Dining Out: Battle Ground Bakery caters to early risers, lunch crowd

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Why: Battle Ground Bakery is more than just a bakery. Made-to-order deli sandwiches provide another quick lunch stop in the area if the local fast food options don't excite you. And if you don't require designer coffee to satisfy your java craving, you can pick up an espresso beverage as well.

The bakery has been in business for 11 years making cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pastries, donuts and more. Early hours, 7 days a week, makes the bakery a convenient place to procure some fresh baked goodness for the breakfast table.

Atmosphere: The building shows its age and is not particularly attractive but it is filled with the tantalizing aroma of fresh-baked items and sweet-filled goodies. There are two farm-style tables with chairs, as well as a window-side counter with bar stools. Four bakery cases display the selections for the day, complimentary water is on hand, and daily newspapers are dispersed about to allow customers to catch up on the latest headlines.

What I tried: I stopped in for a deli sandwich and chose a variety of items to take home with me.

I settled on a Turkey and Swiss sandwich with Potato Salad. The sandwich was made with fresh, quality ingredients on the bakery's wheat bread, which I found to be soft with a medium density and a sturdy, pliable crust that helped hold the sandwich together. The fixings were added in generous quantities and the sandwich was satisfying. The potato salad is not made at the bakery but it was good. It had a chunky and creamy texture with a flavor punctuated by pickles and mustard.

I purchased a Carrot Cake and a loaf of Wheat Bread to take home. In addition, I selected some baked goods that included a Chocolate Frosted Chocolate Cake Donut, an Old Fashioned Glazed Donut, a Bearclaw, a Marionberry and Cream Cheese Danish, an Apple Fritter, an Apple Strudel, a Chocolate Frosted Éclair, a Chocolate Chip M&M Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie, a Lemon Frosted Lemon Cookie, and a Garlic Spinach and Feta Cheese Croissant.

The Carrot Cake and the éclair were my least favorite. The ratio of frosting to cake was approximately 50/50. I would not have counted this against it if the cream cheese in the frosting had not been overwhelmed by sugar. I prefer a strong cream cheese presence in the frosting. As for the cake -- it was a coarse mix heavy with raisins and shredded carrot. The flavor reminded me of spice cake. The éclair was filled with a Bavarian cream and whip cream mixture that was very aerated compared to a pure Bavarian cream filling, which I prefer for its custard quality. The pastry and frosting of the éclair was comparable to others that I've had.

The other pastry selections that I tried were flaky and buttery. I thought the savory flavor of the Garlic Spinach and Feta Cheese Croissant would pair well with a green salad for a light lunch.

The Apple Strudel's pastry was heavier than that of the Danishes and accommodated the apple filling without absorbing too much of the glaze so as to become mushy. The apples in the filling were diced small instead of sliced, which allowed more apple goodness in each bite.

Both of the cookies that I tried were scrumptious. The flavor of the lemon one reminded me of lemon coolers – a favorite of mine as a kid, although the bakery's lemon cookie possessed all the homemade qualities that a boxed cookie is deprived of.

Donuts at the bakery are made from a commonly used donut mix. They tasted fresh and did not have any trace of used oil flavor -- too often a regular part of a donut shop experience.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: Specialty cakes for all occasions may be ordered.

Quick breads are available during the holidays.

Other observations: Butter is used in most of the baked goods unless shortening is required to maintain the integrity of the recipe.

Service was prompt and friendly.

Emphasis is not on the dining accommodations, but the space is suitable enough to enjoy a short respite from a busy schedule.

Cost: Pastries range from $2 to $2.75. Donuts are .90 to $1.50. Cookies are mostly $1. Ready-made cakes are $8.50 for a 1-layer and $17.00 for a 2-layer. Sandwiches are $3.75 for a half sandwich plus chips or $5.50 for a whole sandwich with chips. Coffee beverages start at $1.25 for basic coffee and top out at $3.

Hours: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

Telephone: 360-666-2486

Where: 1910 W. Main St., Battle Ground

Health score: Battle Ground Bakery received a score of 0 on May 10. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants that score 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.