One category in which the Dallas-Fort Worth area still lacks is European-style bakeries — which makes the opening of Royal Danish Bakery, off the Dallas North Tollway just south of Belt Line Road, all the more sweet. Royal Danish comes from husband-and-wife Michael and Helle Anderson, who offer Danish and other pastries along with breakfast and lunch.
Those Danish they're baking are pretty authentic: The Andersons moved here from Denmark four months ago. Michael is a professionally trained baker skilled at creating all kinds of breads. Helle, a pastry expert and educator, still judges an annual competition in Copenhagen. They owned a bakery in Denmark called GuldBageren, which they sold to move here and open a bakery.
"We have friends who live over here who talked about how American people had bad bread and pastry," Michael says. "They ask, 'Why do you not move over here, Michael and Helle?' So we say, 'Why not?'"
Friends steered them toward the location on the first floor of the Aberdeen Building (formerly the Pizza Hut Headquarters in Addison). They keep office-worker hours — 6 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday — with office-worker options. That means coffee and pastries in the morning, along with quick breakfast items such as $1.60 breakfast taco with eggs, cheese and choice of sausage, bacon or potato; biscuits and gravy for $3.50; and an arepa Venezolana with two toppings for $1.65.
At lunch there are $7 sandwiches such as ham and turkey club or chicken with bacon, Swiss cheese and avocado, as well as specialty sandwiches like a chopped beef brisket with onions and pickles on a hoagie bun. Daily specials include chicken-fried steak with mashed potatoes, and, in a nod to local traditions, there are burgers and build-your-own burritos and taco platters.
But the exciting part, the foodie part, is the bakery operation they're slowly building.
"We have a little bit of it up and running right now," Michael says. "We're making cookies and brownies, cinnamon rolls, carrot cake, chocolate cake, and real Danish. It's a special dough with some marzipan inside."
As they expand, they'll move into bread and rolls.
"Now we are here," Michael says. "People say, 'You're crazy to move over here and start a bakery. But we had our own bakery for 28 years, so we know a lot of stuff."