Im so glad I stopped by a second time.
On my first visit I wasnt too impressed. However, it was the end of the day and I only found them by accident. I was headed for Shais Deli next door and found Arlington Baking Company.
It was Friday and the Challah was amazing looking. Unfortunately it was reserved for call-in orders. So I bought a baguette. The bag said Bread Garden Bakery. Hmmm.
I went back early the next morning when the bakery was fully stocked and met the owner, Deborah Brown.
The huge and I mean HUGE advantage of this bakery is how willing Deborah is to accommodate the customer.
The bread is from Bread Garden. Since I didnt see a bread slicer, I asked about it. Deborah said call the day before and they would have Bread Garden slice it. They also sell some of the Bread Garden pastries and Arlington Bakery has the same policy as Bread Garden with selected items 1/2 price after 5 pm.
I asked about seasonal baked goods and started talking about Buche Noel. I was hoping they would sell by the slice or have mini Yule logs like Crixa and Masses. Because I have a small family, I am reluctant to spend big bucks for a cake I havent tried. Deborah said that last Christmas was the first for Arlington Baking so they just gave out samples. She then said that they accommodated orders of any size. I could place an order for a Yule Log for one or two.
And so it went. Deborah was very willing to accommodate customer needs. I cant tell you how refreshing that is with so many businesses in the Bay Area that seem to have the attitude that they are doing the customer a favor by selling to them. I wont specifically name a Berkeley/Albany wine company or another Bay Are coffee company or a chocolate company or it goes on.
Even if the baked goods werent well, good, Id stop by Arlington Bakery just for the service. Luckily the few items I tried were good. Id place Arlington Bakery somewhere mid-point between La Farine and Neldhams. Im thinking it might be on the same level as FatApples.
They make a nice cupcake. I would say they are on the same level as FatApple cupcake-wise which has one of my favorite cupcakes. The cupcake is light like angel food and the frosting is creamy and whipped. I noticed that for special orders they will make cupcakes in any flavor. They have some nice cookies. I didnt try the tiramisu or cheese cake which is offered by the slice or whole.
We talked a little about seasonal offerings. For Independence Day they will have strawberry shortcake. There are pies in the fall, macaroons for Passover and hot cross buns for Easter. I look forward to sampling their seasonal baked goods.
They also make truffles which I havent tried yet.
Deborah started the bakery a little over a year ago after spending eight years in Manhattan where she was an assistant pastry cook at Four Seasons Hotel and River Café. She also worked at Martha Stewart Living Weddings magazine as an assistant cake decorator. Her cousin is one of the owners of Shai Deli and convinced her to start a bakery in Kensington. I look forward to exploring this bakery more.
Deborah said that about a third of the business was catering.
Does anyone have any favorite baked goods here?
Arlington Baking Company
273 Arlington Ave.
Kensington, CA 94707