Sidewalk Citizen Bakery and Delicatessen
Chocolate Bread and Banana Nut Bread Samples
Oatmeal and Mixed Fruit Cookie
Lychee, Rosewater, Blueberry and Pomegranate Cream Danish
Located in Kensington, essentially a counter inside the Sunnyside Natural Food Market that opens at 9:00am, it was just as ownership was unlocking doors that myself and three others walked in to a space lined with ingredients and products from some of Alberta’s most prominent artisans, the earthy smell of Organic Produce competing with Yeast and Sugar emanating from Aviv Fried’s Sidewalk Citizen Bakery to its right.
An interesting story of a self-taught Israeli immigrant and his passion for a craft that spawned something far bigger, the Sidewalk Citizen concept launched in 2010 as a bike-delivery service for hand-crafted Loaves with proceeds donated to charity before traveling as far as Nepal for the sake of enlightenment, the baker’s return to Calgary followed by the opening of an East Village brick and mortar and subsequent Sunnyside offerings.
Staffed by three people at this early hour, phone orders coming in as local business people arrived to pick up pre -orders, it was after a period of standing back to peruse that a four-item order was selected, samples of Banana Nut and Chocolate Quick Breads foreshadowing good things as both were rich and natural without overwhelming the natural flavors with sweeter tones.
Taking a bag plus one box to a nearby seating area where a small child and her mother practiced ABCs it was no surprise that both a fresh-from-the pan Sticky Bun as well as the Almond Croissant were still warm, the former a springy Brioche masterpiece loaded with Cinnamon and Brown Sugar while the later unfortunately failed miserably with a center filled to bursting with cloying, gooey Frangipane.
Immediately throwing away 80% of the Croissant, the description of ‘compost’ on a small can not seeming applicable to something so exaggeratedly sweet, better bites were sought and found amidst the flexible Oatmeal Cookie dotted in dried Fruit while the Lychee Danish spoke well of Aviv’s lamination skills with crisp layers rich in Butter surrounding a smooth filling that was fragrant but not overpowering in its floral notes.