I know how to get to the East Side Bake Shop...take the McGee Creek exit on Highway 395 and take an immediate left on the Crowley Lake frontage road and it's on your left hand side of the road...where all the cars are parked.
To be perfectly honest, we stumbled upon the bake shop after doing some late afternoon activities on BLM land nearby.
I'm always on the quest for baked goods, pies, crumbles and scones tend to top the list for me. The Great Basin Bakery in Bishop is one of the better, albeit, less famous bakeries on the East Side. Schaat's in Mammoth and Bishop are the big bakeries on and off Highway 395.
The East Side Bake Shop is only a couple months new, but the quality speaks to someone baking a little longer than a couple months.
I felt immediately relaxed and at home inside the Bake Shop. The light was perfect, the log cabin feel, rustic; the smell of freshly baked goods permeated the room. A Siren Song of baked goods and savory treats...
The peach and strawberry crumble, fresh out of the oven was my immediate choice. My brother, looking for something more substantial, chose the quiche. My father, smartly chose the fresh fig bar.
My crumble was still warm when served in my deep, white bowl. I seriously thought twice about the dollup of whipped cream placed on top of my fruit dessert; almost wondering if I had fruit served with my whipped cream. Wonderfully satisfying crumble, not too sweet, hinted with spice, but only to accent the fruit. Delicious.
To test if the baker spices her baked goods similarly, I tried my Dad's fig bar. Totally different spice profile. A hearty fresh fig bar, the sweetness was more pronounced than my crumble, but balanced. I easily could have eaten one or taken one for later consumption.
My brother's quiche, the savory item for the afternoon, was equally well balanced. The salt profile was good and the eggs weren't overcooked. My brother and I tend to cook frittata 99 times out of 100, simply because we don't want to make a pie crust, but the same principles apply to both frittata and quiche, don't dry out the eggs and season more than you think.
Based upon my first experience at the Bake Shop, I went back again for a sample of two different scones, apricot and pecan spice.
The apricot, I snacked on during my drive from Mammoth over Tioga Pass and through Yosemite Valley back to Fresno. Scone two, the pecan spice, I ate for breakfast the next morning. Both scones had a crumble to them, not overly dense or "cake-like". Scones should have a certain lightness; credit to anyone who can bake at altitude.
I can say with confidence and ease that the East Side Bake Shop is one of the best bakeries on Highway 395 and worth the drive from Mammoth Lakes to grab breakfast or a mid afternoon snack.
Truly a great bakery.