At the City Paper offices, typical lunches come in two basic forms: an unsatisfying, and often too late in the day, granola bar quickly devoured over the keyboard, or a noon-time gluttonous feast followed by an unproductive afternoon. Sure, we could #mealprep and bring a healthy, satisfying and nutritious lunch, appropriately sized, from home. But we don’t. Recently, we switched up our lunchtime habits with a trip to Sylvania’s Earth to Oven.
Growing the business
Before Earth to Oven opened as a brick-and-mortar, owner Veronica Vincent, a former Zingerman’s baker, and her mother, Lori, began the business in 2011, working out of their home, providing catering and sales at farmers market booths. In 2014, the duo moved into their current Haymarket Square space.
Most recently, Veronica formed a partnership with Allstate Insurance agent JamiLynn Fox, and briefly closed the bakery before reopening to debut changes, including a repainted dining room, a coffee bar featuring Flying Rhino coffees, a bread case, refrigerated pastry display cases and a gorgeous patio. Continuing a commitment to sustainability, the kitchen was made more efficient and the use of plastic products was eliminated.
Before settling on our orders, we surveyed the menu of salads, sandwiches (served on crusty Zingerman’s bread), rotating soup offerings (with cold soups available June through September), seasonal options (such as fish tacos) and looked over the cases displaying salads, quiches and baked goods.
The BLT ($8.99), made with housemade caramelized Applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and spicy mayo, is referred to as “famous” on Earth to Oven’s menu. We didn’t need to see the citation. The sweetness of the chewy thick-cut bacon balances with the spicy mayo and the addition of generous chunks of avocado give the classic a contemporary twist. For those seeking more protein, try “The McNulty” ($9.79), a version of the BLT with roasted turkey breast and cheese.
Next, the Honey Bird ($8.69) which has all the best trappings of a Thanksgiving-leftovers style meal, but with a satiating spin. The housemade honey mustard is balanced with the cranberry chutney’s sweet, yet tart, flavor served with a nice portion of roasted turkey breast, fresh spinach and Havarti cheese. The perfect amount for a healthy midday lunch, which is not to say that we kept things completely healthy, however.
Sweet, and savory, options
We rounded out our meal by trying a few items from the tempting bakery cases, which feature cookies, pies, quiches, French Macaroons, tarts, eclairs and more. Faced with this sweet dilemma, our group chose to try a little bit of everything.
The mini quiche Lorraine ($4.50), featuring a thick, flakey butter crust, that fantastic bacon and sharp cheddar cheese, was a sumptuous choice. We continued the “mini” route by opting to share a mini cherry cheesecake, not-too-sweet, dense and very satisfying.
In addition to catering options, Earth to Oven carries bread from Zingerman’s Bakehouse in Ann Arbor, available at day-old prices, often discounted by 35-40 percent. Customers can place pre-orders for Zingerman’s loaves, which are picked up on Wednesdays and Fridays.
The final bite
Overall, we accomplished our mission to enjoy a healthy and satisfying lunch at Earth to Oven. Despite indulging with pastries and cheesecake, our filling meals didn’t leave us feeling sluggish or tired. Instead, we were energetic and already contemplating the baked goods we’d order next.
Open 8am-5pm | Monday through Friday
Located in Haymarket Square at
5758 N. Main St., Sylvania
419-824-0683 | Earthtoovencafe.com