I was in the mood to try something new for lunch the other day, and I remembered that my husband had brought home a menu from a new place called “Blue” something opening in the Arboretum. I’d just come from the gym, so I was hoping for something tasty and healthy…no use undoing all that time on the elliptical, right?
A few minutes later, and I was walking into The Blue Baker. The first thing I noticed was that it was really, really blue. From the ceilings to the fixtures to the walls, this place was an oasis of blue-ness. But the second thing I noticed kept me walking further in — the smell of wonderful, fresh, yeasty breads. Right there on the counter there were big baskets of sample breads (you have to try the rye! Trust me on this!) I skipped the brownie sample (the gym, remember?), but they looked so rich and so delicious….if you try them, please tell me how they were!
I grabbed a menu while I sampled. Not a lot of vegetarian options, but I decided to ask. The woman at the order area immediately jumped into action, offering me a veggie sandwich they had at one of their other two locations. When she mentioned artichokes, spinach, roasted red peppers, goat cheese and a balsamic dressing, I was ready to order. When she said a price UNDER $6,00, I was thrilled. She also told me I was free to create my own masterpiece from their menu of veggies, cheeses and freshly baked breads — a definite option for future visits!
The sandwich was amazing. The veggies were crisp and abundant, the dressing was light but flavorful. And the bread…no premade dough from central distribution. This family owned three-location restaurant (the other two are in College Station) believes in making everything from scratch.
After I ate, I talked with Sarah, the Marketing Manager, (and sister-in-law of the owner), about the restaurant. She told me about their family standard for the freshest ingredients, with all batters and doughs made daily — now I understood the wonderful smells that had greeted me when I walked in! “This is a family place,” she said. “We brought down some of the staff from College Station to get things started. We want to keep the standards the same for all three places.”
On the way out, I stopped to buy a long baguette, a few bagels and a cookie for my daughter. All of those were as good as my lunch.
The Blue Baker also offers hand-crafted pizza, boxed lunches, party platters and office/meeting catering. They’re open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and they do have WiFi. Seating is indoors or on the patio out back, and there’s plenty of room for larger groups for lunch or a breakfast meeting.