Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Cinnamon Roll at Square One Brewery

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2011 at 9:00 AM

  • Aimee Levitt

The idea of going to a microbrewery for Sunday brunch brings to mind the Replacements song "Beer for Breakfast." It begins, "All I wanna do is drink beer for breakfast/All I wanna eat is them barbecue chips" and ends, "Halle-fucking-lujah, I'm a bum!" It really is a wonderful song.

It's all wrong for Sunday brunch at Square One Brewery. Maybe it's because brunch is an entirely different entity than breakfast, a far more genteel institution, which explains why at Square One on a Sunday morning, you're more likely to see a Bloody Mary, not a straight up pint. (Not that you order alcohol anyway, out of deference to the small children at the table.)

So no beer for breakfast, no barbecue chips. Instead there's the cinnamon roll.

It's an entirely different entity than the mammoth cinnamon roll that has captured the public imagination, largely thanks to Cinnabon, which spews its distinctive and irresistible aroma down the hallways of the main terminal of Lambert Airport and always seems like just the thing to help you overcome the irritations and humiliations of the security line until you get about halfway through and the mass of sugar and empty calories settles deeply and irrevocably in the pit of your stomach, a feeling similar to that of self-loathing.

No, this cinnamon roll is oblong and light and doesn't try to kill you with sweetness. It was made with actual butter by someone who actually understands how to make pastry: The inside is all flaky layers instead of a viscous, syrupy mess. The cream cheese frosting has a nice, refreshing tang. It's big enough to share, but if you're a selfish pig and eat the whole damned thing yourself, it won't make you sick. (And kudos to whoever came up with the idea of serving it with fruit, which gives the illusion that everything on the plate is good for you.)

As a matter of fact, it has only one flaw: Though it smells like cinnamon and has clearly visible sprinklings of cinnamon, it doesn't really taste very much of cinnamon. But that is the price one pays for elegance.

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