5th Street Bakehouse953 W. Fifth St.
Reno, NV 89503
I’ve enjoyed countless daydreams where I’m the owner of a bakery surrounded by all the delicacies you can create with butter, sugar, yeast and love. All the neighborhood kids would flock to my store and adore me more than Santa Claus. At the end of the day though, it’ll never happen. Luckily, there are places like 5th Street Bakehouse living the dream.
I like the moniker “bakehouse.” It’s a better fit than “bakery,” given the small variety of baked goods. In fact, apart from the breads, I’d say their creamery and hearty sandwiches are the stars of the show. It’s located in a not-so-pleasant strip mall on the corner of West Fifth Street and Keystone Avenue next to a head shop and a loan center. I had to walk past a domestic squabble to get into the place, which is clean, quiet and very simple.
The service was warm and inviting but definitely a comedy of errors. One young lady had it together, but everyone else seemed a little confused. I was overcharged for one item, undercharged for another, not charged for two items, and mislead on some ingredients. However, it was all done so politely, I didn’t really mind.
My wife, Kat, ordered the California ($3.95) from the breakfast menu: egg whites, Monterey Jack, avocado and tomato on the homemade focaccia. The eggs were all fluffed up nicely, and the bread, though I think it was a potato bun and not focaccia, had a thin crust enveloping a wonderfully soft center. I ordered the chipotle chicken sandwich ($6.45): a grilled chicken breast, chipotle aioli, Anaheim pepper relish, Monterey Jack, romaine and red onions on a potato roll with a side of potato salad. What made this dish particularly special was the homemade aioli and pepper relish, which brought some sweetness and spice to the savory chicken. The potato salad contained some snappy green beans and corn. While the mayonnaise did bind it all together, it wasn’t overpowering, allowing the pimientos and paprika to provide the side with a tangy flavor.
After lunch, we tried a scoop of the mango sorbet and a scoop of the cookies ’n’ cream ($1.25 each). Both tasted great, especially the mango, which was remarkably refreshing. However, they’ve got to do a better job of cleaning off the scooper between flavors. The vibrantly orange mango was speckled in places with little bits of chocolate cookie.
Before leaving, I ordered a few things to go. I picked a coconut oatmeal cookie ($1), a cinnamon roll ($2.25) and the Cuban sandwich ($6.75). The Cuban is a meaty wonder filled with roasted pork, ham, Swiss, mustard and pickles on a French roll and then grilled. The pork was delicious, and the sandwich tasted as good as it sounds.
On the other hand, I wasn’t that impressed with the baked goods. The breads worked on the sandwiches, but they were simple, and I’d like to see some more variety, especially a whole wheat choice. The sweets were also disappointing, which I might have guessed from the cheesecake on display. It was sunken, cracked, pretty mangled and should have been hidden away. My cinnamon roll certainly looked more edible, but there wasn’t nearly enough icing or gooey filling to balance out the rather dry dough, making it a tough roll to swallow.
Those sandwiches are definitely worth going back for. And because they’re only a $1.25, I’d probably eat an ice cream cone while there. However, I’d like to see the baked goods get the loving attention you’d expect from a place calling itself a bakehouse.