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Dining out: Schmidt's Pastry Cottage

Every time I visit Schmidt's Pastry Cottage I spend too much on baked goods: cookies, croissants, petits fours, cupcakes, brownies, rum balls — and the worst part is, it all gets eaten — and fast!

There's another side to this longtime local bakery, though: They make a good lunch featuring great breads and, with each meal, an eclair for dessert.

We visited the Sugar House Schmidt's for the first time on a recent Saturday — I usually visit the Taylorsville location and the one inside Holladay's The Store.

The Sugar House location is nice and quiet, with a tiled dining space that holds a half-dozen tables and shady patio seating with a few more.

I was a little put off, however, to note that every inside table was littered with crumbs and other detritus from previous diners. When we asked to have them cleaned, it was done promptly, but that's something that should be taken care of regularly, as part of the hourly routine.

There's no kids menu, but what bakery isn't kid-friendly? Our oldest had the tuna salad sandwich on a croissant, which I liked for its profusion of tuna, with celery for crunch and just enough dressing to hold everything together.

My other two daughters had the soup of the day, cream of potato, with one of Schmidt's crusty dinner rolls. I had the soup, too, and though its consistency was more like a creamy casserole — it was stick-to-an-overturned-spoon thick — it was delicious, tender and studded with carrots. I wished for a bigger bowl.

But I had my chicken salad sandwich, as good as the tuna and with similar ingredients, to console me. I had it on pumpernickel bread with tomato and sliced red onion (diners choose their own bread, cheese and fixings), and it was full flavored and filling.

My husband had the ham and cheese, a standard version with sliced ham, provolone cheese, mayo and lettuce on fresh, soft sourdough bread.

Then it was time for dessert, and despite the fact that we were pretty full, I still bought too much, and enjoyed every bit of it. Schmidt's makes lovely, pillowy sugar cookies with great creamy frosting, and everything I've ever had involving cake was fabulous.

But my favorite, the best of all, is the German chocolate cookie, an inspired concoction with a soft, darkly flavorful chocolate cookie forming the bottom half of a saucer, with a mound of perfect buttery coconut-walnut frosting on top. I've never had it anywhere but at Schmidt's.

Sandwiches $5.95-$6.50, soup $2.99-$5.95, half-sandwich combinations $3.50-$6.50.

Schmidt's Pastry Cottage

Rating: ★★1/2

Where: 609 E. 2100 South (other locations in Holladay and Taylorsville)

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. (hours vary at other locations)

Payment: Major credit cards accepted;

no checks

Phone: 801-487-3500

Wheelchair access: Single step down inside entrance

Web: www.schmidtspastry.net

Also: bulk and wedding cake orders available

Stacey Kratz is a freelance writer who reviews restaurants for the Deseret News.

e-mail: skratz@desnews.com