Dining Out: Bakehouse does bagels just right

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Why: Bakehouse moved into the vacated Taco Del Mar space in the neighborhood of 192nd and Southeast 34th Street in June. The establishment specializes in bagels made from scratch daily with a focus on wholesome local ingredients, and the bagels are kettle boiled before they are oven baked for genuine bagel appeal. With at least two dozen types of bagels to choose from, in addition to breakfast and lunch sandwiches and flavored cream cheeses, Bakehouse is a one-stop bagel shop for take-out or dining in.

Atmosphere: The space has morphed from the south-of-the-border look of Taco Del Mar to a sort of farmhouse personality by means of decor fixtures, leaving the color scheme and layout of the former tenant intact. It's not quite the light, bright palette one expects for a bake shop, and it serves to focus emphasis on the product.

What I tried: I decided on the chicken salad sandwich on a Bakehouse bagel, and my dining companion had the roasted turkey on a poppy seed bagel. I also chose an assorted baker's dozen to take home that included both sweet as well as cheese and seed variety bagels. Both my dining companion and I requested our bagels be toasted for our sandwiches to bring out the bagel's optimum flavor. The sandwiches were served wrapped in paper and accompanied by kettle potato chips.

My chicken salad bagel sandwich included lettuce and tomato along with the chicken salad. The ingredients were balanced in quantity, prohibiting any one element from overwhelming. The chicken salad was a simple mix of mayonnaise and quality chicken and the Bakehouse bagel, which is crusted with various types of seeds, complemented the ingredients.

My dining companion enjoyed his roasted turkey selection, made with bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes and cheddar cheese in addition to the turkey. All the ingredients were fresh and flavorful.

Of the baker's dozen I brought home, my favorite sweet ones were the almond and the cinnamon roll. The almond bagel was topped with cinnamon and sugar, and thin-sliced, toasted almonds. The cinnamon roll bagel offered a delicious alternative to the traditional experience. It had a light dusting of cinnamon as compared to a gooey roll and just enough frosting to dress it up and provide added sweetness.

My favorite of the savory bagel selections that I took home were the Tillamook cheddar for its rich simplicity and the Olive Tree for its hearty character.

The least impressive of my assorted baker's dozen was the sun-dried tomato because the tomatoes had become burnt in the oven-baking step of creation.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: Some other bagel flavors include an Everything Bagel, tomato pesto, sesame seed, onion, bacon cheddar, asiago cheese jalapeno pepper jack, cracked peppercorn, s'more, stuffed berry french toast, cinnamon raisin, and chocolate chip.

Other observations: The staff is friendly and cheerful, and the shop is very clean and tidy.

Cost: Individual bagels are $1.25 -- with various toppings $2.10 to $3.50. Baker's dozen is $8.99. Cream cheese tubs are $3.49 each. Breakfast sandwiches are $3.49 to $4.95. Lunch sandwiches are $6.49 to $8.95.

Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Telephone: 971-295-6797.

Where: 19111 S.E. 34th St., Suite 101, Vancouver.

Web: bakehousepdx.com.

Health score: Bakehouse has received a pre-opening inspection and is scheduled to receive a routine inspection sometime in the near future. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants that score 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.