Sunny Side Restaurant in downtown Medford serves freshly baked croissants with butter and jam. Photos by Sarah Lemon
An almond croissant in the foreground and a raisin snail complement locally roasted coffee at the Coquette Bakery in Central Point. Photos by Sarah Lemon
Freshly baked baguettes are the go-to for sandwiches, including turkey and brie, at Coquette Bakery in Central Point. Photos by Sarah Lemon
Cerberus coffee from Jacksonville is served at the Sunny Side Restaurant in downtown Medford. Photos by Sarah Lemon
Jambon beurre is a classic French baguette sandwich served at the Coquette Bakery in Central Point. Photos by Sarah Lemon
A freshly baked quiche is served with greens at the Sunny Side Restaurant in downtown Medford. Photos by Sarah Lemon
Few things put “good” in the standard morning greeting like homemade cakes and coffee.
And this spring, mornings in downtown Central Point and Medford just got a whole lot better as two prominent bakers opened a coffee shop. Among the specialties that Coquette Bakery and Herb & Flour Patisserie share is coffee roasted in Rogue Valley.
Coquette, a regular in Southern Oregon farmers’ markets for the past eight years, wanted commercial space between Rogue Creamery and Lillie Belle Farms in the Central Point Craft Corridor on Front Street, according to co-owner Denika Foget. Released by Ledger David Cellars late last year, the turnkey building with ample outdoor seating convinced Voget and her husband Tom to open in late March – after just months of preparation.
“We’ve been perfectly happy working at farmers’ markets, but when the opportunity comes, you have to be ready to turn around,” Voget said. “It’s only been less than two months, and we feel like we’ve been an integral part of our neighborhood for years.”
Flirty, indeed, confidently and convincingly bridges the gap between Southern Oregon’s most famous cheese maker and the chocolatier. Specialty baked goods sometimes include produce from every neighbor, as well as highlighting Pennington Farms canned food from the Applegate Valley. Coquette also allocates retail space to the Pennington label and Ashland’s Hilltop Coffee, which produce the bakery’s signature blend.
Although I usually make Hilltop at home, I have much less opportunity to make a batch of croissants, morning rolls, biscotti or even scones. So the proximity of Coquette to our edge of the region gave my family a reason to rejoice.
Arriving on a weekday morning, my partner and I readily agreed to share our favorite almond croissant ($5) and discussed the appeal of the Coquette morning bun versus the raisin snail. The same shape, each has a crispy exterior and an egg-like interior. The Raisin Snail ($5) won thanks to its French persona, which conjures up nostalgia for my days as an exchange student.
Francophiles will also swoon over Coquette’s “jambon beurre”, a baguette cut in half lengthwise, thickly buttered and stuffed with sliced ham. Sandwiches, stacked in several piles deep in the bakery’s refrigerator, beckoned us to another time. Instead, an early hour guaranteed Lorraine quiche ($5).
Offering to warm up the quiche, the vendor advised us to wait a few minutes. But I wasn’t about to let the pastry simmer while I sipped my coffee. They delivered all the decadent opulence I’ve come to expect from Coquette over the years, enhanced by the fact that they sat on plates at the table rather than eating on the go at farmers’ markets.
The quiche, baked in a disposable frying pan, came back warm from Coquette’s toaster. For this recipe, I prefer a lower temperature than risk perfect crusting or creamy fillings. But customers who like really spicy dishes can request a longer cooking time.
Quiche similarly elevates Herb & Flour’s reputation in a new sister restaurant to Medford’s Over Easy. Located on East Main Street, Sunny Side serves pastries and coffee in the mornings, while cocktails and small plates called On the Rocks are available in the evenings. The arrangement features Over Easy Chef Braden Hitt, NewPort Distilling and Pastry Chef Kali Kennedy.
Kennedy’s Herb & Flour began as a pop-up, releasing monthly baking boxes with seasonal themes and international influences. At Sunny Side, the Neuman Hotel Group’s former pastry chef offers a more popular selection of croissants, cinnamon rolls, coffee cakes and quiches that make coffee breaks and light snacks a daily routine.
Unlike miniature Coquette quiches with finely fluted crusts, Herb & Flour is more rustic, divided into hearty slices that are deep browned on top. I willingly ordered the mushroom gruyère, while my partner preferred the bacon lorraine. Priced at $6 a slice, the quiches come with a small portion of mixed greens.
Also on the cool side, the quiches appeared slightly underbaked to keep the custard toppings and flawless textured crust. Room temperature, I told my partner, is fine for a quiche and they were so good I would have swallowed them cold. Greens, lightly seasoned with oil and salt, became a pleasant accompaniment.
We also shared a croissant with butter and jam while sipping our signature coffee. Brewed from Jacksonville-roasted Cerberus beans, my cappuccino ($4) and my partner’s mocha ($5) were carefully poured with floral motifs into boiled milk. After our April visit, Sunny Side began serving croissant sandwiches and “breakfast boards” with a variety of meats, cheeses, jams, pickles, and pastries.
However, it’s hard to beat a freshly baked Coquette quality baguette. Carrying children hungry after a school day, I sold them one of the typical snacks of France. While the simple jambon beurre ($7) duo appealed to a 7- and 9-year-old, my partner and I gravitated towards sliced turkey, brie cheese, and a fig jam sandwich ($8).
Sitting under a black-and-white striped Coquette awning on cherry-red chairs, we fed the boys’ imaginations with thoughts of local cafes in France. Now the flavors of the Old World are close to home.
Coquette Bakery, located at 245 N. Front St., Central Point, is open from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday. Visit gogetcoquette.com, email email@example.com or call 541-727-0330.
Located at 237 E. Main St., Medford, Sunny Side is open from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm Wednesday through Sunday. See @sunnyside_at_overeasy on Instagram.
Content editor Sarah Lemon has been enjoying the Rogue Valley food scene for two decades as one of the original contributors to the Tempo dining column. Her taste has helped to judge some of the culinary competitions and festivals of the region. An avid home cook, she writes the bi-weekly A la Carte column The Whole Dish. Read more at mailtribune.com/lifestyle/the-whole-dish. Follow @the.whole.dish on Instagram, @thewholedish on Twitter, or visit facebook.com/thewholedish.