We've mentioned a few times over the years that we lived near Pat's and Geno's back in the day, and we confess that sometimes we miss our old neighborhood. It's not the occasional smell of steak and onions that wafted to our front door that we remember fondly, but instead the convenience and variety of nearby Passyunk Avenue. For our health though, it's probably best we moved away- thanks to all the excellent dining options in the area, we found ourselves a bit too poor and a little too hefty during those halcyon days. With Essen Bakery opening at 1437 Passyunk Ave. last week, we again find ourselves lamenting the fact that we live so far away.

Essen Bakery

We visited Essen last week on their first day of business and were pleased to discover that they had sold out of many of their offerings by the late afternoon. A Jewish bakery, they offer a simple menu that includes challah, rye bread, a couple of cakes, cheesecake, rugalech, cookies, and babka. A photo on their Facebook page shows many of the items on their opening menu, which also includes coffee and tea.

Some of the offerings at Essen. Image from their Facebook page.

The space is tiny, with the bakery operation taking up about two-thirds of the retail space, leaving room for only a couple of tables inside. It's laid out exactly like Belle Cakery, its predecessor, with the bakery space open to the customer area. Some cosmetic changes were made, and a whimsical new mural on the wall wonderfully brightens up the space.

View inside, from the Essen Facebook page

If you live in the area, we suggest you check this place out sooner rather than later. With a location right across the street from the supermarket, you could even incorporate a visit into a grocery trip. We don't live in the area, but we're probably going to add it into our rotation, much to the chagrin of our cardiologist.