Smoke & Porter Baker’s Breakfast Basket

Is there a better place to share breaking life news with your BFF than at brunch? And is there a better way to start a brunch than with a bread basket? This blog thinks not.

We’d heard great things about the brunch at Smoke & Porter, but rarely make it to that side of town unless putt-putting is in order or we’re on our way to “New Meijer” for, you guessed it, pretzels. But feeling the need mix things up, we finally made the journey down US 31 to the former Chinese restaurant (RIP Golden Chopsticks, Yelp Reviewed by Colleen in 2011 as “I would not recommend and will never return.”) turned bespoke new American BBQ joint specializing in smoked meats and an ever-evolving menu.

And for the first time we’ll be reviewing something rather controversial: a non-complimentary bread basket. Now while this blog was started for our love of complimentary bread baskets, we also believe that you get what you pay for. So with premium pricing, we also expect premium quality and Smoke & Porter delivered.

Smoke & Porter Public House
Traverse City, MI


  • A $6 Baker’s Basket appetizer gets you three different types of bread with two pieces each. Perfect for two bread aficionados, but plenty to go around for larger groups as well (if you have non-hungry friends or enjoy sharing).
  • Varieties in the Baker’s Basket change regularly and typically include a bread, scone, and sweet roll or coffee cake. When we dined, we enjoyed zucchini bread, lemon poppy seed scones, and a cinnamon biscuit.
  • I know, zucchini? In bread? What is this a Jessica Seinfeld cookbook? But once you’ve experienced just how moist and well-spiced the summer squash (let’s pause to consider the canned pumpkin/squash revelation of fall 2016) infused bread can be, you’ll understand what makes it such a longstanding favorite.
  • The cinnamon biscuit things had a crumpet-like feel to them (why are crumpets not more readily available?) and were truly decadent when combined with butter, but could use a shade more cinnamon.
  • The lemon poppy seed scones were by far the weak link, just kind of dry and meh. A fact all the more surprising since they seem to be the one mainstay in the Baker’s Basket.
  • BONUS BREADS! A bowl of soup came with homemade croutons. And the pulled pork platter came with fresh-baked pullman loaf, the classic sandwich bread, cut to the perfect thickness and magnificently toasted.




  • They’ve obviously got the onsite smoker, so smoked butter  (which is really having a moment) is a natural fit. And a level of thoughtfulness when it comes to butter preparation is ALWAYS appreciated.
  • We’ve enjoyed smoked butter before on things like corn and we questioned its use on sweet breads. But the smoke really just adds to the depth of flavors, and ended up working surprising well.
  • Butter was soft, maybe a little too soft, but very well salted.


Likeliness for Refills

No refills here. But there was so very much food, at a very reasonable price, we wouldn’t have needed any anyway.



RATING (out of five)



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