Amy Larson, member of the Twin Cities Home Economists In Business (HEIB), wrote a delightful article for the February 2014 issue of DIRECTION, the HEIB newsletter. Thank you Amy! We enjoyed reading it and hope our website visitors will to!
Here is the full text of the article:
“Happy Winter (oxymoron), everyone! I’m hoping to warm your hearts with happy thoughts of delicious pastries. This article is brought to you by the letter “G” for Gluttony as I’ve been doing extreme donut-research at Mojo Monkey Bakery in St. Paul. This girl will happily drive halfway around the metro if it means I get to eat good food. I heard about Mojo Monkey Bakery when I was listening to the Colleen & Bradley show on MyTalk107.1. They were talking about a Best Donuts in the Twin Cities list.
After learning this topic would be discussed “after the break” I pulled my car over to a parking lot and readied myself to write down the recommendations; I take my donut research very seriously. My mouth was watering as they started describing the “Maple Bacon Bar” from Mojo Monkey. I swooned in my car and heard angel harps–I knew, in that moment, that the Maple Bacon Bar would be mine. Chris and I had a few appointments in the Lilydale area over the next two days, so I chose this timely opportunity to experience the nirvana of this holy-grail pastry. Let’s just say that I didn’t have to do any husband-arm-twisting.
Mojo Monkey is located on 1169 7th Street West in St. Paul in a small storefront building. We found a parking spot near the entrance, but as I’ve explained in previous articles, Chris attracts good parking, so maybe plan to possibly walk a short block if you don’t have a “Chris” in your car. The building is super charming though seating is a bit limited (I believe there are six 2-top tables) but we found a seat each time (again, see Chris-luck, above). It’s pretty apparent that a TON of their business is from walk-in/carry-out and orders/deliveries.
Lisa Clark, the owner and baker, greeted us both times we were there, welcoming us and offering a free donut-hole sample. She is kind and personable and it’s obvious she cares greatly about baking and her patrons’ enjoyment. We started our Mojo Monkey experience with two mochas–milk chocolate for Chris and white chocolate for me. They were delicious without being too heavy. (Isn’t it cute that I’m waxing positive over something being “NOT too heavy” when I’m primed to dive into a pastry made WITH BACON?!)
We also noted that they offer delicious coffee for just $1 a cup–pair that with a sweet treat and you’d be set. We stared at the menu and drooled carefully came to the tough decision (Hahahaha! like I was going to get anything BUT the heavenly maple-bacon bar). I was feeling delicate and lady-like so Chris and I split one. After the first bite, my brain immediately began to plot my return because I was going to get an entire one all for myself. It was as incredible as I had hoped–a perfectly light and buttery long-john with a generous schmear of brown-buttery, sugary, maple heaven and topped with a perfectly done piece of salty, chewy bacon.
It was so good that I closed my eyes so I could properly focus on the food-moment. The experience was so great, we returned there for a second time in just as many days. On the second visit, I had a maple bacon bar all to myself. I could’ve finished two, no problem, but I would’ve needed to unbutton the top button of my pants. Call me crazy but I don’t think General Mills would love that fashion choice (nor would HR). Chris tried a chocolate-filled donut topped with Ganache. He’s not one to close his eyes to maximize the culinary experience so I had to confirm with him that he loved it. He did. VERY much.
So get out your culinary bucket lists and add Mojo Monkey to it!! If you’re not near the St. Paul area, you can always order ahead of time and pick it up when you can get over there, but trust me, it’s more than worth the drive. Checkout their great website for their menu offerings: http://mojomonkey.biz
Make note of the joint’s popularity and that they subscribe to the fresh-is-best philosophy, so when they’re gone, they’re gone! If they happen to be out of maple bacon bars that day, it’s a good guess that “Amy was here.”
I give it 5 out of 5 donut holes. Eh- make it 6!”
Again, thank you to Amy and Chris for visiting Mojo! We hope to see you again soon. Learn more about the Twin Cities Home Economists In Business at www.tcheib.org