Walk into Foxtail Bakeshop & Kitchen and you'll be greeted by a friendly 6-foot brown fox. The creature is part of a mural spanning two stories, surrounded by larger-than-life flowers, raspberries, strawberries and winged creatures. The mural was painted for the space by local artists, Katie Daisy and Karen Eland, and it sets the mood. Your taste buds are going on an adventure.
For the four years prior to opening the cafe, Nickol Hayden-Cady, a Culinary Institute of America graduate in Pastry Arts, had a tiny shop on Columbia Street, producing pastries and specialty cakes. Hayden-Cady constructs the type of wedding cakes you find on Pinterest dream boards—tiered creations adorned by nature and fresh flowers. They're decadent and technique-driven, without seeming ostentatious.
Hayden-Cady recently opened the cafe in The Box Factory because she "loves breakfast and lunch, and wanted to create a space that was cozy, different and served pastries." She also wanted to "provide the community a space that makes people happy." To bring that to fruition she partnered with her mom, Laura Hayden, and brought on savory chef Dave Bodi, previously of Bangarang Haute Cuisine.
Just before the space opened, Hayden-Cady gave birth to her second son. Most women would rightfully need time to recover and adjust, but she was back in the kitchen immediately. Gazing at her new restaurant, she said, "One day I'll look around and cry that I did it but for now I just have to get things done."
The bright, open cafe is like a whimsical woodland landscape, with artistic accents everywhere. Rolling pins serve as spindles on the staircase and some tables have fluid, colorful paintings by Karen Ruane embedded in them. With so much visual excitement I couldn't wait to see how the food would look. Hayden-Cady, still at the pastry helm, shares her savory inspiration with Chef Bodi, who she says, "puts it on a plate." He also does some of his own specials, too.
A little too much and it tastes like perfume; just enough and it hangs on your palate like you're walking through a field of flowers. I walked through that field when I sank my teeth into the floral, buttery pastry. I tasted just enough of the flower to keep wanting more.tweet this
I visited for breakfast and ordered the day dreamer, a Liege Belgian waffle with pistachio panna cotta, marionberry compote topped with a cloud of pink cotton candy and sprinkled with tiny purple flower petals and crushed pistachios. I thought a unicorn may be at work in the kitchen because the dish looked magical. With such a party on the plate, I expected the dish to be cloyingly sweet, but it was delicate and delicious.
Next, I tried the savory waffle, a riff on an eggs benedict, with a sweet potato sage waffle, poached egg, smoked paprika hollandaise and a side of lightly dressed greens. The waffle was fried; perfectly crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. The rich egg yolk and creamy smoked hollandaise were flavorful and a great counterpoint to the crisp waffle and arugula salad.
Both Bodi and Hayden-Cady know how to push flavors to the limit—a skill that isn't easy to master. A perfect example is the meadow roll, a violet croissant for which Hayden-Cady uses a deft hand. Violet is an extremely hard flavor to work with. A little too much and it tastes like perfume; just enough and it hangs on your palate like you're walking through a field of flowers. I walked through that field when I sank my teeth into the floral, buttery pastry. I tasted just enough of the flower to keep wanting more.
For now, Foxtail Bakeshop & Kitchen serves breakfast, lunch and a selection of pastries including cheesecake, French macarons, tarts, custards, cookies and Pop-Tarts. They have a few gluten-free options, as well as specialty cakes for weddings, birthdays and special occasions. In the future Hayden-Cady hopes to add a dessert bar experience, with a high end, coursed menu. Each dish will be paired with wine by Bodi, a Level 1-certified sommelier. With that, expect the type of dining experience you'd find in foodie cities such as Portland but don't see often enough in Bend.