After seeing a small crowd in Downtown Bakery in Steubenville, I knew I had to inspect. This South Fourth Street bakery is one of the two bakeries that provide the bread for Naples’ heels. When I wandered into this place, there was a line long enough to bring my total purchases to $16. With each passing minute, I mentally ordered another butter-laden cookie.
Another institution passed down through the family, this full service bakery is a favorite for many Steubenville natives. It appeared that an entire adjacent room was dedicated to wedding cakes. I imagine that many an Ohio Valley bride has spent time with Downtown Bakery.
Italian and Greek treats lined the shelves. I walked away with a savory “baklava” (stuffed with spinach), several thumbprint cookies, raisin, cherry and pineapple filled cookies, a couple mini cream horns and two boxes of pizelles.
My favorites were the pizelles. Made by a local source, these Italian cookies came in two flavors: anise and vanilla. I remember handmade versions of these on my Great Grandmother’s supper table when I was a child. Each time I bit into one, my face crumpled up at the taste of the licorice. I recall having no idea how something that looked so buttery could have such a flavor. Nowadays, my tastes have evolved. I loved both flavors, though my preference is still with the crisp vanilla.
These filled cookies were suggested by one of the women at the counter. I’d never heard of a pineapple (or raisin) filled cookie before and the tart fruity filling of each cookie almost tricked me into thinking I was eating healthily. Almost.
My only regret is that I didn’t have time to eat the six pounds of butter contained in my giant purchase before things started to get stale. I have a feeling that if I lived in Steubenville, I’d find myself wandering into this place several times a week, to avoid such a travesty.
151 South Fourth Street