It smells good on the sidewalk outside Hobe Sound’s Banbury Cross Bakery.
It smells like great pastry: buttery, browned, toasted. And inside this clean, white, cool space, it gets even better. Although shop patrons could easily keep this place going on its reputation for cakes and pastries alone, Banbury Cross offers far more than its name implies.
But first, the good and the sweet: the retail offerings vary daily (and they are limited during the slower summer months), but there are always cookies, brownies, cupcakes, muffins and bagels available. A recent visit cupcake choices in red velvet, vanilla, chocolate and carrot cake flavors. Cakes, pies and pastries range from the expected (coconut and chocolate cakes; Key Lime, fruit, cream pies; peanut butter, chocolate chip and gingersnap cookies), to anything you can invent (just give them about 24 hours notice for special orders). Plenty of hot and iced beverages are available to go with those sweets.
The real surprise here is that Banbury Cross has a full menu. The bakery offers 8 sandwiches and 6 salads. The choices have some real standouts: a salmon Waldorf sandwich combines poached salmon with Granny Smith Apples, walnuts and Champagne mustard on your choice of bread. The salad offerings start with a base of mixed greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts and cheeses, and then the customer can choose their own protein add-in, such as albacore tuna, poached salmon, salmon salad or curry chicken. Some salads, including the salmon Waldorf, curry chicken and their sweet potato salad, are offered for sale by the pound. Soup choices change daily, and this month’s picks include lentil and sausage, cream of potato and bacon, yellow squash and a cooling gazpacho.
Banbury Cross is not open for dinner, but don’t let that stop you from stopping by. If you call in by 2 p.m., they can have dinner ready for you to pick up. Dinner specials change daily, and July’s featured plates include pasta Bolognese, pot roast, chicken pot pie, and herb-roasted chicken.
Banbury Cross has been in business for an astonishing 24 years, a good run in South Florida years. Owner Jonathan Kogut offers catering services and pastries for resale (his desserts can be purchases in some finer gourmet grocery stores in the Jupiter-Tequesta-Palm Beach Gardens area). A recent conversation with one of these gourmet shop owners provided a not-too-surprising fact: once her doors open for the day, the Banbury Cross goods sell out fast. This fine little place has been known to Jupiter Island-riding cyclists for years as the stop-off for a caffeine kick and carb re-loading. It’s time the rest of north county made the short ride north – by bike or car – to Banbury Cross Bakery.
Banbury Cross Bakery, 8953 SE Bridge Road, (Winn Dixie Marketplace), Hobe Sound, FL 33455. Phone 772-546-7473. FAX: 772-545-9823. Summer hours: Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with lunch served 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with lunch served 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed Sundays.