Kneaders Bakery & Café
Chunky Cinnamon French Toast
Apple Cinnamon Pecan Bread Pudding
German Chocolate Brownie
Chocolate Chunk Cookie, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie
Chocolate Dipped Pecan Tussie
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake
One of two Las Vegas locations for the rapidly expanding chain from Utah, an early morning meeting at Kneaders Bakery & Café showed the restaurant to be something akin to the ‘quick-casual’ experience offered at places like Panera or Great Harvest Bread Company, the focus a bit more on breakfast and baked goods than the others with otherwise similar ideas and pricing.
Opened in April 2016 and garnering mixed reviews in an evolving area with no lack of options for grabbing an abbreviated meal or something sweet, Kneaders brings the concept of “European Hearth Breads, made from scratch” from Gary and Colleen Worthington to the masses with a concise menu featuring Soups, Salads and Sandwiches, a few shortcuts undoubtedly taken in expanding the original iteration but still focused on doing as much as possible in-house each day.
Staffed by a youthful team of smiling faces, table service offered along with grab n’ go choices plus Drive-thru, entrance to Kneader’s brings patrons face-to-face with several loaves of Bread and other Pastries; Coffee, Tea and Soda service a DIY situation with Smoothies and Blends also offered for those in the mood for such things.
Pairing a small General Store with Gift Baskets to the experience, items currently offered largely Halloween-themed, it was after exchanging $28.35 for a sizable order that seats were taken at a table in the front corner of the space nearest Eastern Avenue, a pair of mistakes in boxed-to-go selections quickly remedied, though had the contents not been perused prior to leaving a rude surprise would have been found several miles away.
Starting off with two Kneaders classics, the Chunky Cinnamon French Toast only offered with Fruit, Cream and ‘Caramel-Syrup’ despite suggestions on the website of a Banana Cream version, it seems as though the baked slices would benefit greatly from more custard or a quick-sear to impart a little more texture, a far better composition found in Frosting-topped Bread Pudding of which three different flavors are available, the one with Apples and Pecans perfect for Autumn thought the German Chocolate version also looked quite grand.
Completely underwhelming with the doughy Cinnamon Roll, a far better version offered at CRAFTkitchen just up the road, German Chocolate cravings were quashed by a gooey Brownie beneath layers of Coconut and Pecan topping, a trio of Cookies unfortunately seeing ‘Chocolate Chunk’ lacking in its eponymous ingredient while the Oatmeal Raisin and Reeses-esque Peanut Butter versions were well constructed with a soft center and crisp edges.
Fortunately recognizing the requested Carrot Cake to have been replaced by seasonal Chocolate Chip Pumpkin layers it was with both tasted that Kneaders proved more capable than other similar spots of creating something on par with a restaurant quality dessert, each $3.99 stack offering far more spice than sweetness with good cake to frosting ratio, the “Tussie” like a miniature Pecan Pie better on the un-dipped side as the Chocolate came across a bit too sweet and waxy.
THREE AND A HALF STARS: Pricy for what it is, though really no different from other similar ideas in today’s “quick casual” culture, Kneaders offers a slightly different look from Panera to those looking for a soup, salad, sandwich or pastry, though in an area with the likes of CRAFTKitchen and others nearby the simple fact is that residents of Henderson and Las Vegas can support a local business and eat far better for only a few cents extra.
RECOMMENDED: Carrot Cake, German Chocolate Brownie, Apple Cinnamon Pecan Bread Pudding.
AVOID: Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate Chunk Cookie, Splenda-only Artificial Sweetener selection.
TIP: A frequent-customer card offers 5% cash-back on all purchases, good towards a future visit.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.