The overcrowded parking lot will clue you in to the Blue Door Cafe & Bakery's popularity. The outside looks like any other greasy spoon diner (the building was originally owner Michael Bruno's mother-in-law's restaurant, the Golden Goose). But take one step inside, and you'll know you're in for something special. A classic domed-glass pastry case immediately draws the eye, behind which stacks of giant cinnamon rolls and chocolate croissants appear — and disappear just as quickly. Marble-topped tables, hand-printed tickets and old wooden cabinets add to the Blue Door's vaguely hipster vibe. There's two menus to peruse — one with everyday dishes, the other with rotating specials. The huge, crispy, flaky, house-made croissant in the vegetarian croissant monsieur ($10) does not disappoint. Stuffed with a farm-fresh egg, Gruyere, spinach and a light brushing of bechamel and Dijon, it is filling but not heavy, and the accompanying side salad is spotlessly prepared. A scallop fricassee special ($24), served with a puff pastry and local beet microgreens, goes beyond your typical brunch fare and proves that chef Jimmy Pintiello isn't afraid to push the culinary envelope even this early in the morning.
WHEN YOU GO:
The Blue Door Cafe & Bakery, 1970 State Road, Cuyahoga Falls, 330-926-9774, bluedoorcafebakery.com