COURTESY OF JISOO BAE A Vietnamese coffee and a peaceful study table at The Bun Shop.
Everyone loves buns. What’s not to like about them? They’re round, plump and come in a selection of sweet or savory. After seeing several artsy Instagram posts with the perfect Valencia filter to capture the shades of buns and hashtags #bunshop, #rotiboy and #instafood, I became curious about this place. The Bun Shop? I had heard of cafés and pastry shops, but never a café specializing in just buns.
Since it was only the first week of school and I had ample time on my hands, I took my LSAT preparation book and decided to study in The Bun Shop instead of the MSE for once, like an adventurous hipster.
My choice of transportation was the JHMI, since The Bun Shop is located in Mount Vernon. As soon as I got off the bus I thought, “Shoot. I’ve only been to Dooby’s. Where the heck is this place? Will I be able to find it?” Thanks to Google Maps, savior of all those who never know where they’re going (including me), I found The Bun Shop after a fifteen minute walk, which was longer than I thought it would be.
It wasn’t in the streets where many of the Mount Vernon restaurants and coffee shops are, so I was a little wary at first. Will this place live up to my expectations?
As I set foot inside the store, I thought, “What an interesting interior.” The Bun Shop is open from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m., almost like a convenience store. The lighting was quite moody and cool and felt like 3 a.m. despite the fact that it was actually 11. Perfect, because I hate sunlight. There were tables in the back, couches in the middle and a giant shared table with plants on the side. I opted for the giant table, because couches make me fall asleep and I didn’t have a buddy or boy to sit with in the small tables. Sadness.
When I went to order, I noticed that the stand was quite odd. There were not that many people behind the counter. However, The Bun Shop did have a nice display of all the buns available on the side, which helped me make my choice. There was a narrow selection of drinks and buns, which I appreciated. Usually, when a restaurant has too many unnecessary choices on their menu, it means they don’t have a specialty.
When given the choice of savory or sweet, I always choose savory. Naturally, the chicken pasty caught my eye. The deliciousness of a chicken pot pie packed in a small cute bun? Sounded heavenly. Now for the drinks. Through Yelp and my friend Justin, the food connoisseur of St. Paul Street, I knew beforehand that the Vietnamese coffee was this place’s specialty.
I took a bite of the chicken pasty. It was savory, warm and had just the right amount of chicken and vegetables. The pastry could have been crispier, but I figured that some people like it more soft and mushy.
Now for a sip of that Vietnamese coffee. Ah! So sweet! It hurts my brain! If you love sweet drinks, then this is your jam. If you do not, I would recommend asking to take out the condensed milk. I’m a fan of sweet drinks, but the Vietnamese coffee was a bit much for me.
As mentioned before, the lighting is dark but just the right amount of dark to study and focus on your work. A friend of mine went to The Bun Shop thinking it was a restaurant that served actual dinner food, so be careful! The buns are not that big. If you are looking for a fun Baltimore coffee shop, The Bun Shop is the perfect place for studying and chatting with friends.