Been meaning to post this since last week, but I suppose better late than never, so here goes...
Let me begin by saying that as someone with ridiculous allergies, I really wanted to like this place. No dairy, no casein, no yeast, and no gums (neither guar nor xanthan). I was stoked; however, became less so when I read ingredients on their website and found that only the cookies and scones don't have coconut oil in them (which I'm allergic to). Oh well, I still looked forward to trying the cookies, as the scone flavors didn't appeal.
So last week, I found myself a few minutes early for a lunch meeting at Bloom cafe on Pico. (By the way, this is another one of those places that I go to not too often because I always have something weird in my experience, and vow not to go again... until it's been long enough and I forget. This time it was the absent minded waiter who helped our lunch along in a nice 2 1/2 hour way. I started to feel like a prisoner on Gilligan's Island... I had to track him down to get the check, then hunt him down again to pay... sigh). But I digress... so with a few minutes to spare, I trekked the few blocks up to Breakaway to scope it out. Turns out, Breakaway was supplying Bloom for a bit, but they went to loggerheads over who would bake - Breakaway wanted to give them the batter and have them bake the products off at Bloom, and surprise, surprise, Bloom wanted the goods delivered already baked. And so was the end of that.
Cute storefront, but uber tiny. Nowhere to hang or munch. Friendly staff and owner. They sell the mixes for a lot of their products there as well. The owner talked to me while mixing dough in the back, answering all my questions, and at last coming out from the back to take the last "Fig Newton" from the serving case for her daughter for her after school snack. Funny thing the owner also informed me that the filling on the bar cookies are Smucker's jam mixed with nuts. go figure. Nonetheless, I was curious, so I said I'd return after lunch, and return I did.
I purchased a Chocolate Chip Cookie and a Snickerdoodle. At a buck a piece plus tax, they weren't cheap, but for the ingredients and special needs, seems reasonable. No Diddy Riese, but again, I digress.
The Chocolate Chip Cookie: why is it that the "free" chocolate chips (I'm guessing they're the Enjoy Life brand) are always so teeny tiny? Why don't they make them normal chocolate chip size or even (gasp) the size of chips like Ghiradelli makes? Maybe if they're that big, the real taste will be more apparent... who knows. Cookie was about 2 1/2 - 3 in in diameter. and a high percentage of it chocolate chips. However, when i pulled off a bite, it had no elasticity to it. It wasn't crispy, but lots of air pockets. Didn't quite melt in my mouth, but not much chew or crumb either. I know, what exactly was I expecting, but I have pretty warped taste buds, and a high tolerance for "things I can eat." I made my non-allergic friend try it too. She didn't like it either. It had a funny chalky aftertaste too. Twas sad.
The Snickerdoodle: Truth be told, I was looking forward to this most, that is before I tried the Chocolate Chip. I'm a big cinnamon fan, but the cinnamon was overpowering. Same texture issues and chalky aftertaste. I threw them out, which pained me. Actually that's a lie. I tried to give them to a homeless man first, but he didn't want them.
It make me sad to write this review. I don't know what rent is like where they're at, but no matter the price, I can't imagine the bakery lasting, especially there. Unless there's a wild business amongst those religious folk that don't do dairy (but even then, I'd think they wouldn't buy them just because they didn't have dairy, if they don't taste good, but maybe I overestimate). I wouldn't buy them again, and I wouldn't recommend them to a friend. Maybe they have other good products; maybe the cookies are their worst good. Maybe the coconut oil makes everything else a revelation. For Breakaway's sake, I hope so.
Beach Break Cafe
1902 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054