You could think of the new Brake Bread bakery and its across-the-street neighbor Mojo Monkey Donuts as the yin and yang of baked goods. We can think of no reason to visit one without then visiting the other.
Brake is the brainchild of two musician buddies with a common interest in baking and bikes. The pair got together and decided that if they could get 20 people interested in a weekly loaf of freshly baked bread delivered to their doorstep by bike, they were just the guys to bake it and bike it.
Micah Taylor and Nate Hogue's bread subscriptions got far more popular than that, and they recently grew big enough to justify their own storefront in St. Paul's West Seventh neighborhood.
On the countertops, glass cookie jars tempt with items like the "After School Special," akin to a Monster Cookie but less monstrous and more human-sized so you can easily eat two. We also love the baker's dozen kraft paper sacks of chocolate chippers that are an instant gift. Or do as we did and pass them around the table for instant dessert at a dinner party table. Entertaining is easy!
But the breads are really the main event at Brake, and we can't say enough about this cheddar jalapeño loaf. It's so yeasty, cheesy, and spicy you kinda want to smash your face in it. But that's a little socially awkward, so do this instead: slice, toast, and pile it high with avocado. You haven't lived until this moment.
Brake Bread also serves an excellent cup of hot coffee. A smattering of tables and chairs await in the sunlight, and it's all a sweet and simple way to while away the morning. When your spinner is gone, bounce across the street for a sweet ending to your savory start — Mojo Monkey serves the best raised glazed donut in town.
One more opening like this and we could officially name West Seventh Street "Bakery Alley." (Come on, Cronuts!)
Of course, if you're more of a stay-at-home sort, Brake Bread is still accepting bread subscriptions for pickup and delivery. Sign up here.
1174 W. Seventh St., St Paul