B-Side Baking Co. Easily Finds Fans

West Oakland makes room for B-Side Baking Co.


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Scones, quiches, puff pastries, and banana walnut muffins are on offer at B-Side Baking Co.

Photo by Lori Eanes

 

A few weeks after West Oakland’s B-Side BBQ reopened as B-Side Baking Co., the décor and furnishings still hint at the previous establishment. Wood and metal cover every surface, and Old West photos remain on the wall, a Photoshopped Tanya Holland slyly peeking out from the past.

The chef and owner behind parent restaurant Brown Sugar Kitchen, Holland found the barbecue business model too taxing, so now B-Side Baking Co.—led by former Brown Sugar Kitchen baker Celeste Scott—will prep the baked goods for both restaurants while trying to turn the neighborhood smoke pit into a neighborhood coffee joint.

B-Side Baking Co.’s initial offerings focus on commuters’ needs—pastries, tea, and coffee from local roasters RoastCo. Soon the menu will expand to include brunch cocktails such as mimosas and bloody Marys and lunch dishes, including Brown Sugar Kitchen’s famous fried chicken. Residents already have taken to the coffee-and-cafe options, because B-Side Baking Co. proves its modus operandi is quality, not quantity.

Consider the quiche: The airy egg above a layer of onions, asparagus, and goat cheese is inconceivably light—akin to intangible silken tofu—cradled by a thin, flaky crust that gives high hope for the rotating selection of pies. Often featuring seasonal ingredients, past pie tins have overflowed with lemon buttermilk and strawberry-rhubarb confections.

The coffee cake and sweet and savory puff pastries rotate as well, while the rest of the pastry case features tried-and-true offerings from Brown Sugar Kitchen plus soon-to-be new favorites. The bacon, cheese, and scallion biscuit gives off the unmistakable aroma of high-quality bacon, the biscuit’s bottom crisped from melting butter. The solid, but not dense, layers practically beg to bookend a breakfast egg sandwich. The banana caramel walnut muffin, on the other hand, is perfection on its own, dotted with sliced bananas and topped with walnut halves, covered in a brown sugar glaze reminiscent of a pineapple upside down cake. Modeled after a cake of Scott’s creation, the soft muffin makes up for every dense, dry banana bread you’ve ever suffered through. Thanks, B-Side Baking Co., for a new way of looking at banana bread—and West Oakland.

B-Side Baking Co., 3303 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, 510-595-0227.

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