When Matthew and Karris Maddox decided to leave their bakery jobs at the Hy-Vee grocery store, they knew they wanted to start something combining their professional skills with their hobbies and interests. “We love hanging out with friends, playing board games, and reading comic books.” Karris explained. “So, we created a bakery where our customers can come in for breakfast or lunch, hang out with us, and do the things we love to do.” The Mad Ox Bakery in Council Bluffs, Iowa was born.
The name Mad Ox is a play on their last name. The décor is a tribute to their favorite superheroes and comic book characters, and they continue to add to the décor. The Mad Ox opened in 2013. They love following the lives of the families they serve, creating unique wedding cakes, birthday cakes, anniversary cakes, and everything in between. Breakfast and lunch offerings are what bring people to the bakery between special occasions.
Location: 215 West Broadway, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Menu: Breakfast is more than just your typical bakery items. Bars, breads, and gourmet donuts are available. It is their signature gourmet donuts that give the patron a creative surprise. Flavors like pink champagne, bourbon caramel pecan, toasted coconut caramel, and maple bacon turn a simple breakfast and cup of coffee into something memorable. It is evident that the creativity of this couple is what drives the business, so expect to find new flavors when you visit. I enjoyed the red velvet glazed donut.
The lunch menu is simple because the business runs with a small staff. A signature sandwich and soup are offered daily. The sandwich of the day is either chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad, or pulled pork. You can always get ham or turkey. Basically, it is all about the bread. If the options to have your sandwich on fresh baked rye, pumpernickel, white, wheat or multigrain bread are not enough, try parmesan garlic, sour rye with caramelized onion, asiago sourdough or jalapeno raisin pecan. I challenge you to eat your sandwich, and not want to take an entire loaf home for lunch the next day.
The soup options are hearty Midwestern fare. Broccoli cheese, chicken and wild rice, cheesy baked potato or beef pot roast.
Thoughts: Good food in a fun, comfortable atmosphere at a reasonable price make the Mad Ox a winner. The combination of offerings and atmosphere is such a unique reflection of the owners, and that is what makes it so special. Getting to read an old comic book or remember how to play an old board game makes this a great place for a small meeting or just to catch up with friends.
Price Range: Breakfast items $1 and up. Lunch $5-$8.
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