Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Sparrow Cafe

The Happy Sparrow Cafe is a cafe and kolache shop located on SE Belmont in Portland, Oregon.

Main menu board
Kolaches are generally sweet pastries originating from the Czech and Slovak area of Europe and traditionally used as wedding desserts. The klobasnek is a savory cousin of the kolache, using meats, cheeses, and perhaps jalapenos. Klobasniki (the plural form) are similar to pigs in a blanket. Both sweet and savory items use a soft, sweet dough.

Happy Sparrow carries both kolaches and klobasniki (although they are all deemed kolaci at this establishment). The sweet kolace (plural) are apparently cheaper than the savory counterparts; prices run anywhere from $1.95 to $2.75 per item.

In the savory, spicy mood, I tried the Texas Hot Link version ($2.75). Baked dough is filled with smoked sausage, melted Tillamook cheddar cheese, and a jalapeno. That jalapeno even acts as a little garnish/ID marking on the top, almost like how the Chinese mark their cha siu bao (we in Hawaii say manapua) with different stamps or markings. The woman working at the counter heated my snack up, handed it to me, and I was on my way.

The dough was soft and very comforting, a pillow of yummy goodness. It made me want to rest my head on that and happily go to sleep. The hot link packed proper saltiness and a slight kick for a balanced bite. The Tillamook cheese melted beautifully. For me, I would have liked a little more minced jalapeno in there. But to be fair, Happy Sparrow has a savory option featuring Tillamook cheese and a whole bunch of jalapenos. Perhaps that's for next time.

The female employee there also said the berry and cream cheese kolache is one of the more popular sweet delicacies. The cream cheese balances out the sweetness, leading to a satisfying experience.

Happy Sparrow also has an espresso bar if you want a caffeine fix. Score one for Happy Sparrow! Check them out! 8.25/10

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