Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Downtown's Bread N Butter Cafe (and the story of Cornell Bread)

One of the most interesting things about living in a historic downtown area is the unique blend of shops and restaurants you'll find that are often virtually unknown (tragically) by the outside world.

Downtown Rogers is no exception - have you tried the Bread N Butter Baking Cafe?  It's easy to overlook, since you won't find it hyped up online or even listed in some of the traditional places.  But stroll north along West Walnut and you'll find it wedged in the back of Steamboat Annie's Antiques on the east side of the 100 block.  It's a great spot for a weekday lunch, with daily specials, phenomenal quiche (do not even try to resist - just try it) and cozy atmosphere.  Speaking of which, forget that "real men don't eat quiche" business - real men are missing out in this case!

Proprietress Victoria also makes absolutely fantastic "baby cakes" - little muffin size morsels of loveliness.  There's chocolate cheesecake, lemon, apple spice and a variety of others.  In fact, Ms. Victoria made a lovely tower of them as a one-of-a-kind birthday cake for my daughter's birthday party last year, which was perfect - each child (and grown-up) just grabbed their favorite flavor!

But here's the most interesting tidbit about Bread N Butter: they carry Cornell Bread.  There is an intriguing story behind the recipe, although it is enough for you to know that the bread is fantastic, tasty and healthy.  Make it your new local stop and stock up on your weekly loaves at the cafe.

Mother Earth News carried a fairly comprehensive article on Cornell Bread (or McCay's Miracle Loaf) in 1981.  The short version of the story: a professor of nutrition at Cornell University developed a bread recipe with wheat germ and other products added to it in the 1930s.  The bread was targeted toward low-income New York neighborhoods, nursing homes and schools, where it's high protein content and healthful attributes would be a benefit.  Of course, like all good things, it was slow to catch on - folks still preferred "spongy white bread."  Regardless, Ms. Victoria and the gang at Bread N Butter will tell you all about Cornell Bread or Hy-Bread and the benefits to the recipe.  You can pick up sliced or unsliced loaves of the bread, and there is even a white whole wheat version if you're having trouble convincing your family to give up their spongy white bread.

Check out Bread N Butter Cafe for lunch, catering, desserts or as your new local source for fresh, preservative-free, healthy loaves of bread.  It's another one of those hidden treasures in historic downtown Rogers!


  1. I didn't know about this great place! The Cornell bread has me intrigued since I am a bread baker. Thanks for giving us heads up on great things to do in Rogers!
    Joy C.

  2. Thanks for the tip! I recently discovered Ezekiel sprouted grain bread, but I've never heard of Cornell bread. I'll have to try it out the next time I'm in Rogers. :)