Revisiting Tiger Bakery
I wrote about Tiger Bakery for publication in the August edition of New Orleans Magazine, but due to the space limitations inherent in print publications, I did not have a chance to cover it in any detail. I’ve been back a few times since, and thought I’d share my experience.
Tiger Bakery is located in Broadmoor, not far from my home, and I am inclined to like it on that basis alone. But as always, if I didn’t like the place, I wouldn’t write about it. Fortunately, I like this place quite a bit.
Omie is the owner, and she and her three daughters more or less run the place. Omie does all the baking, which is pretty impressive given how many diverse things the place turns out every day. They live in the neighborhood, and she told me that apart from her love of baking she opened Tiger Bakery because she saw a need.
She also told me that one of the things she likes the most is watching people meet other residents. She’s a friendly sort herself, but more importantly for most of us, she’s a very talented baker. On any given day there will be pastries made with brioche dough, short pastry, choux, as well as puddings, cookies, tarts and two or three different breads. There are breakfast sandwiches, kolaches with sausage, deviled eggs and I’ve only been a few times.
I have only had one of the many different types of bread Omie produces at Tiger bakery. This is a round loaf with a brown crust and a crumb that is tender and pliant at the same time. I did not ask Omie about it, which I regret, but I am fairly confident it is made with a mix of white and whole wheat. Whatever it’s made of you should try it, because it is delicious. There are other breads available, and I’m told that heartier loaves with fruit and nuts are in the plans.
Omie told me she wants to make more cakes as well, and will once they really get going. She wants to expand the number of breads they do to 4-5 different loaves a day, too, but given the amount of stuff she’s already producing every day that seems like a tall order unless she gets some help.
When I asked Omie how she got into baking, she said it was one of a number of jobs she’d held, starting when she was 17. “It’s one of those things I can do,” she said in the same way I’d say that tying my shoes is one of those things I can do. Except I can’t tie my shoes seventeen different ways and when I tie my shoes it’s rarely delicious.
Then there are the Snow Flowers. These are a version of sno-balls made with iced shaved on a machine imported from Japan that produces these beautiful, snowflake shaped pieces of delicate ice that fall gently into a cup with a wide brim. The flavors are, for the most part, made with fruit in-house and they are so very good. There are not many things on which my children agree, but they have all pestered me to return to Tiger Bakery for Snow Flowers.
Tiger Bakery is a small business, and it is necessarily dependent on locals to stay in business. When I have the option I will patronize a local establishment over a chain, but only if the local place is good. I don’t do it out of a sense of obligation, because life is way too short to eat bad food, regardless of its terroir. Tiger Bakery makes it easy, because it’s outstanding and local. If you haven’t been, you should go. Just make sure you go when they’re open, because as it stands they’re only open Wednesday through Friday from 7:30 to 3:00 and on Saturday from 8:30 to 3:00. On Sunday they’re open from 8:30 to 2:00. Omie told me she’d like to stay open until 5 or so, but it’s been hard finding help. Hopefully that will change and snow flowers after school will be a thing we can all enjoy together.