When your neighbors consistently talk you up so highly, what can a poor blogger do but follow their advice.
Bakery on the Hill did not disappoint. On a snowy morning, I visited for a cup of tea and a snack. I also had a nice chat with Wolf Gonier, who serves the roles of baker and host. Bakery on the Hill is a labor of love, the culmination of a dream … and also a very fine bakery.
Portland is full of bakeries. If I want a fresh loaf of bread, it’s pretty likely that I can walk five minutes in any direction and get one. But fancy pastries? Chocolate eclairs? Fancy birthday cakes? There’s a definite shortage. More than twice I’ve had to resort to a supermarket birthday cake simply because I couldn’t find one from a real bakery. I don’t think I’ll have that problem anymore.
Bakery on the Hill is in a gorgeous space, with a gold-plated tin ceiling, fabulous floors, big windows, an open view of the kitchen, and a bakery case so beautiful that it will take you a full ten minutes to select just one thing. Simple cupcakes, chunky cookies, bite-sized raspberry hazelnut caramels, elegant chocolate mousse squares, Pot de Creme (!) and dozens more to choose from… everything looks perfect and handmade and inviting and delicous.
And it is. After a long struggle, I chose a hot cup of tea and an apple square. Here it is:
It actually looked so good I forgot to take a picture before I’d had two bites from it. It was firm and perfectly spiced, with just the right balance of sweet and tart. Perfect. Completely perfect.
They’re also going out of their way to be open to artists in the community, currently hosting a fairly unique project around art inspired by and created at the bakery, and with a vision for more community based activities to come. If the endorsements of their neighbors are any indication, this is already a business that has imbedded itself in the fabric of the East end community, one that will hopefully last for years to come.
Bakery on the Hill is located at 253 Congress Street in Portland. You can visit them on Facebook, or read a great article about them in the Portland Daily Sun. Or you can read about them in this cupcake blog (with additional photos on the blog’s Flickr feed). Oh, and they have an astonishing number of Yelp reviews for a shop open for just a couple of months.
Still having trouble finding them? Here’s a map!