By Dave Preston
This article was published on 06/05/14 Reno News & Review
When new owners Anton Novak and Sean Cary took over this established bakehouse in March, they popped their ovens into bakezilla mode. Hybrid pastries like the Cronut—half croissant, half doughnut—and a cookie crawler, a square, chocolate covered doughnut, complete with gummy worm, are the new dimensions of Rounds.
Bearing the looks of a doughnut and the inner workings of a croissant, the cronut is a confectionary hybrid that has become a near-global sensation since its creator, Dominique Ansel, debuted it at his New York City pastry shop about a year ago. This is the only place in town I know serving that trendy Manhattan marvel.
I had to go right for the cronut ($3-$4.25), and went with the triple dark chocolate with mini chocolate cookies, raspberry filling drizzled with granche and sprinkled with Mexican chocolate powder and cinnamon. It’s dense and very rich with the top of your mouth experiencing the flaky croissant and the bottom filling with the doughnut texture. The flavors are what you would imagine with the berry and chocolate mating perfectly with the pastry giving you a mouth-full of palate nirvana.
Other flavors available the day I visited were strawberry white chocolate and sweet coconut, dulce de leche with bacon, and berry lemon basil cream with fresh strawberry, blueberry, blackberry and raspberry atop and then glazed. They also offer a dozen or so classic doughnuts ($1-$2.75) for those not so adventurous.
There are fifteen varieties of bagels ($1.29 each, or a baker’s dozen, $10.49) and eight smears from plain cream cheese to Sriracha, a Thai hot sauce with mild heat.They offer “New York” style bagels, referring to a boiling process before baking. The boiling process yields a harder exterior shell, while keeping the inside chewy. A couple of new varieties added were rye and sourdough.
There are nice breakfast ($2.49-$4.99) and lunch ($5.99-$7.69) menus using bagels as the sandwich’s foundation. For breakfast, you can choose anything from peanut butter and jam ($2.49) to a classic egg, cheese with ham, bacon or sausage ($4.99). The lunch offerings are more diverse. There’s the ultimate veggie ($5.99), with fresh cucumbers, ripe avocado, pine nuts, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and black olives on a bagel of your choice.
Carnivores are welcome with the Reno dip ($5.99), hot roast beef, melted cheddar cheese, and red onions on a choice of bagel. For the very traditional, lox ($7.69-open faced add $1.50) wild smoked salmon, capers, tomatoes and red onions on your choice of bagel with cream cheese.
I found their rye bagel most excellent and went with the Tahoe cado ($6.49) roasted turkey, crisp bacon, and ripe avocado and added a jalapeño artichoke smear. Everything was fresh and from the savory to the tangy to the spicy, sandwiched together with the light malty flavor of the bagel and a hint of tart from the baked in caraway seeds in the bagel, this nosh really came together with very satisfying flavors.
Reno’s Hub coffee creates the specialty drink offerings ($3.59-$4.79), and that includes Monkey Mocha, Almond Joy, and the usual espresso ($1.59-$4.59). There’s a big selection of all natural fruit smoothies ($2.69-$3.69), frappes ($2.99-$3.99), bottled waters, juice and select sodas ($2-$2.50). Icky in the bottle ($4) and a Freixenet split Cava Spanish sparkling wine ($9).
A visit here is a “what-the-hell-moment,” where you’ll leave with a full belly and a warm heart. As Ben Franklin said, “everything in moderation, nothing in excess”; but then again, he never had a cronut.
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