As you wind along the Cazadero Highway through the redwoods, suddenly like a mirage, a bakery appears out of nowhere. Open for a little more than a year, Raymonds Bakery is one of the few eating spots in this neck of the woods. Located across the road from the Cazadero Performing Arts Camp in what was known as Elim Grove, the bakery and café is a labor of love for the young couple who share baking responsibilities.
More of a community center, there are café tables with tall chairs, round wooden four-tops, fresh flowers in bud vases on each table, boxes of childrens games, a table dedicated to a chess set, a childs-size desk with crayons and coloring books, big screen TV (off on this day), boxes of games, bulletin board, an upholstered love seat and low coffee table, and shelves lined with cookbooks and other helpful topics for a local lending library. The interior has a contemporary look, yet wooden trimmings add warmth. Old photographs of the Elim Grove Hotel and other early events in Cazadero document the history of the area. Smooth jazz and Van Morrison rule the airways. The big picture windows face the road and the big trees. The wide veranda shades a line of teak benches outside and I could imagine whiling away a morning there with a cup of coffee and a muffin. There are picnic tables outdoors as well.
I liked the feel of the place so much I took a break from the road for a cup of tea and a palmier, 95¢. The palmier was a little smaller than most, but was just right for me. Crackly, buttery and dense, I liked that it was cut a little crooked and looked handmade. The counter helpers decided to share a lemon bar and offered me a quarter to taste. The top is more cakey than curd-like, and the bottom was a buttery short crust. I bought an apricot fougasse and whats called an onion roll for later. Other items available include crusty breads, pizzas, focaccia, quick breads, muffins, brownies, fruit tarts, oatmeal cookies, and lemon bars.
The apricot fougasse, $2.25, didnt do much for me too much chewy bread in proportion to the thick apricot preserves. The onion roll, $1, was a goodie, and I wished that I lived closer and could buy more easily. Its cylindrical, rolled up like a pig-in-a-blanket, with a small bump of poppy seed and white onion bound with what seems like sour cream. Warmed up, the sweet onion-y fragrance was released from the buttery yeast dough.
Raymonds Bakery is about 6 miles from the turn-off from the main road (Hwy 116). Be sure to check for seasonal hours. Cash only.
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