one could grab a muffin, coffee, and newspaper and while away a few hours, with ease.

I decided to play "good boss" and order some staff treats for Monday. In the muffin category the selection tasted like this: banana oat bran, cranberry nut, blackberry pecan, and walnut chocolate. One of each, thank you very much. For the Cookie Monster in me there was monster-sized double chocolate, oatmeal raisin, or snickerdoodle (yes, yes, and yes). To this I added two ginormous wheat-free brownies, and one (very large) very sticky bun.

The Nabolom Bakery goods

Clockwise from top left: Snickerdoodle, Double Chocolate, Oatmeal Raisin

It's nearly 10pm Sunday and I'm quite pleased to report that the muffins, cookies, and brownies are all still with us. The very sticky bun? Well, it didn't make it out of Berkeley, but at least I did make it sugar free until Sunday. This week.

The Four Muffineers?

The world's largest Brownies... wait, does that one have a bite taken out of it?

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