Walking into Button Rock Bakery (400 W. South Boulder Road, Suite 2200, Lafayette), you’re not surprised to find the glazed cream-puff eclairs and frosting-stuffed cookie sandwiches that have made the eatery a dessert lovers’ magnet.
What you don’t expect to encounter is sashimi and nigiri, spot-on reuben sandwiches and eggplant Parm grinders. Not only are they available at Button Rock’s sister counters, Kenny Lou’s Deli and Sushi Bar, but everything on the menu is as fresh and first-class as the best-selling cupcakes.
Opening a three-headed culinary destination wasn’t necessarily what Button Rock’s owner and pastry chef, Jamie Lachel, had in mind when she searched for a new location.
“This is a former brewery with 7,000 square feet, so it was way too big for just a bakery,” Lachel says.
That led to hiring chef John Bauer to launch Kenny Lou’s Deli.
“It’s an homage to my father. He’s an East Coast guy and loves sandwiches,” Lachel says, meaning Kenny Lou’s menu fuses the best of Jewish and Italian delis.
Even after adding the deli, Lachel still had more space and a bar she didn’t want to remove.
“I [asked] a sushi chef, Jason Gerk, who had just lost his job because of the pandemic, if he wanted to open a sushi bar,” she says.
This culinary mashup works so well because each part of this three-meals-a-day multiverse has separate kitchens and chefs but a shared scratch-made ethos. Besides the bakery’s devotion to fresh ingredients, the deli makes its own corned beef and sauerkraut and smokes lox and turkey. The sushi is made from fresh sushi-grade fish.
“Sometimes we get, ‘Oh, wedding cakes and sushi in the same place?’ But each has its own kitchen,” Lachel says.
When you walk in, the sushi bar is on your left, in the middle is the deli, and to the right is the bakery. “I like to think of this as a bodega where you can get a lot of different things,” Lachel says as she sits near glass cases filled with grab-and-go soups, sushi rolls, cookies, salads, mac and cheese and Korean barbecue ribs.
Button Rock’s plethora of offerings caters well to busy families with diverse palates: “I’m a mom with two kids — 8- and 9-year-olds. I understand about not having enough time,” Lachel says. Nevertheless, she’s still very much hands-on at the bakery, especially when it comes to making and delivering the bakery’s wedding cakes.
Button Rock is not one of those cookie-only TikTok bakeries; it’s a classic neighborhood bakery connected to people’s lives.
“Lafayette feels like a tight-knit community. It feels palpable,” Lachel says. “I love seeing the same families for birthdays and weddings and watching kids grow up.”
The roster of baked goods ranges from breakfast pastries and chocolate chip cookies to macaroons, scones and gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free options.
Kenny Lou’s deli menu is equally expansive, offering more than 65 sandwich and burger options and all-day breakfast.
The nearly perfect, East Coast-style reuben sandwich layers house-made corned beef and sauerkraut with Emmental cheese and Thousand Island dressing on grilled rye bread. It comes with the traditional half-spear sour pickle and hot-from-the-fryer fries.
Button Rock is located in The District, a sprawling interior mini-mall with food businesses. Lachel recommends also visiting OTIS Coffee and Nok’s Donuts. Customers can eat inside the bakery, on a patio or at tables inside the mall.
Button Rock’s owner is a huge fan of the burgeoning Lafayette food community and eateries like Tangerine, Casian Seafood and Acreage.
“I respect the hell out of anyone doing food service,” she says. “I love going to the other Lafayette bakeries. Jeannot’s Patisserie is outrageously good.” Sweet Bites panaderia is also near Button Rock.
After recently being approved for a liquor license, Button Rock customers can have wine with their éclair, beer with their Nutty Kale Salad (with Marcona almonds and goat cheese) and wash down their Fire In The Sky Roll (with tuna and avocado topped with salmon, tuna and crispy onions) with sake.
By the way, the City of Lafayette is looking for a new civic slogan by April 30. May we suggest “City of a Hundred Flavors”?
Local Food News: Out-of-This-World Cider
Yuki Pizza and Wings is open next to Kings Soopers at 385 Crossing Drive in Lafayette.
Gundruk – Taste of Nepal and India is open at 2770 Arapahoe Road in Lafayette.
Coming soon: MECO Coffee Collective, 1280 Centaur Village Drive, Lafayette.
Condé Nast Traveler recently featured Lafayette as one of The Best Small-Town Day Trips from Denver. Food destinations mentioned include East Simpson Coffee Company, Teocalli Cocina, Community and Acreage by Stem Ciders.
Acreage is now serving Capstone, Stem Ciders’ hoppy release with raspberry and Meyer lemon crafted in collaboration with Advanced Space to honor NASA’s Artemis missions.
Award-Winning and Boulder County-Crafted
If you wonder what the best tasting foods and beverages in the United States are like, simply sample the following local products, which beat out hundreds of others to win at the 2023 Good Food Awards: Pastificio Heirloom Wheat Campanelle (Boulder), Dry Land Distillers’ Cactus Spirit (Longmont), Stem Ciders’ Carrot-Ginger-Turmeric Cider (Lafayette), Willoughby Bourbon Barrel Aged Honey (Rollinsville), Bibamba Noir Classic and Pate au Chocolat (Denver), Healthy by Design Kimchi Pickles (Broomfield), and Mountain Girl Pickles’ Corn Relish (Boulder). See other Colorado winners: goodfoodfdn.org
Nibbles Index: 493 Starbucks
It’s not your imagination. There has been a frappuccino invasion. Colorado ranks fourth after Oregon, Washington and Nevada as one of the most Starbucks-heavy states, according to the price-tracking website pricelisto.com. Colorado boasts 493 Starbucks, or about 3.11% of all U.S. shops. No statistics were provided detailing how many of the state’s Starbucks are unionized, or planning to unionize.
Words to Chew On: Breakfast Rules
“Popcorn for breakfast! Why not? It’s a grain. It’s like grits, but with high self-esteem.” — James Patterson
John Lehndorff hosts Radio Nibbles on KGNU and administers the pastry-centric Facebook group Global Pie Society at: facebook.com/groups/piekind