For months, Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry's website was teasing us with photos of lemon-curd tarts, muffins and scones teeming with fresh berries, syrupy rhubarb spilling from pie crusts and a Jenga tower of glistening cranberry butter cookies. So when the newspaper finally came off the windows in early October, we were champing at the bit to get a taste of the goods.
Owners Gretchen Glatte and Matthew Busetto have transformed a long-vacant former dry cleaners on a Northeast Dekum block that is also home to a pizza joint and a brewpub, completing the Portland holy trinity of beer + pizza + coffee/baked goods. The high-ceilinged and light-filled room, charmingly furnished with ample benches and tables made from reclaimed wood, feels less like a full-blown bakery than it does a homey coffeehouse where one of the owners (Glatte, who is also the pastry chef at Busetto's local restaurant, Firehouse, does all of the baking) just happens to be churning out cookies, pies and scones in the exposed kitchen—and then arranging them on pretty platters to be purchased along with your coffee (Stumptown).
The relatively limited assortment of goods has included whole-wheat banana or pumpkin muffins ($2.50) and orange-currant and cheddar green-onion scones ($2.50), and will typically include one variety of seasonal pie, available by the slice ($3.50). The buttery, tender, lattice-crusted apple ones we sampled (the variety of apple changing with each visit) were more applesaucey than crispy—definitely a plus on my pie chart. A unique take on the standard chocolate-chip cookie ($1.50) scored high with a brown sugary-sweetness surrounding both bittersweet and intense, unsweetened chocolate. Trust me, this totally works.
The unique and toothsome buckwheat Breton cake ($2.50/slice) leans toward the savory, and a creamy butternut squash, chanterelle and ricotta strata ($4) will also please the not-so-sweet of tooth.
Seasonal pies are made to order; current selection includes pear-cardamom crumble, pumpkin (chiffon, chocolate or traditional), maple pecan, winter fruit and coconut cream, to name only a few. Cakes (bundts, loaves, tortes and layered) are also available upon request. A whole ricotta orange bundt ($22) was dense and aromatic upon purchase, becoming only more moist and flavorful as it was noshed into oblivion over the ensuing days. When it comes to flavors, Woodlawn is a coffee shop that thinks outside the bun.
- Order this: A slice of seasonal pie ($3.50)
- Best deal: Bundt cakes, made to order ($22)
- I’ll pass: The banana muffin could be more…banana-y.
Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry, 808 NE Dekum St., 954-2412, woodlawncoffee.com. 6:30 am-4 pm Monday-Friday, 7:30 am-4 pm Saturday-Sunday. $. See website for custom orders.