Written by Gail Collins
Donut mountains, bagged sugar cookies, pumpkin cheesecake rolls … the tempting pastry posts of #katthebaker to the Facebook page of Tourist Home All Day Café are continuous. It’s enough to cause a change in the morning’s plans to include a quick stop for sweet treats. That certainly seems to be the case—the pastry case, that is—as the numbers of folks picking up pastries has expanded like a warmed bowl of yeast dough.
Pastry Chef Kat Biemann has had her hands in the flour at Tourist Home for more than two years. In that time, batches of donuts readied for the fryer have literally risen from eight to 80. Three assistants have joined the bakery team to help knead, shape and prep.
Saturday is Donut Day, and with 300 freshly glazed circles of happiness on display, there is still no time to dawdle. “We are more popular because we carry more variety than other shops,” Kat said. Keep it quiet, but there are alternate venues for baked goods. The kitchen also supplies pastries to Rendezvous and macarons to Steep Tea Lounge, as well as the menu of desserts for Tourist Home’s related eateries, Tinderbox Kitchen and Annex Cocktail Lounge.
Other days of note for Tourist Home are Pretzel Fridays and Cinnamon Roll and Sticky Bun Sundays. We knew you had a need to know.
On any day, Kat said, “There are always loads to choose from in the fresh and chilled pastry cases.” Muffins, French crullers—the most popular item—churro donuts, scones and others top the breakfast choices. The chilled case carries goodies, such as lemon eclairs, French macarons and Key lime tarts—Kat’s personal favorite for its lively taste and fruit atop. Standards, like tiramisu, also mix it up with seasonal flavors. Pumpkin or black cherry scones or French cruller bread pudding make mouths say, “Wow.” Creativity and crust have no limits, and Kat enjoys changing up the ingredients to tempt loyal followers. Finding it tough to decide? Choose any three bakery items, priced at $3.50 or less, for $8 and save a buck.
Maybe, what sets Tourist Home’s bakery apart is the European influence. Kat hails from Germany, and her recipes reflect her experience, as in the poppy seed rolls. All doughs are prepped and portioned ahead for baking daily, and customers recognize the authenticity of the scratch made bakery wares.
Perhaps, Tony Felice put it best in his post on Facebook. “If Flagstaff has a heartbeat, it’s the downtown, and if it has a soul, it’s Tourist Home. The pastries by Kat are the best … (Tourist Home is) full of sunshine, even on the cloudiest of days.”