Take a Break with Buckley’s

Sorry folks, but it’s action item season. Action items are basically adult-sized chores that come in all shapes and sizes. The standard ones – cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. – are on our list most days. But this time of year, we have a few extras.

Some of us will be returning to school in the next few weeks, and already have assignments coming through from professors we’ve never met. And some of us have children who will be returning to school and need all manner of school supplies and a few doses of responsibility. And there are even fun action items, like preparing for fantasy football drafts, which are still action items at the end of the day.

It’s times like these that we all need a peaceful place to refuel on those busy days. My favorite spot is Buckley’s Bakery & Café in Merrimack.

As a member of Michael Timothy’s Dining Group, and situated next door to Buckley’s Great Steaks, the bakery is backed by a great reputation and a dedication to producing quality food. The Group is known to have a baker and pastry chef on staff at their restaurants, so crafting quality handmade sweets is right in their wheelhouse. Pair that with coffee, deli sandwiches, salads, and pizza and you have a local haven of food and relaxation.

When you enter you will be hit with the smells of freshly baked breads and roasted coffee, and the sounds of happy customers. The café tends to draw many customers, but it makes for a pleasant commotion derived from people who know they’ve found a hidden gem.

I usually stop by for the coffee and somehow leave with armfuls of pastries. It’s impossible to work your way toward the register, past the gauntlet of sweet treat displays, without picking out a few pastries to accompany your otherwise lonely coffee. From scones and muffins to whoopie pies and mousse bombes, Buckley’s Bakery & Café has your sweet tooth covered.

Furthermore, each item is a more impressive and quality rendition of its traditional self. The scones come in unique flavors like lemon ginger and apricot, and are filled with a layer of fruit spread in the middle. Each light and flaky bite also has a gooey fruity goodness. And the croissants are loaded with delicious melty chocolate, while the pecan rolls are covered in a layer of crunchy sugary pecans. Each item looks so appealing, I often have to let waves of people pass me in line while I try to make a decision.

The next phase on the march to the register is the coffee board hanging behind the counter. The ever-expanding coffee menu includes high quality and craft coffee offerings including cappuccinos, lattes in a range of flavors, cold brew, and nitro coffee.

The cold brew is my go-to fuel, but lately I’ve been on a nitro brew kick. It has the slightest hint of carbonation with a satisfying roasty coffee flavor. The nitro and cold brew coffees are perfect for those aforementioned action items, as they give a nice boost from the caffeine, but go down smooth and are enjoyable to sip on. They even make a Vietnamese Style cold brew that is sweetened with condensed milk for a tasty take on the small batch cold brew.

With a coffee in hand, my next priority is usually the paninis. Most recently I ordered the Italian fried egg panini, which comes loaded with two fried eggs, capicola, cherry peppers, caramelized onion relish, and melty cheddar and provolone cheeses on whole wheat sourdough bread. The eggs were cooked perfectly to hold their form while also having a soft yoke that combines with the quality meat and melted cheeses for a texture experience unlike any panini you’ve had before.

And just think of the flexibility. Need to stop for coffee and breakfast during your morning action items? Perfect, the Italian fried egg panini has eggs. Need to stop for lunch and an afternoon treat in between mid-day action items? Perfect, the Italian fried egg panini is a hearty sandwich. The possibilities are nearly endless.

Check out the full range of sandwiches, salads, pizzas, baked goods, and other menu items here.

The food certainly brings me through the door at Buckley’s, but the atmosphere is why I stay. Once I’ve piled sandwiches, coffees, and baked goods into my arms, I head upstairs where Buckley’s has a variety of seating options in a quiet space separate from the ordering area. I’ve been known to set up my computer and knock a few action items off my list up there.

With all the wonderful offerings at Buckley’s Bakery & Café, you might actually look forward to your action items as an excuse to get out of the house and stop in for some coffee and pastries. Check out Buckley’s at 436 Daniel Webster Hwy in Merrimack.

As always, please email eatdrinkplay@stayworkplay.org to share your ideas of any New Hampshire related food/drink/venue/organization that you think should be featured in our “Eat Drink Play” blog posts.

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