TUKWILA, WASH. - Fresh bread is what 85c Bakery and Cafe is all about. It's so fresh that the cooking crew shouts "Fresh Bread!" each time a tray comes out of the oven and gets slid, still warm, into the self-serve racks.
These aren’t the usual earnest Seattle offerings -- come on -- would people be forming a line that snakes out the door on a wet Northwest day for an artisan baguette???
"Long line, every day it's been a long line, so we're just curious what kind of bread they have here,” said one woman waiting patiently in the line, which wrapped around the building at 10 am.
They're lining up to heap their trays at a self-serve bakery that offers up a hundred different items, all baked in-house.
From pillowy rolls to colorful cakes, to buns made with everything from taro root --to squid ink.
“This is a Calamari Stick -- this is our squid ink bread. Don't be intimidated by the ink, the color,” explained Emily Hu, 85c’s marketing director, as she put a blackish bun on her tray. "It’s truly yummy!"
It is. The soft bun is savory, with a hint of sweet. It’s glazed with garlic butter, and inside, there’s Swiss cheese. It tastes like a Hom Bao went on a crazy European adventure.
This is the first Washington state location of 85c – the most popular bakery chain in Taiwan. The name stands for 85 degrees Celsius -- the perfect temperature for brewing coffee, according to the bakery's founder.
Their best-selling drink -- an iced sea salt coffee -- comes sealed like a boba tea.
"The saltiness actually balances out the bitterness in the coffee, and brings more sweetness to the coffee,” Hu explained.
Judging from the lines, and the piles of pastries on the trays, this mashup of Taiwanese, Japanese and European baked goods is going to do very well at its new Southcenter location.
"You know, when we opened, we knew we would be really busy, but we didn't foresee the great reception we've gotten from the customers of Seattle -- it's been awesome,” said manager Matthew Alexander.
The purple Marble Taro loaf is the most popular one at this Pacific Northwest flagship store. It's swirled pastel surface is pretty, and it tastes pretty good too.
So grab a tray, and some tongs, and get yourself some bread at 85c.
If you're gonna overdose on carbs -- they might as well be cute.
85c Bakery and Cafe
1341 Southcenter Mall
Tukwila, WA 98188
Mon-Thu: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Fri-Sat: 7:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Sun: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
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