By Sydney Sznajder
As much as I love the weekend nights, sometimes it’s too easy to fall into bed at godawful-o’clock on Friday and not roll over until 2 p.m. the next morning. By the time I’m showered, dressed and fed, the sun is setting all over again and it’s time to get ready for the evening. Forget about a leisurely Saturday morning, let alone getting any homework done.
So, when Kay Wicker baited me with a sun bun and an 11 a.m. wakeup call, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to shake up my schedule.
The Evergrain Bakery, located on High Street in downtown Chestertown, is bustling at the tail end of Saturday morning. Customers are a mix of college students and town residents—some are here for a loaf of bread and a cup of coffee to go while others, like us, spread our bags and winter-wear out on one of the Evergrain’s few, coveted tables before heading up to the counter to pick out our breakfasts.
In the past year, the Evergrain Bakery has grown and now spans from 201 to 203 High St. Aside from creating a larger seating area, the expansion has made it possible for the establishment to add more prepared foods to the menu, including sandwiches, soup, quiche, and focaccia pizza.
On this day, however, as we waited for our turn at the register, staring through the glass of the display to the piles of beautiful, buttery, sugar-and-carb loaded pastries, I settled on an old love: the sun bun.
My friends choose ham-and-cheese croissants and at first I seem to be at a disadvantage: these are fat rectangles of savory goodness, heated up by request so that the pastry crackles when my companions bite down. My sun bun is smaller, straight out of the display case, a tight knot of doll wrapped together like a cinnamon roll. However, when I peel off the crunchiest outer layer and pop it in my mouth, I regret nothing.
A sun bun consists of croissant dough laid out, covered with cinnamon sugar, and rolled together. The result is crisp, flaky, and totally addictive, especially because the texture changes, becoming increasingly dense as the eater works their way inward.
No winter Saturday would be complete without a hot beverage. My friends are tempted by the lattes (the Evergrain is famous at Washington College for its $5.50 Nutella variety) but I decide against testing my novice taste for coffee and order a hot chocolate. It comes in a plain glass filled with three-quarters of rich liquid and one-quarter sweet, delicious foam. I go at it with a spoon as my friends and I sit back down at our table, cracking open our laptops and books in preparation for a few hours studying and people watching.
From morning to mid-afternoon rush, the Evergrain is never quiet—customers are constantly opening and slamming one of its two entrances and the staff bustles around, clearing tables and rearranging. On more than one occasion, they help new arrivals find places to sit, and are always willing to explain items on the menu, often with a, “It’s really good!” tacked on the end. We patrons create a thrum of activity through eating and conversation. For those of us who have spent entirely too much time staring at the white walls of our dorm rooms, the change of pace can be exactly what’s needed to get much-needed work done.
Aside from pastries and coffees, the Evergrain sells a variety of homemade breads, from baguettes to rye, and cookies (I’d suggest the mocha chocolate chip). Through this week, they also have Valentine’s-themed sweets available. I already have my eye on the chocolate-dipped shortbread in the case beside the register.