12 Sweet Midwest Bakeries
Maiden Rock, Wisconsin: Smiling Pelican Bakeshop
Try to time a visit to Maiden Rock on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday (from April through December), because those are the only days this terrific little bakery, housed in an 1870s home right on Highway 35, is open.
The rest of the week, chef Sandra Thielman is busy prepping for the weekend's bounty. And what a bounty it is: several kinds of breads, a half-dozen types of cookies, three or more types of pie (by the slice or whole pies to go), muffins, quiche and more. On our visit, pie choices included lemon cheesecake, three berry and chocolate Jack Daniels cheesecake. The latter is rich and thick, with a robust whiskey flavor. Carrot-ginger muffins come with generous chunks of carrot and the subtle spice of ginger.
The quiches are thick and stout, making for hearty meals. A spinach quiche held ham, cheese, mushrooms, sweet yellow peppers and fresh spinach. Thielman's unique Reuben quiche -- corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and onions in a rye crust -- is bold, rich and surprisingly well-balanced. In other words, it's an unexpected delight, just like this bakery itself (715/448-3807) - Gustave Axelson