Category Archives: Bakeries

Butterflake Bake Shop

Butterflake's storefront

First things first: Butterflake is not in New York. It’s in Teaneck, New Jersey—about 15 minutes from the George Washington Bridge. But nut-free bakeries are hard to come by, so I decided do a quick post on this one anyway.

And Butterflake truly is nut-free. It says so very clearly on their website, and there’s even a sign behind the counter:

No nuts! Butter flake Bakery is committed to a nut free policy using no nuts or any nut products in the preparation of our baked goods. All attempts are made to secure nut free ingredients. Butterflake Bakery can not certify that all of the ingredients are processed in facilities that do not process nut products.

About as promising as these types of policies come, really. Some places go through the trouble of ensuring their vendors’ facilities are nut-free, too, but the vast majority don’t—which is a bummer, but whaddaya gonna do? Usually, one layer of nut-free-facility-ness is enough to sooth my nerves, so I’m fine with Butterflake. And I particularly like that they openly classified themselves as nut-free, both online and in-store. For some reason—liabilities, perhaps—a lot of similar places don’t.

Butterflake's 7" Shadow Cake

Anyway: Butterflake is a kosher bakery with a pretty wide array of stuff (cookies, cakes, brownies, rugelach, breads, donuts, bialys—the works). It’s tiny and cluttered, and the employees aren’t the friendliest people in the world, but it isn’t an unpleasant place. I mean, it’s filled with nut-free baked goods. How much can I really afford to complain about?

I found it incredibly difficult to choose between all of Butterflake’s options. First—as in, while still on the premises—I had an onion bialy, and it was all right, though certainly a little drier than I would’ve liked. I reheated a second at home, though, and it was worlds better than the first. That’s what I get for eating an untoasted bialy, I suppose.

I also brought home a 7″ Shadow Cake (two layers of vanilla cake and a layer of chocolate cake with both chocolate and vanilla frosting—exhale—pictured above), which was pretty decent, if a bit boring. And knowing I probably wouldn’t get a chance to come back any time soon, I also got a giant chocolate brownie, which was a bit too sweet for me, but which I did my best to take down nonetheless.

I don’t know whether I’ll ever end up back at Butterflake—it’s far away, and their food isn’t so good as to be worth the trouble of finding a ride—but I’m certainly glad I stopped by. There’s something about being able to walk into a bakery and choose anything, even if the products themselves aren’t anything special. (And the food wasn’t bad by any means—especially if you’re really into sugar.)

Find Butterflake at 448 Cedar Lane (again, that’s in Teaneck). They also have an online store, which just might be worth a try.

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The Donut Pub

A cannoli cream croissant donut from The Donut Pub

It’s extremely rare that I can eat at a bakery, so when I first heard about The Donut Pub, it seemed too good to be true. A nut-free donut shop? With sandwiches? And bagels?! No way.

Way.

According to the FAQ on The Donut Pub’s website, they are the real goddamn deal:

Q. Are you a Nut Free Establishment?
A. WE ARE NUT AWARE. Our on-site bakery does not use nuts, and we have been assured by our suppliers that they deliver nut-free ingredients as specified by their labels. Although we do not allow customers to bring outside food into the Pub, we cannot assure customers a nut-free environment. Thus we call the Donut Pub “Nut Aware.” Note that we supply donuts to the Food Allergy Initiative luncheon.

So no, they don’t call themselves “nut-free.” But by their definitions, “nut-aware” is probably even better. They are, for all intents and purposes, nut-free; they don’t use nuts and they do vet their suppliers. But they’re so careful and so allergy-conscious that they don’t want to make any outright guarantees, which is, to me, a very good sign. No business can guarantee that a nut will never cross the threshold—The Donut Pub’s just decided to be honest about that. So in my eyes, this place is about as safe as it gets.

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It’s a cute little place, with one long marble countertop and a bunch of stools. The employees are friendly, and they won’t get annoyed when you, too, inevitably feel the need to ask all the questions they’ve been answering on loop all day: “What’s in that one? Oh, and that one? How about that one over there?”

The donuts are pretty tasty, too. They aren’t absolutely incredible, but if you catch the right donut at the right time of day, The Donut Pub can be really, really good. The stock is pretty inconsistent, but it’s always a good day when I walk in and spot whatever it was I was looking for. My favorites, by a long shot, are the cannoli cream croissant donuts and the French crullers, both pictured in the photos above—although my official recommendation would probably be the (plain) glazed croissant donut.

Unfortunately, their bagels aren’t the ones of my dreams. Still, nut-free bagels are notoriously hard to come by, so I’ll often settle for theirs in a pinch. As long as you don’t have your heart set on a fluffy, chewy New York City bagel, one of theirs will do the trick. Beware, though: Their menu advertises scallion cream cheese, but they’re always, always, always “out” of it.

In any case, The Donut Pub is a lovely place. It’s one of my favorites, and I’d certainly still stop by if I didn’t have a nut allergy. In case you aren’t yet convinced, here’s a bonus photo of a tray of croissant donuts, fresh out of the oven at around midnight on a Saturday night:

A tray of croissant donuts at The Donut Pub

See for yourself: 203 West 14th Street, near the corner of 7th Avenue. Worth a try, at the very least.

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