When reviewing smalltown restaurants, I tend to grade on a curve to account for the boondockery and challenges of serving inspired chow in places where the 95th-percentile local lives adventurously by ordering the special at Applebee’s. But there is wheat in the smalltown chaff that would challenge urban competitors. One such place is Kennabelle’s Kreations in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, a bakery that would give any in Austin a run for its honey.
Named after the owner and baker, Kenna Leonard, Kennabelle’s first traps your attention from the boardwalk with the glorious scent of baking buttery bread. Upon entering, Kenna’s kreations proudly parade through the displays with bright colors, perfect presentation, and over-the-top portions.
We first partook of croissants the size of fallen boulders on Hwy 82. Complemented with lattes from Black Bear Coffee down the board, Kennabelle’s kroissants were a perfect harmony of a crispy-buttery exterior with a soft-as-a-mountain-meadow insides. As a treat for later as well as a nod to Rio Grande cuisine to the west, we ordered a green chile bacon roll, a cheesy, salty, savory romp (although the chile needed to be more painful). In a nod to local ingredients, we accidentally bought a loaf of pistachio bread, a sweet, crumbly breakfast bread we enjoyed toasted for dessert and breakfast.
I read a glowing review of the blackberry cream cheese pastry (there are also blueberry, peach, lemon, and raspberry choices), so we picked one up (with another Black Bear) for breakfast later in the week. Again, huge (eminently sharable), gorgeous, and delicious with sweet berries clinging to the richness of the cream cheese like a Russian model clinging to a billionaire.
Given the small size of Cloudcroft, get to Kennabelle’s early to get what you want (we cleaned them our of croissants twice). But even if many items are sold out, you really can’t go wrong.
web&where: interwebs; 308 burro avenue, cloudcroft, new mexico; (575) 682-2712
what’s the deal? first-class bakery with a dash of enchantment; counter service
overall: **** (food****; drink**; atmosphere***; service***; instagrammability***)
– meh [think twice]
* OK [it’ll get the job done]
** good [solid neighborhood joint]
*** damn good [we’ll definitely be back]
**** yippity-yikes that was amazeballs [fantastic; one of the best]
***** holy sh!t [transcendental; best of the best] each $ = $10; cost is based on a typical dinner entrée and appetizer (no drinks)
each $ = $10; cost is based on a typical dinner entrée and appetizer (no drinks)