Grand Central Bakery
Various locations – Portland and Seattle
Quite awhile ago I told you about the oatmeal raisin at New Seasons Market, a cookie that is baked on site at the New Seasons bakery – from dough made by Grand Central Bakery.
The oatmeal raisin at New Seasons, however, is not the same oatmeal raisin cookie that you will find at an actual Grand Central Bakery. They are both very respectable versions of the oatmeal raisin category (one of my all time favorites, in case this isn’t obvious by now), but the one that Grand Central makes for their own bakeries wins my vote for 1st place between the two. I guess it only makes sense that Grand Central would send out their star player under their own brand. Sort of like Gap vs. Old Navy? Maybe not quite, but…something like that.
Truthfully, I can’t believe I haven’t give this cookie its propers until now. But when I was visiting Grand Central today it hit me that I had not, and that its exclusion from Carpe Cookie has been criminal at worst and just plain shoddy cookie reporting at best.
• It is as classic an o.r.c as they come. Not necessarily the best EVER, but completely solid and always pleasing. Note: it improves with age; try it the second day for optimal chewiness and flavor saturation.
• No nuts, firm, but with pliable give (not crispy). Great texture – gives your jaw a bit of a workout, prolonging the experience. I’m all for my cookie moment being drawn out as long as possible.
• Contains both golden and dark raisins – not too many, not too few.
• Adequately salted – more salted than the ones made for New Seasons. This (proper salting of a cookie) is woefully still the exception (in general cookie reality) rather than the rule.
Grand Central’s is 65% more expensive than New Seasons’, but I’d say it’s at least 40-50% larger. As I think about it, the size of this cookie really is perfect. Not too big that polishing off an entire one will make you hang your head in shame, and big (and satisfying) enough that you aren’t plotting to buy a second as you eat the last bite of your first.
As much as I like and appreciate this rock steady and upstanding cookie and will continue to return to it again and again, I am reserving tippy-top oatmeal honors for Bakery Nouveau and Common Grounds.