I was slow cooking some marinara sauce Thursday, which, of course, needed some crusty bread to go along with it. And maybe some baked goods for dessert.
I've been thrilled lately with the growth in bakeries around Raleigh where I can pick up some fresh bread or a melt-in-your-mouth pastry or cookie. I wrote about Yellow Dog Bread Company last year.
This week, it was time to try another one - Night Kitchen Bakehouse & Cafe, which opened last fall. The bakery and shop sits in the Seaboard Station shops just north of downtown next to William Peace University.
The shop features an assortment of fresh baked breads, cookies and other pastries. This week, behind the glass case, there was roasted banana bread, dark chocolate brownie, cinnamon creme fresh danish, croissants and several cookies. I let my five-year-old order, which meant we left with all chocolate - the brownie, a chocolate chunk cookie and something called a chocolate cork, which was described as a cross between chocolate cake and a brownie.
The cookie was crisp and sweet. The brownie was dense and moist. And that chocolate cork, shaped kind of like a big cork, was aptly described. I'll admit it. I didn't share that one with my kids.
Of course, I couldn't forget the bread! The wall of bread behind the counter offered sourdough batards, nine-grain boules and baguettes, among other choices. We left with a baguette, which had a perfect chewy crust for dipping into that sauce.
The shop features a handful of tables, filled with businessmen when we visited in the mid-afternoon. But, with its collection of cookies and sweet treats, it's definitely kid friendly. I look forward to going with my family for breakfast.
You could easily pair a visit here with a trip to a downtown Raleigh museum or even to Logan Trading Company, also in Seaboard, where you can load up on plants and other items for your yard.
Pastries ranged in price between about $1.50 for cookies and $3.25. Breads run about $3.25 for a baguette to about $5.25 for bigger loaves. Night Kitchen also makes its own bagels. The cafe serves up coffee drinks and has a small lunch menu.
Night Kitchen, which has got to take its name from the Maurice Sendak children's book of a similar name about a boy's dream through a baker's kitchen, is at 10 W. Franklin St., in Raleigh.