Not your grandma's cinnamon roll. In recent years, it seems malls and airports have become the most likely venues to find a cinnamon roll. Snuggled up against an Orange Julius or a Pizza Hut To Go, big trays of sticky rolls are displayed, leaking aromas of corn syrup and hydrogenated oils that waft through the terminal or multiplex. Regardless of how commercial these spots are, they bring to mind thoughts of warm kitchens, loving grandmas and homemade sweet treats.
A new spot in Central Oregon bases its business around these sticky, sweet, yeasted wonders for which we all have a weakness. The difference is that this spot is striving to create a product that comes about as close to that homemade image as you can get with out grandma on the payroll.
The first Saint Cinnamon franchise has found its way onto Prineville's main drag, doing business in a totally remodeled store front that once specialized in mattress sales. A popular and prolific business in Canada, Saint Cinnamon's first US franchiser, Jeff Tetz, hopes to have at least two more in Central Oregon by 2009.
Cinnamon rolls reign supreme here, but many other things are also available. Sweet and savory crepes, bagels from a local purveyor, salads and soups arrive at your table on real dishes and real utensils. There is also a roast-it-yourself coffee roaster so you can take home some of Saint Cinnamon's house-blended beans.
Although this is an order-at-the-counter, food-in-a-jiffy establishment, it's a big step up from "fast food". Rather, the manager/co-owner Laura Hill likes to say that it is "good food fast" and can compete in time and price with fast food restaurants. Yet it offers a much better tasting product - and one that is more healthy (as far as cinammon rolls go). The cinnamon rolls at Saint Cinnamon have 1/4 of the trans fats and 1/3 of the calories as a similar sized roll at Cinnabon.
From breakfast through dinner, Saint Cinnamon is proving to be a nice meal alternative to fast food, as well as a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
St Cinnamon - $
455 NE 3rd St, Prineville 416-8000. M-F 7am-6:30pm, Sat 8am-6:30pm, closed Sunday